Client Results

Case Study - Bowater Incorporated


The Company

Bowater Incorporated is a leading producer of coated and specialty papers and newsprint. In addition, the company makes bleached market pulp and lumber products. Bowater operates 12 pulp and paper mills in the United States, Canada and South Korea. In North America, the company also operates one converting facility and owns 10 sawmills. Bowater operates 6 recycling plants and is one of the world's largest consumers of recycled newspapers and magazines. In August 2007 Bowater and Abitibi Consolidated merged to form AbitibiBowater, the 3rd largest public paper and forest products company in North America and the 8th largest in the world. 

The Challenge

The Newsprint Mill Manger at Bowater’s Coosa Pines, AL, facility recognized the need for an improved root cause detection and problem elimination system to speed-up the problem solving process, train key personnel in the Mill workforce in advanced problem solving techniques, integrate the problem solving skills in the routine operations of the Mill and capture best practices and lessons learned in a knowledge management system to prevent recurrence.

The Solution

Bowater selected ASG to first analyze the current problem system, train key personnel in problem solving skills and install an improve system for continued use. Detailed, role-specific problem solving and prevention responsibilities were identified by examining the process workflows. From this workflow analysis training requirements were determined and the improved structure proposed. Personnel were trained to the requirements of their respective roles and an improved reporting process installed.


Problem resolution time has been cut in half with commensurate bottom-cost savings. Problem solving roles and responsibilities clearly delineated, eliminating wasted or duplicate effort. Managers are now able to better coach personnel and provide specific feedback to improve and sustain problem solving performance. Problem solving data is now captured in a knowledge management system which is used as a data base for ongoing problem resolution and elimination and to prevent future problems.