Preventative maintenance management helps Birds Eye fly

After adopting a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), Simplot Australia now achieves stocktake variances as low as 2% at its Ulverstone manufacturing plant. An Australian consumer food business, Simplot Australia owns and manages brands such as John West, Birds Eye, Edgell, Leggo’s, Chiko, I&J and Top Cut.

It operates plants in five locations, including its Simplot Ulverstone plant which produces potato-based products for the frozen and fast food industry.

Before taking its facilities’ management online, Simplot Ulverstone used to produce over 1,000 work orders a year, over a quarter of which were preventative maintenance tasks, and parts and requirements of each job had to be included manually. It was time-consuming and there was no processed data received back from completed work, due to lack of labour and time. This resulted in little control over expenses, very little analysis and poor recording of what needed to be done.

Simplot Australia recognised it needed to invest in an automated preventative maintenance system and contacted a Brisbane-based firm call MEX. MEX’s CMMS solutions are designed to help users increase asset efficiency by helping them record preventative maintenance, maintain work-order data and scheduling, monitor labour productivity and reduce downtime.

Simplot Australia reportedly chose MEX because of its ease-of-use and work-order customisation capability, which was important to Simplot to lessen the blow of changing from a manual system to a CMMS. If the work orders could look the same there would be less cultural change for the organisation.

Nowadays, MEX has moved from being a quick introductory CMMS for the Ulverstone Tasmanian Plant, to being used in all local Simplot Plants. 
"MEX may be a low-cost system, but it packs a lot of punch," Simplot Australia engineering maintenance planner, Grant Rodman said.

The Ulverstone plant now produces 10,000 work orders annually. The store’s inventory of 7,800 items is predominately managed by MEX. The variance achieved at stocktake is as low as 2% and preventative maintenance has increased from 25 to 35%.

Most importantly, management can see where maintenance money is spent and there are comprehensive records of all completed work done.