UX Serie 14: Mobility Work at the LOSC

Jérôme Delplanque has been working for 10 years as a maintenance manager at the Domaine de Luchin, the training center of the LOSC Lille football team, located in northern France near the border with Belgium. As part of his duties, he manages the technical and operational details on site: from construction or routine maintenance to the management of energies, projects, green areas, cleanliness and space. As a maintenance manager, he must have an overview of the daily organization of the Domaine and its operations.

Mr. Delplanque, who was responsible for Mobility Work’s deployment in his organization, agreed to answer our questions and share his experience. He explains how the software meets the LOSC’s needs and requirements and why he chose to put his trust in a startup.

Mobility Work: What does the daily work of the LOSC’s maintenance manager consist of?

Since the day I assumed my position at the LOSC Lille ten years ago, the work of a maintenance manager has slightly changed. Maintenance operations used to account for the biggest part of my job, because there was a strong need for it; we have the responsibility to manage a site of almost 50 hectares, so we needed someone to commit on a full-time basis.

Progressively, other needs arose: site supervision, project management in construction, improvement, space optimization - indoor or new construction. As the activities of the site increased, so did the needs in calendar and planning management. This is why I try to keep a global view of the site and our activities, in order to avoid any issues - like duplicates in plannings, or recording the same users twice in the same area - all the while planning necessary maintenance interventions, supervising cleaning, cleanliness and facilities management. All this in order to maintain a state of daily operations that is as transparent as possible for users.

To sum up, the scope of action of a maintenance manager is wide and diverse. In my opinion, the work of a maintenance manager is characterized by a practical, more technical, aspect which is based on a solid knowledge of his equipment, tools and teams.

How did you know Mobility Work? What convinced you to try the application?

I think I came across Mobility Work CMMS by chance, on social networks - on LinkedIn to be more specific - but in the end nothing is really a coincidence, isn’t it? At that time I was looking for a new CMMS software that could fit our site, the Domaine de Luchin.

It is important to note that, in order to address our needs in maintenance, we work at 98% with subcontractors, whom I am coordinating. Traditionally, these companies offer a maintenance package that includes their own CMMS software. That, for us, was somehow problematic: considering the fact that we switched sub-contractors several times, we wanted to avoid depending on their CMMS tool.

Every time we moved from a maintenance subcontractor to another, we had to change software and start from scratch. In other words, we couldn’t move data from a CMMS to another, due to a lack of skills or resources. We were also losing the whole history: data recovery is a very time-consuming task, we couldn’t afford to assign someone to it and it was a waste of time and efficiency at the launching.

Besides, these CMMS solutions restrained us to a very sedentary working organization. The applications were designed for fixed workstations, computers, they did not give us the ability to work on the field, in a sedentary manner.

So, we were engaged in this discussion with my superiors when I first read about Mobility Work. In February 2018, I met with Marc-Antoine Talva, co-founder and CEO of Mobility Work, who offered me to run a free trial on several pieces of equipment. I quickly understood how the application works and the possibilities it offers. The low deployment costs were a decisive argument during the negotiations with the management to turn to a private CMMS.

Has Mobility Work already been deployed in your organization? How did the rollout go?

During the trial period, we faced some minor obstacles but thanks to the online chat tool, I was able to communicate with your technical teams who have been very responsive. After that, I noticed that the updates were done very quickly. Our expectations are taken into account by your team and I must say it is truly reassuring.

With my management, we decided to continue the adventure and move forward to the paid version of the application. The trial period included, it has been almost ten months since we started using Mobility Work CMMS.

According to you, what are the advantages of Mobility Work?

Mobility Work CMMS brought us three major advantages: time saving, data processing and maintenance interventions monitoring.

Mobility Work stands out for its simplicity. This CMMS is certainly easy to learn, and its users are well supported by a highly responsive technical team. This allowed me to acquaint myself with the application and all its features, in order to introduce it later to our maintenance teams and providers and answer their questions as accurately as possible. I was thus able to show them all the advantages of this next-gen CMMS myself. They immediately saw the benefits! I then did two or three more detailed presentations, during which I would address different topics according to the features I had previously tested.

The search function also illustrates this pursuit of simplicity. Although Mobility Work CMMS allows us to avoid trees, I wanted to add a form of structure when I integrated our equipment. Maintenance technicians should be able to easily find their way around - after all, they are the end users. Now, labels are a great help. They just need to enter in the search option the keywords previously added in the equipment’s description to find it in a few seconds.

