Nothing in business is more frustrating or costly than a poorly-organized asset maintenance management system. This situation often results in wasted time, higher operating costs and costly repairs due to neglect and project delays. All of this can directly impact customers, projects and a team’s overall performance.
In an effort to streamline and upgrade the process, Cycle Construction recently transferred its entire asset maintenance management process into one software system, known as UpKeep. The software makes compiling and organizing work orders, requests, assets and inventory much easier, while creating a synchronized and accessible tracking system.
“Our company is involved in a wide range of projects. Immediate action is required when, for example, a bulldozer is either needed for a project or in need of repair. How well a company is organized really determines whether a project goes over budget or is delayed,” says Kevin Kernion, executive vice-president and CAO at Cycle Construction. “Excellent service is part of our overall mission, so we knew it was time to evaluate our system and move things up to the next level.”
Amped-Up Management and Tracking Systems
World-wide technological advances over the past 25 years have made amped-up management and tracking systems a must for businesses like Cycle. In the past, the process was handled manually: Managers accepted work requests and approved work orders on the phone or through email, while maintaining a master list of everything on an excel spreadsheet. But with each year and each technological advancement, things got more sophisticated in the business world. Project Managers and customers began communicating through virtual meetings and virtual site visits. Texting also sped up communications, along with iPads, which, of course, replaced pen and paper. A new generation of maintenance management system databases working in real time would soon replace the spreadsheets for good.
Cycle’s management researched industry options and ultimately invested in UpKeep. The program was implemented last October. Kernion notes that UpKeep’s user-friendly interface and straightforward approach has shortened the amount of time needed for training. With UpKeep, Cycle’s Facilities & Equipment Manager, Mechanics, Truck Drivers, Welders and Executives now have access to a complete catalogue of assets and parts. The program has also streamlined all project management work processes related to asset requests. Some examples:
- A Project Manager at a worksite needs a concrete breaker delivered from Cycle’s warehouse. Or, maybe a welder needs a new part for an asset. Instead of emailing, calling or texting the request, the Manager uses their iPad to access UpKeep’s Work Request They fill out the form and the request is automatically in the management system for approval.
- The Equipment Manager sees this request, along with the required detailed information. No call backs for more details. No back-and-forth emails about the request. The Manager has what he needs and is ready to review the request. If approved, the request becomes a Work Order. A complete list of all work orders – stored in UpKeep - shows the status of each: approved, declined or pending.
- Managers can then track the approved Work Order, using a Time & Cost Tracking This feature tracks time and maintenance costs within work orders, providing greater insight into productivity and expenses. For example, if there is a piece of equipment that seems to always need a repair, the information in this component can provide specific, detailed information that might help prevent future problems.
- Upkeep’s Meter Reading feature tracks the number of hours that the machine has been used on the job. For more thorough documentation, the program’s Photo Capture component allows Truck Drivers and Mechanics to photograph the machine, providing documentation on its condition and other details. That information is then saved to the Work Order file.
- UpKeep’s Report feature organizes the information and neatly downloads it onto spreadsheets. It can also produce handy graphics and charts, showing details and statistics of work orders opened, pending and closed, during any range of time.