When Liberty Oilfield Services US Maintenance Manager Jack Featheringill started googling “maintenance software” in 2017, he knew exactly what he was looking for: something entirely different than the CMMS he had cut ties with. While the first CMMS his team worked with allowed them to move away from the pen-and-paper based work order system they had outgrown some time ago, it had also introduced a host of other problems.
“It wasn’t structured for mechanics or shop work,” Jack explained. “It was tracking parts costs fine, but it wasn’t telling the whole story that we needed to know. If a customer wanted records, we couldn’t tell them anything beyond, ‘Well, we charged four filters to that unit.’ That’s just a fraction of what really happened. There was no failure analysis, no context, no insurance for our mechanics.”
Worse still, the system was nearly impossible to use. “It was multiple clicks. Click, click, click, click… you’d get lost in it. There’s no way the mechanics were going to spend that much time trying to input the information that would have been of any use.”
Parts Manager Joe Netherland adds that the final straw came when he was asked to provide a review of his experience with the CMMS. “Evidently, I told the truth and they didn’t like that too much. When I turned in my review, they told me to pull it or they wouldn’t give us any more support.”
Searching for an intuitive, effective CMMS
Jack had one soured CMMS experience behind him and he decided to use what he had learned to find a better alternative. “I probably spent about three or four weeks just examining different systems,” he explained.
“I knew right out of the gate that whatever we went with had to be easy to use, since that’s what we were missing before. The other thing was finding something that could capture all that information that we were missing, where I didn’t have to sit at a filing cabinet and thumb through hundreds of handwritten papers just trying to understand what was happening.”
From the beginning, Fiix® stood out as a frontrunner because Jack was able to demo the tool immediately. “Every other company wanted me to enter in a bunch of information, which I did a time or two, but then the phone just started ringing off the hook. I appreciated that with Fiix, I could actually take the time to play around with it a bit and see if this was something I liked before I decided to talk to anyone.”
Gaining broad buy-in for Fiix CMMS
Testing the system himself made it easy for Jack to confirm that Fiix could provide an easy-to-use, data-centric CMMS solution, but now it was time to present the software to his team. “I wanted it to be a group decision. My technicians, my maintenance managers, the parts department, all those folks were going to be the ones using it all day long, so I wanted to give everyone their chance to decide if it would work for them.”
Ultimately, it wasn’t a hard sell. “There was so much chaos that we went through before this. Everyone knew this was going to make their lives easier.”
Once they came to a group consensus, they got to work implementing the system. As Jack describes it, many of the features he needed came “right out of the box”, but he was glad that Fiix was able to provide some customized features as well, including a custom widget, customized workflows, and status changes that made sense for them.
Immediate results and ability to scale
Though Jack had expected a dramatic improvement over the last CMMS, he was shocked by how quickly Fiix provided the insight he needed. “We saw right away where the gaps were,” he told Fiix. Now those insights are part of his day-to-day. “The dashboard is number one in my world,” he says. “I love just having a quick overview of what’s going on in each district, what’s going on companywide.”
The immediate benefits extended to parts and supplies as well. As Joe Netherland explains, before Fiix, there were massive amounts of missing inventory that resulted in huge quarterly spends that couldn’t be accounted for. Fiix provided an immediate solution for this, giving an opportunity for every part used to be documented. “Now, these quarterly inventories are non-events,” remarks Joe. “Our CFO just told us that the dollar figure is now so small that it’s nothing to worry about.”
Though the team at Liberty Oilfield Services continues to grow quickly, with over 400 employees now using Fiix across all districts, no one is worried about outgrowing the solution. “Having this system in place is a huge relief,” says Jack. “It’s one hundred and ten percent better than what we were using before, and it’s good to know that we’re finally headed in the right direction.” As for parts and supplies, Joe echoes the same sentiments. “Having Fiix feels like having an ‘easy’ button. The guys in my world love it.”