Solomon Associates’ Planning and Optimization Team Helps Refineries and Chemical Plants Improve Gross Margins

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Led by globally recognized P&O authorities Michael Hileman and Joe Barth, the Solomon team applies more than 80 global best practices distilled from observations of the best refiners around the world to help operators improve performance.

Solomon Associates

Companies can now take advantage of best practices distilled from our decades of experience in planning, optimization, and scheduling for refineries and chemical plants.

HSB Solomon Associates LLC (Solomon), the leading performance improvement company for the global energy industry, announced that executives Michael Hileman and Joe Barth have formed a dedicated planning and optimization (P&O) team to help refineries and chemical plants around the world improve performance.

“Companies can now take advantage of best practices distilled from our decades of experience in planning, optimization, and scheduling for refineries and chemical plants,” said Hileman, a Solomon vice president. “Our P&O team derives its analysis and recommendations from a unique understanding of what makes successful operators thrive.”

Solomon’s unique understanding is founded on years of experience working in operating company P&O functions. The company’s successful consulting engagements have resulted in increased P&O financial effectiveness for clients.

During a two-week engagement, Solomon’s P&O team audits a plant operator’s work processes, tools, and organizational methods. The team listens, observes, and provides actionable advice based on more than 80 global best practices. Solomon’s actionable advice is comprised of practical solutions that help clients improve their financial and operational performance.

Solomon’s P&O offering is distinct from those of competitors who make textbook recommendations based on management or technical theory. Solomon’s insights come from years in the operational trenches – empirical insights that drive real-world results.

“We have walked in operators’ footsteps and understand the realities of working in an operating environment,” Hileman said.

“Importantly, Solomon won’t try to sell software, which is the unstated objective of many competitors who market P&O audits,” Barth added. “We keep our focus on the clients. That’s why, in dozens of successful P&O engagements, our team has helped operators drive significant improvement in gross margins. Typically, our engagements return 20–40 US dollars (USD) of benefit for every 1 USD of Solomon fee.”

Barth has been with Solomon since 2004 and is a world-renowned expert in refinery P&O with 33 years of industry experience, including leading more than 70 seminars on refinery economics for audiences around the globe. He graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Houston.

Hileman has more than 3 decades of experience working in and analyzing the petroleum industry, and he applies that knowledge to helping Solomon clients around the world improve their performance. He is currently responsible for Solomon's Strategic Advisory Service offering along with his responsibilities for P&O, and serves as project executive for major consulting engagements. Before joining Solomon in 1996, Hileman worked for a diverse range of organizations, including Atlantic Richfield, Charter Oil Company, and Ultramar Inc. He is the author of US and European patents on methods for determining equivalency factors and has published articles on optimizing assets and utilizing best practices to optimize assets. Hileman has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

About Solomon Associates

HSB Solomon Associates LLC (Solomon) is the leading performance improvement company for the global energy industry. Solomon’s benchmarking and advisory solutions help customers across the energy value chain achieve operational excellence by increasing efficiency, reliability, and profitability. Solomon also provides forecasting and advice on the North American gas market. Solomon’s proprietary analytics uniquely transform data into insight for making better business decisions. Based in Dallas, TX USA, Solomon is part of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB). Learn more at

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