Your company’s reputation can be dependent on a number of factors, such as how well your product functions or how fast you can deliver product, or both. For one company, its reputation depends on delivering the right product to the right customer in the form they want it, as soon as they can get it. Today this company is one of the most highly-rated Internet companies in the United States.
“To get our product to our customers around the U.S. within one business day is the mission of all our regional hubs, and we have a 97 percent effectiveness rate,” says this company’s VP of operations engineering.
But this company hasn’t achieved such success by accident. Its operations are well-defined: initially product is shipped by distributors to the company’s central operations in OH, and from there, shipped out directly to its regional hubs. Each hub mails product to its own distribution list of customers, which adds up to 2 million products per day.
One company has over 50 hubs throughout the U.S. using Bigfoot to keep track of its own assets, which are sometimes moved to other locations or swapped for new ones.
Three different machines handle product mailings and returns. Inserting equipment places product in mailing envelopes. Sorters read bar codes and apply customer postal addresses to the mailers, then run mass quantities of product through many more passes and group together as many as possible within the same zip code. This eliminates the time it would take the post office to put these shipments through its own sorters, earning the company a postal discount, which helps cut operational expenses.
When product is returned, the company relies on custom-designed machines to ensure that the right tasks are being performed with each product. Machines open product packaging, orient the product, and analyze them for defects. Before product is repackaged and sent to another customer, each product is cleaned and placed in the right packaging, which has been checked for reuse. Product without customer orders are placed in storage.
Tools for the Mission
“We operate more than 700 machines throughout the country so it’s not unusual to have a machine break down in one of our locations during the business day,” says the VP of operations engineering. “We needed to have a system in place to make sure repairs are handled promptly. Otherwise, we can’t get product out to a customer in one business day, which means we’re not achieving our mission.”
To ensure timely delivery to clients and lower operations costs, the company uses Bigfoot Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS), from Smartware Group, to schedule and manage preventive maintenance of the company’s sorters, inserters, and machines. Each hub uses Bigfoot to keep track of its own assets, which are sometimes moved to other locations or swapped for new ones.
Bigfoot CMMS makes it possible for companies to maximize uptime and performance of their high-production equipment by automating preventive maintenance and repair functions and schedules. Bigfoot maintenance software issues work orders for ad-hoc repairs and then sets up preventive maintenance schedules based on repair history to get ahead of machine breakdowns before they occur.
The company uses Bigfoot to track preventive maintenance activity and the history of every machine in every hub. For example, operations personnel can look up a sorter by its assigned number, check the history of repairs, and perform a preventive maintenance check in advance of a potential malfunction.
Preventive maintenance assists in decreasing the chances of machines failing during inconvenient times.
“We are committed to preventive maintenance and we use Bigfoot to keep our reliability up,” the company’s VP of operations engineering says. “Otherwise we risk machines breaking down at the most inopportune times.”
Nonetheless, ad-hoc failures do occur and Bigfoot CMMS plays a role in expediting machine repairs. For example, a dispatcher in California receives a trouble ticket generated by Bigfoot about a broken sorter in the company’s hub in Atlanta. Based on the type of repair, the Bigfoot dispatcher assigns the ticket to the most appropriate technician.
Bigfoot generates a work order, which the on-site technician completes once the request for repair is fulfilled and the machine is up and running. And throughout the repair process, the Atlanta hub is updated through Bigfoot until the machine has resumed functioning.
“Before we had Bigfoot, e-mail notifications went out to all technicians on the distribution list at once,” said the operations engineering vice president. “It wasn’t clear who was responding to a particular failure and a spiderweb of e-mails between the specialized techs would ensue. Now, because Bigfoot tickets are assigned, we get more capacity and greater efficiency from our technicians, which means faster machine repairs and improved uptime.”
The company also uses Bigfoot CMMS to look at work order history and the number of breakdowns on each piece of equipment, and whether it makes sense to repair or replace a particular machine with chronic problems.
“Having an efficient and intelligent infrastructure is at the heart of what drives our growth and reputation, and repairing equipment without disrupting service to customers is our primary strategy,” said the company’s VP of operations engineering. “We value Bigfoot because it keeps us on top of equipment repairs and addresses problems with great efficiency.”
Learn how other Bigfoot CMMS users are finding success every day by reading the latest Bigfoot articles and case studies at www.bigfootcmms.com.