Providing Premium Lubricants

Part of the BP group of companies, Castrol is the leading manufacturer of premium industrial oils and greases. Its lubricants are reputed for their high performance and quality and are used by automotive, industrial, marine, aviation and oil exploration customers across the world.


Faced with increasing competition from low cost lubricant producers, Castrol needed to protect its customer base and margins. It was keen to increase innovation and identify ways to enhance its product offering with greater value-add to customers.


Castrol engaged Matthew Syed Consulting to instil a growth mindset and drive greater innovation and continuous improvement. The consultancy worked closely with Castrol managers and engineers, conducting a series of workshops and using proven tools and techniques to foster new thinking and ideas. The initiative was branded ‘SmartGains’, based on Matthew Syed Consulting’s marginal gains research and methodology, and is now a systematic approach within Castrol to relentlessly pursue improvements that deliver operational efficiencies and measurable outcomes for customers.


SmartGains has reinvigorated innovation and collaboration within Castrol. Since deploying the initiative, the company’s engineers have delivered major benefits to customers by identifying and implementing small, interconnected improvements that add up to significant business outcomes.

For example, it has enabled cost savings for three major customers that range from $55,000 to $175,000 through interventions such as improving ordering and delivery processes or identifying incorrectly labelled items of equipment that could fail through use of an incorrect or lack of lubricant.

A Castrol SmartGains engineer transformed another customer’s asset from worst to best performer in the fleet through a root cause analysis that identified and rectified a number of equipment issues, which also reduced oil consumption by 20%.

As a result of SmartGains, Castrol is not only retaining customers and maintaining margins, despite fierce competition from lower cost manufacturers, but is also increasing sales of its higher performance lubricants.

Key Facts



  • $300,000 cost savings delivered across three key customers
  • Greater innovation and collaboration
  • Stronger customer loyalty and margins
  • Increased upsell
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