-Leo Logashov, National Operations Excellence Manager
Armtec Infrastructure Inc. (Armtec) is a leading global manufacturer of infrastructure and construction materials. They have a variety of product and service streams, including pre cost solutions such as production of concrete sections and highway sound barriers, and a drainage sector to produce pipe used for construction projects. Armtec’s primary competitive advantage is their ability to operate on a global scale while responding to local demands. They do so by acquiring multiple plants across Canada -from Nanaimo to Newfoundland-that are smaller in size and located relatively close to the customer. Each plant relies on a lean operation with approximately 5-50 staff members per facility. By cutting back on operational costs and with the ability to respond to local needs and weather elements, Armtec has found much success over their last 100 years in business. Maintaining this flexible operation can in part, bedetermined by investing in centralized systems, transparent communication, and efficient processes.
“We didn’t have a (electronic) system at all last year.” Leo Logashov, the National Operations Excellence Manager at Armtec during this process, explained. Without a computerized system in 2013, the company used manual methods such as spreadsheets, and pen and paper to do the bulk of their maintenance management. This system proved to be outdated and lacked a standardized approach to maintenance management across their 15 plants. The decentralized practice put the onus on each individual facility to maintain their operations, leading to large inconsistencies from one facility to another. Once Armtec’s management realized the maintenance challenges at hand, they decided to bring Leo on board to get the system back on track. His main objective was to implement a CMMS that was transparent, reliable and easy to use across all facilities.
Mandated to find and implement the perfect CMMS, Leo set out to compare a variety of vendors and products. He originally looked into six different CMMS providers and then reduced this number to the top three packages. “Everybody liked Hippo the best out of all the packages,” Leo explained. Presenting these alternatives to the rest of his decision making team, Hippo stood out from the rest with its essential features, user-friendly interface and affordable price. “I didn’t have to convince anyone. We chose Hippo for its simplicity, because some users don’t have advanced computer skills and only know the basics.” Leo explained. In addition to the product, Hippo’s friendly and reliable sales team also influenced Armtec’s decision, stating, “The sales staff was clear and friendly. I really like the interaction at that step.”
Because Hippo offers flexible monthly licensing, Armtec did not have to pay high start-up costs. “We didn’t know what we would end up with. It was good to know that you can go back without losing thousands and thousands of dollars and Hippo gave that option to us.”Leo explained. Not only was the licensing option flexible and low risk, but he also found the pricing to be competitive among other providers. “(Hippo) gives us good value for our 15 plant account. Not being expensive was a strong selling feature for us and makes everyone happy.”
Another huge advantage of Hippo was its cloud computing system, which allowed them to utilize resources efficiently without creating a work bottleneck for their IT department. “We didn’t have to get our IT department to install (Hippo) which would have slowed down the project.” Hippo was up and running in no time, especially due to Armtec’s aggressive implementation strategy. This consisted of adding 1 to 2 plants per week, setting up their permission accounts, importing their floor plans, creating customized screens and adding all equipment and parts. “(Implementation) was done very quickly. Carly and Roland did all integration and training, they were very good and very friendly. I really like the job they did!”
A year after implementing Hippo, the system has directly responded to the challenges raised at the beginning of their search. “Hippo tells us the cost of doing maintenance.” In a business as fast paced as Armtec’s, it is important to quantify and track costs for your equipment in real time. “(Hippo) changed the behaviour of the plants.” Leo explains, “It made it hard for them to ignore or do nothing (about maintenance issues) because of the increased transparency.”
The Hippo Advanced Dash was an initial selling feature for Armtec as it provided a graphical view of their floor plans and facility locations. Although this unique dashboard was originally intended to accommodate their maintenance techs, Hippo Advanced Dash was seen as a stronger tool for upper management. “(The maintenance crew) isn’t using it as much because they have a good idea of where things are located. Upper management and people in training benefit from this view because they aren’t as familiar.”
The most important feature that Armtec now uses is the preventive maintenance module. They enjoy the unique permission settings where deadlines and the scope of a PM can only be set by the administrator not maintenance worker. This gives them centralized control and transparency over work requests. Being able to see work order statuses has helped to trigger a quick response from management and prioritize projects. “Seeing if something is overdue gets management’s attention,” explains Leo, “we run current work order reports to see open PM’s, overdue PM’s and how many days overdue they are. It tells us what each plant is doing, which is what management really cares about.”
Transparency, efficiency and a standardized approach to maintenance management has helped Armtec remain lean and competitive in this fast-paced manufacturing industry. By directly identifying past challenges and providing a cost effective user-friendly solution, Hippo has found a permanent place in Armtec’s world.
Now that I have learned the program and tailored it to suit my needs it has proven to be a very useful tool.Randall, Bio Huma Netics Inc.
Hippo gives us the greatest use of our resources while tracking costs and status of work. The helpful employees of Hippo made the transition to Hippo a simple and painless process.Kenny, Rolls-Royce Naval Marine
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Hippo has greatly helped us organize the way we do work orders for our facility and our large amount of machinery. We pull reports for our weekly maintenance meetings that provides information to ensure our plant stays productive.David, Cenveo
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This software is simple but effective. Work orders are well laid out. Preventive maintenance was an issue for us. Hippo helped us manage it with no problems. Our representative was not only helpful, but extremely friendly.Gordon, Seametrics
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Since it's web-based, you can use it anywhere you have an internet connection. Pretty much everything you need to know is right on the screen. There's no searching around for it, and if you miss something, it tells you.Seth, Seametrics