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Secondly, I would say that the mobile interface is one of the greatest assets of Mobility Work CMMS. The mobile application offers a certain complementarity with the web version, which is a coherent, well-developed and easy-to-use tool. It is particularly useful to maintenance technicians who operate on the field: it allows them to find their location easily, to view current and late tasks, and to react accordingly.

Lastly, I would like to mention the analytical tool that offers an interesting integrated monitoring solution. On this point, I believe that Mobility Work CMMS has a significant lead over other software. With traditional CMMS solutions, you first need to extract data, then build your Excel document, from which you can extract the graphs you need. With Mobility Work, all this is automatic, it is a real time saver! It is a great analytical tool that helps users to identify key issues.

Which feature do you use the most and can’t do without anymore?

The newsfeed. Thanks to it, I can maintain a link with the field, in any circumstances. In my office, I set up a screen on which the newsfeed is constantly displayed: I can monitor the activities of the maintenance teams, locate their interventions, know their progress, the amount of time they spend on them and their status. It allows me to follow the site’s activities in real-time and act fast, if needed. The only downside is the need to manually refresh the page. I think we could benefit from a parameter in the settings, for example, that would allow us to manage this feature.

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As for maintenance technicians, they appreciate the “My Calendar” feature, especially on the web version. Its design is very visual, which, I believe, feels reassuring. Thanks to the color code, we have a quick overview of late tasks, for instance.

According to you, what is the main added value of Mobility Work?

I would say that Mobility Work CMMS is more adapted to the reality on the field. Sometimes, traditional CMMS systems are too complex and struggle to meet the needs of maintenance teams, especially the end customer. It becomes difficult to issue a report or to monitor activities.

In my opinion, CMMS tools must be adapted to the needs of the field; they must meet the expectations of the end user. Mobility Work CMMS falls into this pattern. We work as a team with Mobility Work, which is very much linked to its startup status: a team that listens to its customers, and create an open dialogue that I haven’t always found elsewhere.

Which features would you like to see developed on Mobility Work?

Since we deployed Mobility Work CMMS on our site, we have identified two main areas for improvement.

The first concerns the mobile version. In my opinion, it would be more efficient if you integrate some of the features already existing on the web version. I think it is important to have an application that is the most exhaustive possible, especially for teams operating on the field. Whether it is a notification system, an internal chat, or the ability to search for tasks and activities of other users, each of these features contributes to optimizing our maintenance activities by facilitating information sharing between our teams. Similarly, it would be a real bonus for maintenance managers to have the analytical and reporting tool even when they are not on-site.

The second area is inventory management. Mobility Work CMMS gives us the possibility of managing stocks and spare parts, which is very useful for technicians: they record every removals and are very conscientious about it. However, I think the mobile application still lacks a notification system that would advise technicians when stocks are low or empty. It would also be great to facilitate the integration of stock without using the equipment modification function.

Finally, this is not a feature in itself, but I would like to see, in the preferences, the possibility of imposing the specification of the time spent on a task or activity. Because if the technician does not fill in the time spent, we are not able to make the most out of the analytical tool.

What are your company's future plans for Mobility Work?

I have just completed the maintenance plans and integrated them into the CMMS. In this case, Mobility Work has proven itself to be a flexible tool; it is not adapted only to the field of maintenance. It can also be used for vehicle flow management, cleanliness, furniture, chair stocks, etc. Mobility Work CMMS allows me to go further in my operating activities.

In the end, I was able to adapt Mobility Work to my job. I think your tool was first designed for the industry, but it also makes it possible to operate a tertiary site, such as ours.

Are you satisfied with the team’s reactivity?

Yes, absolutely. There's nothing to complain about. It's rare, but it is. Mobility Work has a solid organization. Whenever I want to give feedbacks, you are always reachable. Sometimes I am told that things are being developed, but I understand. You have a good team, always listening, always available, answering quickly, which is truly appreciated.

However, you should communicate more on upcoming updates, progress and improvements. For example, in the "coming soon" section of the support, which you could also include in your newsletter. This is very useful to follow your activity: updates, organizations that join your application, events you take part in, etc.

A last word?

I am particularly satisfied with your solution. For 6 months I operated without CMMS, only by email and phone. Monitoring was impossible. Now that Mobility Work CMMS is deployed, it is reassuring for me, for my management and for users, because we have gained in reactivity and efficiency. The technicians are more comfortable and the site will be better for it.

Compared to other CMMS tools that are too complex, that require to fill out too many lines or fields, Mobility Work CMMS is very sleek and intuitive.

And the cost is a real plus!

Thank you to Mr Delplanque for delivering his testimony. Users’ feedbacks are at the heart of our approach, and are helping us improve our product on a daily basis.