Winning a contract with the Department of Housing proved to be a catalyst for change at Pindan Asset Management, forcing the brand new division of one of Western Australia’s biggest property and construction companies to seek out a complete maintenance and mobile service capability.
The tender, awarded in 2014, was to service and maintain the Department of Housing’s 6000 houses across various regions in Western Australia. And one of the terms for winning the contract was that Pindan Asset Management required an integrated system to support the whole of life asset management and facility maintenance service requirements. The system needed to be tightly integrated with Department of Housing’s ICT systems for complete visibility and real-time information.
“The existing business systems that the broader Pindan business used are just not designed and couldn’t cater for a really high-volume, low-value type of transactional environment and there was no mobility with the solutions either,’’Pindan Asset Management general manager Stephen Arndt says.
Pindan Asset Management has about 90 staff and operates six branches across the Pilbara and mid-west in WA.
It went to market for an integrated asset management and facility maintenance solution.
Arndt says the company desired a solution that technicians could use on tablets or phones to service an area of over one million sq km.
“With the ability to operate and have their van as a warehouse,’’ he says.
Pindan Asset Management considered a range of providers, but IFS Applications ticked all the boxes.
“Most providers could do a lot of the stuff as well, but what it really came down to was the fact that they had knowledge in Perth.’’
The functionality and configurability in IFS Applications meant Pindan Asset Management could support the Department’s houses complete asset life cycle.
“At that stage, we had four months between that announcement and going live,’’ Arndt says. “We not only had to establish all of the branches and recruit all of the people, we also had to buy an ERP system, install it and then interface it with the client system.’’
The vendor provided full ERP to Pindan Asset Management with all asset management functions on IFS.
Pindan Asset Management went live handling the first mobile work order from the Department on November 1, 2014.
Pindan technicians work in a completely paperless environment accessing information shared between the company and the Department to support each work order.
Efficiencies have been achieved by giving both Pindan Asset Management and the Department of Housing real-time visibility of work order status including automated invoicing.
Staff can take photos, upload valuable information such as time spent, spare parts, purchase requisitions, expenses and costs as well as service history to complete the work order.
The technicians, which number about 250 including contractors, are forced to be consistent with the same information captured across all jobs improving accuracy and visibility.
Pindan Asset Management is also able to bill the Department immediately which has a positive impact on cash flow. In addition, it has seen increased usability and higher productivity through IFS Applications.
“Initially, I said we would be looking at getting a 20 per cent efficiency improvement, but it is going to be more than that,’’ Arndt says.
Pindan Asset Management, which invested just above $1 million in the project, currently averages four or five orders a day per person, but is trying to lift this to up to seven or eight in the next six months.
Arndt says the system will see the business benefit from being able to downsize its inventory holding.
“At the moment, we hold $500,000 worth of inventory at any point in time now I suspect we would easily be able to take 20 to 30 per cent off of that.’’
Pindan Asset Management would also be able to position itself to pick up additional types of work, Arndt says.
“We would like to be able to set the system up so we can basically take ownership of an asset and do planned and even predictive maintenance,’’ he says.
PROBLEM: Needed a complete maintenance and mobile service capability.
PROCESS: Implemented IFS Applications in three months.
RESULT: Increased service delivery, improved process workflow, improved cash flow and complete visibility into operations.