GeoStabilization International (GSI) says using a maintenance software program helped it put $5 million to the company’s bottom line in the first year of use.
GSI was recognized by the software vendor, B2W, for Best ROI for its use of the company’s B2W Maintain.
GSI has a fleet of 1,000 pieces of standard and specialized construction equipment that it uses for geohazard mitigation, specializing in emergency landslide repairs, rockfall mitigation, and grouting. It has maintenance shops in Colorado and Kentucky, as well as field technicians deployed to projects throughout the United States and Canada.
Jeff Bremer, GSI’s VP of fleet, joined the company in 2019, and said implementing B2W Maintain was an immediate goal.
“Maintenance software is a no-brainer,” Bremer said in a prepared statement. “You just can’t manage a fleet efficiently and stay on top of preventive maintenance schedules when you’re doing it by hand or relying on spreadsheets.
You end up with excessive downtime, and that leads to potentially huge capital expenses of owning too much equipment to compensate for the downtime.”
According to B2W, GSI tracks days that each piece of equipment is down for repairs as a percentage of overall workdays. Bremer said reducing those down days added $5 million to the company’s bottom line in the first year that B2W Maintain was fully implemented.
Scheduled or preventive work (vs. unscheduled or emergency work) also improved to more than 70 percent, lowering costs and increasing uptime, according to Bremer. Repair and maintenance costs as a percentage of revenue, and regular versus overtime hours for mechanics are also key performance indicators (KPIs) tracked closely and improving considerably with B2W Maintain, he said.
There is no silver bullet for establishing an industry leading equipment maintenance program, says Bremer. He believes setting up and sticking to PM schedules, getting meter readings that are accurate and timely, streamlining work order processes and utilizing data are the keys to success.
“Those objectives require good software, but also solid processes that let you take advantage of the technology, and people that can make it happen,” he said. Along with B2W Maintain, GSI has implemented electronic forms for equipment inspections. Telematics technology is also used to capture meter readings which are integrated with the maintenance software.
GSI set up B2W Maintain to trigger preventive maintenance notifications automatically based on meter readings. The B2W system also provides a list of tasks to be completed at each interval.
“In the past, mechanics generally knew what to do, but we didn’t have consistent lists and we were missing tasks and opportunities,” Bremer said. Oil analysis is one example. “Analyzing oil at the right intervals, instead of just changing it, gives us a valuable data point that we can track over time to evaluate a piece of equipment,” he said.
Easy access to accurate data on the maintenance history of each piece of equipment is another benefit of B2W Maintain. The management team at GSI reviews reports driven by that information to manage the lifecycle of the fleet and decide when to continue maintaining an asset and when to replace it.
“Some companies replace equipment when the downtime and repairs get excessive, but that might be too late,” according to Bremer. “We must have accurate historical cost data that helps us determine the point to exit a unit before its costs increase, not after.”