Case Study 1: Unlocking Maintenance Efficiency at Kaboodle

When Trevor Attard Started his role as Maintenance Manager at Kaboodle in Melbourne it was a newly created position. There was no workshop and no recorded history for any equipment currently in use in the facility. He got to work setting up his workshop and searching for a system to use to manage the work that needed to be done.

Enter Maintabase. Trevor said, “The choice to go with Maintabase was a simple one. Cost always plays a part in the choice and Maintabase fits the bill there with a monthly subscription model. Where it differs from others though is the price is the same regardless of user and asset numbers.” “Another critical point was it had to be easy to access and easy to use.” “I wanted to make sure that everybody that needed the system had access and that it was a simple process.” Something that required months of training was never going to be an option for us”.

Listing all of the assets and recording the history of all work done to maintain them became the 1st priority. A simple dashboard lets people see what’s been happening. Attaching machine documentation such as Manuals, Schematics and Photo’s to the asset in the database was also important. The ability to create Preventative Maintenance checklists. Work order creation and scheduling on the calendar within the system for use by team members is great and the added advantage of being able to link them to Google and Outlook calendars makes it even better.

Making sure the work is planned and done when it should be done is important but it’s only the beginning. Keeping records of what was done and when it was done is just as important and helps build a much clearer picture going forward. Understanding part life over time and equipment duty cycles can help to avoid costly breakdowns. Keeping track of safety and compliance documentation so everybody using the system knows where to find it when they need it another added advantage.

In Trevor’s view, these are more reasons why having a cloud based simple system were so important. “Everything is together and everyone that needs it knows where to find it”. “The time saving and increase in efficiency in that is enormous.” Trevor can get on with getting the work done without people constantly needing information from him or his assistance. Simple things like contact information for a supplier of a particular machine, part supplier information or subcontract technician details can all be stored against assets.

Although having an easy to use solution was a key criteria you still need to know that support is there when you need it and with Maintabase I have trust in that also Trevor said. Contacting support via email or phone always brings a quick response and that’s important to us. We got what we were looking for in Maintabase and have no hesitation in recommending them to anybody else who has assets that need managing.

Although not ready for it yet, Kaboodle also sees the possibility to expand the system to include things like live monitoring of assets. Many machine manufacturers include this with new machines now however if you have older equipment or equipment from a number of sources tying that all together in one solution can become a significant issue. Maintabase holds the key to that also with the ability to connect to many different types of equipment and bring that information together within the platform automatically recording things like operating hours against individual assets. This makes it far easier to plan preventative maintenance tasks going forward. It can also provide critical information for reporting on machine efficiency assisting with process improvement and production capacity planning.

Case Study 2: All Axis Business Services

All Axis Business Services is a small service business taking care of equipment for it’s customers. CNC machinery and associated software’s are the primary focus across a couple of different industries. With a small team of specialized independent technicians and no manufacturer support they needed a way to save and share information amongst the team and with their customers. Helen Lewis from AABS went searching and via a customer referral found Maintabase.

“We liked what we saw straight away. We could use it on the run and build a database of our customer assets and history for our team and share it with our customers”. The customers of AABS are made up of mostly small businesses with a minimal assets. Many of them don’t see the benefit of having a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) until they get bigger. “With Maintabase we can add them as a guest to their assets giving them access to their own asset profile and history recorded by us” said Helen. Adding QR code stickers to our customer machines makes this process even easier for us and the customer. Our team can quickly navigate directly to an asset they are working on by scanning the code and customers can access their information the same way. This is great for thigs like service history and compliance documents that can be stored against assets.

One of the things that really suites AABS is that regardless of the number of assets there is no change to the monthly subscription fee and this helps budgeting in a small business. For the customers of AABS there is another added benefit. As they grow and add assets, the need for something like Maintabase becomes greater. Should they take up Maintabase down the road the sharing of historical information from AABS to the customer becomes a bigger benefit being able to transfer the asset profile.

Internally, the team at AABS find Maintabase a great tool for sharing knowledge and history about customer machines amongst the team and for quickly accessing information like schematics and manuals when they need them. Quick to find information and easy to add information when the work is completed was the comment from one of the team. Helen told us being independent, it’s critical that we make sure we catch as much information as possible ourselves. We can schedule our work and assign it to team members. Set PM (Preventative Maintenance) frequency and store as much information in the library as we need to make it easier for our team to get the job done.

AABS have been using Maintabase for a few years now and say the product is easy to use. They told us that they haven’t needed much in the way of support in that time but when they have it’s been a simple process. For a service provider like AABS who understand the importance of providing great customer service and see it as a critical point.. We actively recommend Maintabase to our customers and would have no issues recommending Maintabase to other service providers like us.

Case Study 3: The Importance Of Mobile Maintenance Management During a Breakdown - Pedro Banales

As a machine technician I appreciate any bit of information regarding a machine before and when I am on site of a breakdown. 

When a detective attends a crime scene, being briefed on all the facts and receiving a file of the case is the standard procedure. The detective can then evaluate the scene based on new and previous evidence. 

Machine breakdowns have some similarities to this scenario. Now I know this may sound a bit dramatic but bear with me.

As I stepped in front of a large bridge saw machine, I proceeded to perform the usual preliminary observation checks – visually, mechanically (movement) and hearing (any strange sounds). This is my standard procedure to define the problem area and identify the possible cause. I was to find the cause of an error which was preventing the machine to run in automatic mode.

Now this is like the earlier scenario of a crime scene – there is an issue, some evidence, probable/possible causes, suspects (mechanically or human in nature) and a conclusion. There was only one problem…I had no file of the case! No machine history, no prior knowledge and no maintenance logs. 

The machine operator then proceeded to tell me that another technician had fixed this very same issue around 6 months back. “Great!” I thought. I mean, imagine someone at the crime scene going right up to the detective and saying, “I saw who did it”.

Me – “So who was the technician that attended?”

Operator – “Hmm I’m not sure”

Me – “Ok, do you know what he/she did to fix it?”

Operator – “No idea”

Me – “Any slight hint of the area he worked on?”

Operator – “Nope”

Worst witness interrogation ever. I had nothing. 

After a couple of hours of running diagnostics and pulling the cutting head apart, I finally found the cause of the issue. Some of the grease hoses had popped out of their fittings and the grease sensor was not allowing the machine to run in auto mode. Unfortunately, the error code failed to show the right description of the error. It was just a matter of cutting the tips of these grease hoses, replacing the fittings and refilling the lines with grease.

Imagine if I had been briefed on this earlier? I’m sure it would have knocked some valuable time off the job and the machine would have been operational sooner. Or in the detective’s case, he would have caught the suspect before he could commit his next offense.

So, what has all this got to do with mobile maintenance management?

  • By having a software like this, I can access the machine ‘file’ from wherever – whether it be before getting onsite or when I’m at the machine
  • I can access the machine history to see what breakdowns it’s had, any knowledge which has been learned regarding this exact machine and when it was serviced last
  • I can also see multiple pictures which have been taken of this machine in the past. I can then compare these pictures to its current state to see any discrepancies. 
  • After I have finished the job I can enter any knowledge I have learned, any history, parts used and even store my service report against the machine file. This will then be useful to future technicians and even myself.

Fast forward to now when going onsite, I always carry my trusty tablet with me which gives me access to a huge database of knowledge. Jobs become more streamline, failure rate drops, injury rate drops and I feel like I am contributing to a database which helps my fellow technicians.

We don’t need fancy a deerstalker hat and a magnifying glass to be a natural Sherlock Holmes, just a tablet with a good CMMS system, and a bit of creativity!