Learn how proper maintenance helps keep the rubber on the road for this fleet management team

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Jeff Potts headshot

Jeff Potts

Director of Fleet, Pro-Vac

Ron Collins headshot

Ron Collins

Inventory/Purchasing Manager, Pro-Vac

Mark Harris headshot

Mark Harris

Maintenance Manager, Pro-Vac

The challenge

  • Scaling maintenance across a growing business
  • Assessing the availability of inventory and parts on hand
  • Logging equipment miles and hours was done manually
  • Poor visibility on different site locations
  • Equipment on the road makes it hard to address issues quickly when they arise

The solution

  • Fiix CMMS
    • Work request portal
    • Asset management module
    • Parts and supply management module
    • Audits and compliance
    • Analytics and reporting
  • Fiix CMMS Integrations
    • Samsara
    • Boomi

The result

  • Saving time by integrating fleet software with the CMMS
  • Increasing multi-site visibility
  • Generating daily reports in a click of a button
  • Reducing waste and spend with just in time inventory tracking
  • Prioritizing critical work and addressing it quickly

About Pro-Vac

Pro-Vac is an advanced full-service storm maintenance and environmental service company serving customers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Based in the Seattle area, Pro-Vac operates a substantial fleet of over a hundred assets that require regular maintenance. Their slogan, “Because size matters,” is no joke; nationally, Pro-Vac operates an impressive team of 50-plus mechanics spread across 13 North American sites. The team is responsible for managing the repairs and maintenance of over 700 assets, working around the clock to ensure that all equipment is in top-notch condition and ready to be put to the test on the road.

A rapidly growing organization with growing needs

Dealing with fleet equipment is already a challenge, as the equipment is literally on the move and subject to the wear and tear and physical demands that come with driving long distances. But with the recent acquisition of new sites, the Pro-vac team found themselves in an interesting position.

For Jeff Potts, Director of Fleet, at Pro-Vac, the growing organization was both exciting but also challenged by multi-site visibility. With the team now managing over 700 assets, there's an increasing reliance on managers and team leaders to make critical decisions, reflecting the organization's proactive adaptability to growth.

“We have grown exponentially over the past 18-months. And trying to understand everything that is going on within all these sites, along with how each mechanic is doing can be a little challenging.”- Jeff Potts, Director of Fleet, Pro-Vac

For Mark Harris, the Maintenance Manager at Pro-Vac, having eyes on all 200+ pieces of equipment he maintains at one time was a big frustration. “I gotta keep an eye on my equipment and keep Jeff informed, so, when Jeff asks questions, I have the answers for his question,” he says.

With the growing number of sites, equipment, and maintenance demands, their existing process for tracking maintenance just wasn’t going to scale like it needed to. Other solutions only offered a decentralized view of equipment and maintenance so each site would need to take ownership of its own systems.

They needed something easy to use that let them track equipment and parts over multiple sites. Fiix CMMS was the answer.

Sharing data through seamless integrations

The same way your car at home alerts you every thousand or so miles that service is needed, fleet trucks work just the same. When you work with fleet equipment, knowing how far and how long a truck has been on the road between scheduled maintenance is critical in determining maintenance frequency.

For this, Pro-Vac uses an integration between Fiix CMMS and Samsara, a tool that logs fleet hours and miles. Operational data from Samsara can be automatically added to Pro-Vac's routine maintenance programs without the need for manual data entry.

“Without that, you'd have to manually enter the hours into the system, which would be very time-consuming,” says Mark.

How Fiix CMMS integrates with fleet management software diagram
Whatever the driver wrote up, I mean, it could be a taillight out, it could be a bad tire or anything. That allows it in real time to come back. So it makes me aware of it. It also makes my team aware of it so they can see it.

Assessing asset criticality and prioritizing work requests

Downtime creates additional challenges as these fleets need to be ready, reliable, and on the road for customers. Any time a vehicle is held up for an extended period waiting for a part or a repair, the pressure is on to have the problem resolved quickly.

