Sharing best practices from one power plant to another
Working in a power plant with the biggest engine output and the newest technology, is what originally attracted Omar Ndiaye to join Wärtsilä. Now, 17 years later, this Contract Manager is handling a power plant where Wärtsilä and the customer have agreed on an Operations and Maintenance contract. The contract type is impressive as Omar’s 85-employee strong Wärtsilä team is basically running the power plant for the customer.
“My most important task at the power plant is to manage the customer relationship and maintain their satisfaction at all times. I need to follow the contract management process and general management practices in a safe and cost-effective manner. In addition, I’m on top of the performance of our engines and auxiliaries and monitor that we meet the contractual obligations,” Omar tells.
However, Omar’s team is not only meeting the obligations but going beyond the ‘must-haves’. “There is one day that I will cherish a long time. It was the day when our customer realised that the major engine overhaul time was cut to half; our team worked hard on improvements and as we managed to significantly cut the engine downtime, it had a positive influence on the electricity dispatch within that community,” Omar tells. “Another day I cannot forget is the 120-pages test that I needed to take to become a Maintenance Manager in Wärtsilä for the first time” Omar says with a big smile.
Jokes aside as Omar is eager to tell us where do improvements, such as minimising the engine overhaul time, stem from. One source of development has been the Operational Excellence training where Omar and his local colleagues learned the principles of continuous improvement.
“Since the Operational Excellence training in Dakar, I have taken the lead to implement the principles at a power plant environment – for the first time in Wärtsilä, I think. Our local management has recognised our team’s achievements and I’ve been encouraged to share the ideas with other service teams in West Africa,” Omar tells. “Our team had previously some needs for improvements, within the cleanliness and safety of the power plant for example, but we solved them by implementing a good team spirit and more communication on our performance indicators.”
Another factor driving continuous improvement comes from Omar’s own personality. “I always aim to do the right thing and I’m quite disciplined as a person – those are the characteristics that I hope I'm conveying also to my team mates,” Omar tells. Having clear policies is also what Omar appreciates the most when working at Wärtsilä. “Besides clear policy, I enjoy the smart technology we work with, our safety culture and the tools we use. These are the sources of my everyday inspiration and joy.”
As Wärtsilä is changing with the speed of the world, at least, Omar envisions that the renewable energy solutions will have a major impact on the energy landscape in Africa within the next few years. “As a Wärtsilian, I’m ready for this change. The company has given me great opportunities to develop myself and my team and I expect these careers and learning opportunities to even increase as we move towards the renewable energy future.”