Holly Tullos, Maintenance Coordinator at Cloeren Incorporated, is responsible for creating, managing, and updating the company’s maintenance strategy. As the only maintenance administrator for the company, Holly is busy and only getting busier by the day. In the last year, the number of machines she helps manage at Cloeren’s four American facilities has grown by 22%. The increase brings Cloeren’s machine count to over 100 machines across North America.
“More machines means more schedules to create, more manuals, and more assets to track,” says Holly.
Cloeren's maintenance team set a goal to improve machine tooling uptime and implement proactive maintenance strategies. Unfortunately, they couldn't move beyond a ‘run until it breaks’ mentality. This mindset was risky because it meant replacing an entire assembly line when something inevitably broke—costing Cloeren both time and money.
With repair costs on the rise, Cloeren knew they couldn’t keep operating this way.
Discovering the need for a CMMS
To help combat these problems, Cloeren purchased a maintenance module for their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage assets across plants and hired Holly to implement and maintain it. But this new system lacked the functionality needed.
“Our machines' information must be organized, easy to read and understand, so our technicians know how to plan for these events,” says Holly.
She felt defeated after putting in the effort to look through manuals and creating all schedules for the system. Because there was no mobile integration, work orders had to be printed and physically distributed across the plant. And they had to refer to the same old manuals and help centers for troubleshooting.
“These resources hardly ever give you relevant ideas or solutions, they seem out of touch with their users,” says Holly.
Holly needed a solution that would work for her, not against her. A solution that would make it easier for the technicians to have access to manuals if they needed them and less paperwork to fill out every day. With that in mind, the maintenance team began their search for a CMMS.
Searching for an easy-to-use system
The decision to choose Fiix® wasn’t difficult. With a relatively low start-up cost, the ability to interact with their ERP system, and its ‘user-friendly’ functionality, the team didn’t have to receive multiple approvals or make different business cases for the purchase to be approved.
The system offered an easy-to-use mobile app that the technicians could use to update and receive work orders and repair requests. It allowed technicians to access the information they needed to create and complete work orders from anywhere in the plant.
Holly was also invited to join a beta testing group for Fiix's new features. This was something the other systems lacked. Cloeren believed that by taking advantage of it, Holly would have the best chance of finding a solution that satisfied all their requirements.
Finding support in a community of like-minded individuals
Holly was introduced to The Fiixers community, a forum for users to connect, bounce ideas off each other, and share best practices for using Fiix to get the best results. This, combined with the Fiix team’s near-constant efforts to get and implement feedback, made Holly realize that Fiix was a true collaborator in her team’s success.
“I would receive calls from Fiix’s representatives, and they would ask me questions about what features I liked and what I didn’t like,” says Holly.
They seemed to listen to feedback and were able to offer solutions for the problems in the meantime.
Holly began to use The Fiixers community as a sounding board for questions about her CMMS.
"It's fantastic to go into the community and send a message asking for guidance and have a solution right there," Holly says.
Even if my problem wasn't related to the Fiix platform, the community makes me feel like I'm not alone in this.
Cloeren is conducting an audit of its maintenance strategy to confirm that everything is in working order and limit future breakdowns. Having access to past Fiix webinars on conducting these audits has been a major help.
“I have returned to some of those webinar recordings and watched them three or four times,” says Holly, “and if I don’t understand something in them, I can be sure to count on the rest of the community for support.”
Access to data improves asset management
Today, Holly appreciates being able to pull reports about the maintenance program with real-time data from Fiix.
“Pulling a pre-made report is extremely useful because it provides me with all information I need to make maintenance decisions,” she says.
The data from these reports aids Holly's ongoing efforts to shift the company to a proactive maintenance strategy. It shows her any potential roadblocks or areas of concern that she should report to the managers.
"I don't have to think about anything except turning the data into an action plan," Holly says.
Looking ahead to a bright future
Using Fiix allowed Holly to concentrate on developing a proactive maintenance strategy, but it also provided her with the invaluable opportunity to join a community of like-minded people.
Looking ahead, Holly is confident that Fiix will continue to assist her and her colleagues in making informed maintenance and asset knowledge decisions.
"I would recommend Fiix to anyone in maintenance," she says, "simply because the community provides administrators with so much knowledge-sharing."