Since its founding in 2005, BuildASign.com has reinvented the way people buy signs and customized décor. Using proprietary, web-based technology, customers can use provided templates or download their own artwork for fast custom printing solutions for signs, apparel and home décor.
To fulfill orders quickly to customer specifications, BuildASign must, like any manufacturing company, keep a variety of equipment and facilities in tip-top working order. That involves staying on top of ongoing preventive maintenance, as well as quickly repairing broken or offline equipment. To manage these tasks, BuildASign employs an 11-person maintenance team and a four-person facilities team.
The company needed a software program that would keep track of work orders for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance work and help managers keep up with parts inventory, alerting them when they need to order new parts, to avoid lengthy downtimes.
In 2018, BuildASign began using Asset Essentials, Brightly’s enterprise asset management system. When Adam Easterwood took over as Maintenance and Facilities Team Manager in 2021, the software was up and running. Over the past three years, he has worked to get all his team members trained on Asset Essentials and using it on a daily basis.
“Everyone on our maintenance technician team uses Asset Essentials daily, and we’re working to get the entire facilities team using it too,” Easterwood says. Because the tool is available on both desktop and mobile device, team members can update their work order progress directly from the manufacturing floor, and Easterwood has visibility into needs and productivity from anywhere.
Everyone on our maintenance technician team uses Asset Essentials daily, and we’re working to get the entire facilities team using it too.
Maintenance and Facilities Team Manager
Asset Essentials makes a positive difference for BuildASign and its facilities and maintenance team daily, Easterwood says. Not only does the tool make it easy to schedule and keep up with routine maintenance tasks, but also, the available customization ensures that technicians perform the exact work that is needed.
“In my day-to-day work, the customizable dashboard on the work order side is very helpful,” Easterwood says. “It allows me to filter out whatever is necessary and whatever is unnecessary, depending on the specific job. The tool is incredibly versatile.” In addition, Asset Essentials maintains detailed information about each work order, so it’s easy to access the data for maintenance reporting, Easterwood says.
The digitized parts inventory is another helpful component of Assets Essential for BuildASign. Administrators can set maximum and minimum requirements for parts inventory, and because the software tracks parts used in each work order, it can automatically alert the administrator when it’s time to order new parts.
“When we use a certain number of parts, an alert will pop up on our main dashboard and tell us the parts we need to order,” Easterwood says. “It’s very helpful to ensure we won’t run out of any given part, which could send us down for a period of time.”
When we use a certain number of parts, an alert will pop up on our main dashboard and tell us the parts we need to order. It’s very helpful to ensure we won’t run out of any given part, which could send us down for a period of time.
Along with tracking work orders and inventory, Asset Essentials provides a wealth of valuable data and insights that BuildASign leaders can use to make informed decisions. For example, after analyzing the work order data from the holiday season of 2021 and early 2022, the maintenance team identified a specific part that was breaking frequently, causing downtime on a number of different machines.
Based on that information, “our team worked to strengthen that part and make it better so it wouldn’t keep breaking,” Easterwood says. “With the stronger alternative part in place, we saw a drastic drop in the number of work orders from the holiday season of 2021 to the holiday season of 2022, about 100 fewer than forecasted.”
For the maintenance and facilities team, the top priority is reducing unscheduled maintenance work orders and down time. “Since we’ve been using Asset Essentials, we have a lot better organization and tracking, and we’re able to keep up with any issues or needs,” Easterwood says.
While Asset Essentials has helped his team make great strides, Easterwood says the tool offers many components that he hasn’t taken advantage of yet. Moving forward, he plans to continually adopt new ways of using Asset Essentials, such as tracking detailed performance of maintenance technicians to better visualize and understand workforce needs. He also plans to maximize Asset Essentials to use maintenance and work order data to better project the lifespan of individual pieces of manufacturing equipment.
“Asset Essentials is incredibly customizable, which might be intimidating to some people, but it allows you to get visibility you wouldn’t have otherwise,” Easterwood says. “You can make it as useful as you can imagine.”
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