For the most part industries and plants are similar in the way they are set-up and run.  Of course, operating conditions may vary widely between plus and minus 40 degrees Centigrade, be very wet, cold or in the desert, but the building blocks of plant and machinery are remarkably similar. Whatever the exact combination, yet-to-be commissioned greenfield plants or hundred year old brownfields require a steady stream of interventions to ensure they perform their best, reliably and at lowest realistic cost – although there is a fair range of opinion as to what constitutes best and lowest.

Almost all our clients run a combination of regular smaller shutdowns or outages as well as larger turnarounds and major upgrades to try and achieve just this. Adopting so-called best practices within any given industry can be comforting and a good first step, but usually doesn’t come close to what can actually be achieved. ​


Key Challenges


of post-STO recommendations are not implemented​


of STO don‘t reach expected goals​


of STO have scope creep of between 10 – 50 %​


of STO exceed planned costs by 10% or more​

Our Strategy & Solutions

Managing all aspects of a shutdown, turnaround or outage consistently well requires a mix of co-ordinated effort, time and clarity of purpose all of which may be in short supply when burning the candle from both ends. Our unrivalled expertise built up by working at the sharp end across industries and sectors brings clarity and guidance. Our consultants are instantly credible bringing a mix of personal industry expertise, business optimization and change management. Across the world and in different industries we help our clients find the best answers for them by creating standard processes, providing specialist resources and even running whole turnarounds on a risk-share basis.​


Our Service Offering

TA Review / SIP​

There are many reasons why the preparation of a turnaround may be in trouble. But no matter how little time is available it is never too late to take corrective action and minimize the risk of failure. After a brief review of the current situation our turnaround specialists integrate into your team and support with a hands on pragmatic approach and proven techniques to get your turnaround preparation and execution back on track.​


TA Practice Review / Analysis (benchmark vs best practice)​

Due to their very nature turnarounds are recurring events. But does meeting defined targets most of the time really mean your TAs are best in class? To find out if your turnarounds are top of the league and to identify areas of improvement we will take an in depths look at your current turnaround practice. The short benchmark-analysis of TA processes, methods, tools, organization and systems is the basis to determine areas of opportunity, the associated benefit potential and agree approach and road map to enhance future turnaround performance.


TA Excellence Program for one or multiple sites to develop and implement bespoke TA best practices​

The ability to continuously deliver successful turnarounds requires a multitude of preconditions to be in place which many organizations find a challenge. Our ‘Turnaround Excellence Program’ helps you to define a bespoke best practice framework for TA success that contains elements such as cycle strategy, organization, target setting, risk based scope management, competitive contracting, effective planning / estimating, dynamic scheduling, efficient execution etc. After the definition of that TA excellence framework our experts assist to actively implement the changes with your team and support you throughout preparation and execution in order to sustainably deliver world class turnarounds in the future. ​


Provide operative support - T.A. Cook Engineers

Many organizations find it a challenge to staff all key TA positions with reliable individuals who have the capacity and experience to prepare and deliver successful turnarounds. No matter if you require an entire turnaround management team or need to fill specific turnaround functions such as TA Manager, Lead Scheduler, Lead Planner, Quality Manager, Logistics Manager, Field Coordinator etc. our team of turnaround experts will fully integrate into your organization and support you hands on to make your turnaround a success.


TA Review / Stage Gate Review​

Turnaround preparation usually stretches over many months and sometimes years so it is easy to get bogged down and lose sight of potential risks. Our health check reviews at different stages of your turnaround preparation are an objective and detailed status assessment that goes beyond the surface. Interviews, document reviews, field checks and topic specific deep dives are the basis to benchmark your TAs preparation status vs best practice, identify potential risks and draw up practical corrective actions so you can deliver a successful turnaround.


Training / Coaching Program, TARfighter​

The delivery of successful turnarounds typically involves a large number of in and external people across various turnaround functions. The right capability, expertise and skills of each individual involved are a crucial precondition to meet defined turnaround targets. Our ‘TA Education Program’ drives the understanding and importance of TA best practice and fosters team alignment. In order to achieve effective learning and rapid application we apply various formats such as interactive classroom training-workshops, our unique TARFighter turnaround simulation training and coach individuals one on one in the field.    ​


Schedule Review and Optimization / Monte Carlo​ Simulation

The schedule for the execution of a turnaround has much in common with the script of a movie. It predetermines the best sequence of the story, orchestrates activities of the many different actors / crafts involved, helps to identify the required volume of resources and ensures all the action fits into a fixed timeframe. In many turnarounds within a few days of execution the schedule becomes obsolete as it is not fit for purpose. Our experts support you to determine the most suitable approach and structure to develop a workable schedule for your turnaround. They will actively guide you on how to best set up and optimize the schedule and deal with schedule risk so you can deliver an event with optimal duration.​


Specialist TA Topic Optimization

Focus, direction, cash flow planning, team motivation, control - there are many reasons why it is so important to defined duration and cost targets for a turnaround. But setting targets that are either too tight or too generous will lead to frustration, lack of motivation, loss of control, blame and potentially to spend a lot more money than really required. It is therefore crucial to install a mechanism that allows you to come up with objective duration and cost targets that drive your team to deliver top competitive TA performance without being unrealistic and setting the TA up for failure. ​


Scope Review Challenge​

One of the great challenges for most organizations is to define and control the volume and type of work (i.e. scope) that should and will be executed during a turnaround. The importance of clear rules for “what is in and what is out of scope” when the scope should be frozen, how to deal with scope changes and who is responsible are usually understood but hard to implement. From the definition and implementation of a risk based scope process, challenging the scope that has already been defined for your turnaround and taking the lead as active Scope Manager - our team will support you to get back into control.​


Strategy Definition, Cycle Review​

No matter if it is the cycle in that your units go into turnaround, the question which units to shut down at the same time or the approach how and when to integrate external partners - there are many mid to long term strategic decisions to take that greatly shape the direction, magnitude and outcome of your turnarounds. Our experts will assist to review your existing strategies and help you based on data, facts and evaluated benefits to develop innovative alternatives to shape the future of success of your turnarounds.​


Success Stories

"T.A. Cook‘s constructive way to address project challenges is highly valuable and much respected by us." 

Director Turnaround Management, BASF Germany

Featured Insights

The End of Subjectivity

The End of Subjectivity

Turnarounds in large industrial plants can become money pits if the advance preparations aren’t right. The new Project Intelligence Tool from T.A. Cook helps to improve the quality of preparations, thereby significantly reducing the risk of longer

TARfighter Workshops

Our unique shutdown and turnaround project simulation workshop is designed to help your team enhance end-to-end turnaround management and decision making. TARfighter is a cost-effective way of bringing your team together as part of project preparation or evaluation.

Successful Turnaround Planning

In the Digital Refining / PTQ Magazine, Lee Williamson explains how Turnarounds can be controlled if planned in accordance with five key components

"Yes, we can make this happen."

Even under the most ideal circumstances, achieving targets for an STO (shutdown, turnaround, outage) is a challenge. Mark Banham describes the three major factors for a successful turnaround project


Please talk to our expert to find out how we can support you

David Fleming

David Fleming

Senior Manager, Global Expertise Lead STO