The team at Trinity Products was frustrated with its existing system because technicians and administrators were not being consistently notified of new tickets.
“We were missing a lot of tickets because of the way that system was set up,” said Paul Wilkerson, maintenance manager at Trinity Products. “We'd have to go search for that ticket. Time is money in our business. Every hour that a machine is down costs us $3,500. That works out to about $1 each second.
“We also wanted to be able to track all our assets, tie work orders to them, and see the maintenance history to make better decisions,” Paul added. “That was not really possible in the old system.”
Finally, Trinity Products wanted to be able to easily assign work orders to the right technicians, track those work orders through completion, and understand labor costs throughout the maintenance department. Management knew the company needed a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to do all these tasks.
Trinity Products started its search online and reviewed several web-based CMMS programs. Management met with several vendors and participated in webinars. In the end, after evaluating pros and cons, Trinity Products chose UpKeep’s mobile-first solution.
"UpKeep’s webinars were very informative," Paul said. "The individuals holding the webinars had an answer to every question, and if they didn't know, they were quick to find out. One thing that stood out to us was UpKeep's willingness to develop solutions that we specifically required. We felt like they truly cared about our business and were willing to help us develop a system that would work for us.”
After Trinity Products selected UpKeep, they began training and implementation. “Fortunately, some of the guys had had experience with similar CMMS programs in prior jobs, but even the guys who didn't have experience were able to learn quickly,” Paul said. “The user interface is so friendly and it's super easy to train people on. I showed them one time and they all just took off with it.”
Trinity Products knew they needed employee buy-in for the new system to be successful. “Sometimes technicians are not keen on using technology because they are uncomfortable or don’t like to feel like Big Brother is watching every move,” Paul explained. “Our team was very receptive and excited about it. They've been really happy with it.
“They like the fact that they all have key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep track of what they do,” Paul added. “It's turned into a game for them to see who can do the most preventive maintenance tasks. They like being able to see their numbers and brag about them.”
As Trinity Products began inputting all its assets, it realized it had many more than anticipated and was not conducting any regular preventive maintenance on most of them. This fact made it difficult when the company was faced with certification requirements and state-required audits.
"When we get audited, the auditors like to see preventive maintenance records," Paul said. "We never had any of that information before and really couldn’t provide all the data they wanted. With UpKeep, we will be able to pull up the history of a particular asset and show them the preventive maintenance plan and the completed work. That will really help with our annual audits on an ongoing basis.”
Just months after implementation, Trinity Products has already increased the responsiveness and efficiency of its maintenance department. Response time has gone down, and customer service has gone up.
“Before UpKeep, employees in other departments were hesitant to submit a service ticket request because they believed they would not get a response,” Paul said. “They felt like, ‘what’s the point?’ That's definitely changed. Some departments that were kind of against the maintenance team because of a lack of responsiveness have totally changed their tune.”
With the old system, tickets may have gone hours or days before a response was initiated. With UpKeep, the response is almost immediate.
Next on the docket will be a focus on parts, inventory and purchasing. “That's something we never had in the past, and I think it will be really beneficial to Trinity Products,” Paul said. “We are excited that UpKeep will do all that with no increase in headcount. Our current maintenance team will be able to manage it.”
In the past, Paul was responsible for purchasing spare parts. “There was nothing worse than finding out that somebody used the last part and didn't tell me about it,” Paul recalls. “It meant a big rush to ship the part or scrambling to find a stopgap solution. Having UpKeep manage those minimum inventory levels will be a huge relief for me.”