With the influx of work orders and truck-related issues, being able to accurately gauge the severity of those issues is critical to keeping operations running. In the past, this task was largely left up to the driver to relay information back to the team, and describing the issues in words alone made it harder to assess the true severity of the problems.

With Fiix, the drivers are now encouraged to include photos of the issue with each work request. For Mark, having access to detailed work requests with visual aids significantly improved his ability to make decisions quickly and prioritize work accordingly.

If we got a question, a picture is worth a thousand words.

By consolidating parts and work orders within the same system, the maintenance team found it easier to prioritize tasks and minimize downtime.

“At any given time, I can be inundated with anywhere from 80 to 100 different work orders. And then I have to break that up and prioritize it,” says Mark. [Fiix] helps me streamline it so I can make a quick decision and say, okay, no, I got to down this truck so I can go forward and let dispatch know.”

If parts are in stock and ready to go, and the request has been submitted, the repair can be made quickly, and the vehicle can return to the road faster.

“I don't know how to describe how much time it saves me, but I spend probably about 95% of my day in this program [Fiix], it’s a time saver,” Mark jokes. “I don’t think I'd even be able to get sleep if I didn't have something to help me out with.”

Having the right parts, at the right time

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s no one-size fits-all method for accurately predicting what parts you’ll need on-hand. The Inventory and Purchasing Manager at Pro-Vac, Ron Collins, is no stranger to the complexities that come with having the right parts on hand when they’re needed and not wasting capital by overstocking shelves.

Ron shares his insights on using the 'just-in-time' inventory management method to successfully keep fleets on the road.

Pro-Vac video thumbnail

By using the parts tracking feature in Fiix CMMS, Ron leverages past inventory data to create a minimum stock threshold. As parts are used, the CMMS keeps track of the usage and creates an alert once inventory levels reach that minimum threshold.

“It will prompt me to purchase more of the part to get us back to where the predetermined min and max quantities are,” says Ron.

In addition to helping with stock levels, the CMMS shows where each part is stored, making it easy for the maintenance team to locate exactly what they need, when they need it.

That prevents downtime with mechanics shopping our large inventory to try to find something.

When it comes to warranties on parts, Ron’s job is to ensure that every part they bring in has the original purchase order attached to the system. He says, “If we ever run into a warranty issue or return, we can just go right into that purchase order and pull the information that we need, print it out, and then send it in from there. Real easy."

They’ve even been able to save some money by keeping track of stored parts that are past warranty and were able to return them for a credit with the vendor.

DOT audits and compliance

To keep operations running Pro-Vac must meet the strict compliance requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT). Having experienced the painful process of traditional pen-and-paper audits in the past, being able to use Fiix to prepare for audits made the process painless.

Each time a DOT audit is conducted, the company must be prepared with all the proper documents and reports — otherwise, the team can risk things like loss of certifications, non-compliance and penalties.

Instead of shuffling through papers and filing cabinets, the team only has one source of truth for all their maintenance records through Fiix CMMS. This makes audits as simple as giving auditors access to the software or generating a quick report.

“I had a DOT compliance officer come in, wanted to see files. I granted him access to a guest portal to that, and he was able to pull up any information he wanted to know on any piece of equipment,” says Mark.

The five-year plan

Looking to the future, Jeff and team are focused on an aggressive growth plan that involves acquiring companies and quickly onboarding them to Fiix CMMS. “Not every integration is created equal, so a degree of flexibility is needed,” says Jeff.

He emphasized that to be successful, they need to establish strong standard operating procedures for integrating their newly acquired companies into the growth plans and onto Fiix CMMS. He is working on getting that in place and rolling it out across their various sites.

Basically, Fiix is a part of our company, and it gives me snapshots of the health of our fleet and how our maintenance teams are performing. We'll quickly assess how everything is going. And from there, I'd like to have the ability to reach out to whatever site or individual that I may need to. Fiix has been a lifesaver as we continue to scale. I honestly don't know how we would make all this work without Fiix and being able to have all the info and data available at my fingertips.
– Mark Harris, Maintenance Manager, Pro-Vac

You can find the full on-demand webinar recording by using this link.

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