Now that 2021 is upon us, our recruiters are hitting the ground running as they actively seek to fill positions for essential businesses. From energy plants and refineries to manufacturing floors and government and commercial construction projects, we’re seeing plenty of opportunities on the horizon, which is why we’re taking the time to shine some light on key job openings. This month’s spotlight is on a turnaround cost analyst (TAR). From technology know-how to budgeting and cross-functional communication skills, continue reading to see what qualifications employers are looking for in this role.
A TAR occurs when part of an oil refinery or plant undergoes planned downtime for inspections, re-fitting, maintenance, and renovations. They occur about once every four years and are expensive, too, given the labor, equipment, and downtime required to perform the activities. If a TAR takes longer than expected, refineries can experience shortages in fuel and price increases, so a TAR cost analyst is an extremely valuable and experienced team member.
Bid Review Assistance
Even before a major construction project gets underway, a TAR cost analyst helps evaluate project control requirements as part of the bid review process. Doing so ensures all cost control requirements are incorporated into individual contracts and purchase orders.
Having TRACK experience (enterprise contract management software) is a skill that often comes up as it is niche to the types of industrial, oil and gas firms that we support. The right person can take the lead in developing, implementing, and maintaining the cost control system. They may also oversee construction estimates and actuals while also forecasting labor, equipment, and materials.
For a reminder on the differences between project management and project controls, visit our previous post on the topic.
Organizational and Execution Skills
Creating labor staffing plans and equipment cost estimates takes foresight, and companies want candidates who can manage, revise, and maintain the status of the detailed project cost estimates and forecasts. The right candidate should also include all phases of TAR execution from design and engineering to material/equipment procurement and deliveries within these reports. Not to mention the ability to oversee construction contracts through start-up activities to closeout.
In addition to implementing cost analysis programs, a TAR cost analyst should track and analyze pivoting project costs. Doing so may mean having to revisit budgets, project commitments, actuals, accruals, and forecasts. As an example, an analysis may include:
- Forecast to budget and estimate
- Forecast to actuals
- Contingency analysis
Individuals in this role will also help create detailed project budgets from estimates and in the development of cash flow projections. As part of the budgeting process, they will also assist in the early identification of long-lead items, resource constraints, and required project start dates.
Be an Innovator
A TAR Cost analyst is never idle as they participate in the development and improvement of project controls systems. This individual may recommend modifications in systems, tools, project controls, and project management methods based on previous experience.
Lastly, companies want to talk with candidates who can interact with other project groups about cost codes, purchase order commitments, and change orders. While also working with scheduling staff to develop, manage, revise, and update integrated detailed project schedules- including all phases of project execution.