The Allen Company, based in Lexington, KY and celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, has been an HCSS user for more than a decade. Well versed with HeavyBid estimating software, HeavyJob field entry and reporting software, and FuelerPlus, they’ve been using HCSS’s equipment maintenance software, Equipment360, for the last year and a half, as well as recently beta-testing the new E360 Mobile Mechanic app.
Prior to implementing Equipment360, they had clerks at the office entering from paper into spreadsheets information they knew little about, with very little detail from the maintenance teams, typically 3-4 days after the work was completed. Now their shop personnel, who know exactly what is being done, can provide man-hours, as well as notes and pictures, against each piece of equipment yielding a much more complete picture of the work being done while saving time in the office. And most importantly, the information is entered that day which cuts down on errors. “At the end of the week, instead of our accounting staff grabbing Excel files from each shop, they now do one export and with a little Excel manipulation, payroll is ready,” said Grant Gabbard, VP. “In addition to that, we get a better, more granular review because our supervisors review the daily reports rather than a large spreadsheet with everyone’s time all in the same spot.”
The Allen Company has also been involved with the design process and beta testing of the E360 Mobile Mechanic app, due out soon, and Gabbard is already impressed with its capabilities. “We really like the mechanics having the warranty information and parts listing right there in the field at all times,” said Gabbard. “I can see that saving lots of time and money. I also think the workflow is very intuitive and will get us better notes and info about repairs while speeding up the process. It has the ability to cut down on shop foremen doing lots of clerical work and let those people get back in the shop overseeing repairs.”
Gabbard has been “a big believer in FuelerPlus for many years now.” In addition to getting more accurate fuel totals and fuel distribution, it gives them accurate hour meter readings that they didn’t have before which can then be used in Equipment360 to signal when preventive maintenance is due. “Prior to FuelerPlus we rarely received accurate meter readings from the field. The only hour information that we received was from foremen’s daily reports and we knew they were not the most accurate,” said Gabbard. “ Most foremen know that they and the job are being charged for the equipment, so they would turn in a full days work for every piece even if it didn’t run at all. We knew this was happening but trying to get a foreman to gather and key in equipment meter readings regularly was not working and we needed to make a change. I’d love to put GPS on everything, but it didn’t seem cost effective so we turned to FuelerPlus and it has helped tremendously. Now we get the full value from our service program rather than doing services when they were not due yet.”
“And finally,” says Gabbard, “we have great fuel reporting that can compare equipment and identify pieces that are less efficient for repair or trade in some cases. We actually purchased FuelerPlus around the time oil spiked in 2007-2008. It has been a very valuable system to have because we now spend so much on fuel. It’s helped us manage those costs and in the long run, has given us more information to use when making decisions on job sites and during the bidding process.”
“I personally feel the integration of HCSS software brings a lot of value from the start of the process,” continued Gabbard. “Starting the job with HeavyBid, it flows nicely into HeavyJob, then you tack in the fuel and the actual operations side of it, having that side tied in, all the information flowing back and forth is really nice. Being able to cover all our bases from start to finish is great.”
It also helps that there is familiarity between the programs. “We are a smaller company so we have people in both HeavyBid and HeavyJob. For someone familiar with HeavyBid, HeavyJob makes good sense to them. Then the guys using HeavyJob and E360 can tie it all together,” said Gabbard.