UX SERIES 12: Mobility Work at Danone

“I find it very satisfying that Mobility Work constantly cares about customers and does its best to always improve the solution.”

Franck Maillot, engineering and maintenance manager, has been working for Danone for eight years and is specialized in maintenance and performance. Last year, he joined the team in charge of maintenance digitalization. His scope covers more than a hundred of Danone Waters’ plants, one of the group’s branch.

Mr Maillot already knows a lot about Mobility Work and therefore agreed to tell us more about his experience. He explains to us why the application meets the requirements of the Danone group, what are the fields of improvement and why large companies should trust startups.

How did you discover Mobility Work? What convinced you to test the product?

Maintenance has always been a major issue, at the core of the company’s expectations. Before choosing Mobility Work, I was benchmarking a variety of maintenance management solutions. It was important for us to keep an open mind so we were comparing conventional tools, such as SAP or Coswin, with interfaces that are used today by the group, as well as more innovative solutions, like Mobility Work.

We ultimately discovered Mobility Work by chance, by pure word of mouth: it was at an exhibition, and it immediately raised our interest. But before launching into it, we wanted to concretely see how it worked. So we visited the FMGC, one of Farinia Group’s major plants, where it was already implemented.

Today, Danone is still using SAP as it is the group’s standard but we are looking to provide added value to maintenance, one thing that our current software doesn’t exactly allow us to do.

Has Mobility Work already been implemented in your company?

Yes, it has, in two of our plants (Salvetat and Volvic) for several months for each one of them. These are our pilot plants, they allow us to make sure that Mobility Work meets our expectations before we can think about further deploying it.

What are Mobility Work’s benefits according to you?

The very first thing is of course its ease of use. This is Mobility Work’s main argument and it’s obviously a very important aspect. It’s moreover essential for final users as they will have to use the tool on a daily basis. The application is very intuitive and we get along with it easily: these are as many arguments which convinced us to make this choice.

But there is more to it: I would say that working with a startup has a lot of benefits. Honestly, the product is not perfect - and it’s fine - but on the other hand we are very flexible. We can say that we’re using a solution that is constantly evolving and that is really interesting to use. Danone’s aim is not to solely use Mobility Work but to continue working on this actor-contributor relationship that allows us to send feedbacks and to continuously help improve the solution. Each company has the possibility to freely contribute to this evolution which implies many positive consequences.

Can you tell us more about the deployment of Mobility Work in your factory?

It is first important to mention the small things that need to be improved. We are for example facing a big challenge regarding senior technicians profiles. We would like maintenance features as well as interfaces with other CMMS to be developed. We for instance suggested to implement a more advanced data exchange system that could make our everyday life easier.

Still, everything went really well with the implementation, there was no doubt about that. The maintenance technicians were quite happy to use this new tool and they are now all completely accustomed to the application. Concerning the on-field use, I have to admit that Mobility Work has a major advantage: it is mobile and easy to use, everything was made to facilitate the on-site work and that is exactly what we were looking for. In short, we can say that we are satisfied.

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Which feature do you use the most, the one you cannot do without?

We mostly use the equipment management feature, which is, according to me, the most important one. All the features that go with it, like the task or activity ones, are essential.

There also are some features that don’t seem so important at first yet but which probably are about to become essential: the QR codes and the possibility to access our equipment quickly, for instance. These are very interesting options that allow you to work quicker, since the user just has to scan a piece of equipment to find all the information he needs. I also would like to talk about the analytic tool, as it adds value to the solution, and about the whole community dimension that Mobility Work quite rightly praises. This aspect will become even more important once the application is deployed on more sites.

Which feature, which is not available yet, would you like to see developed first on Mobility Work ?

We identified three main subjects, which we already talked about with the Mobility Work team. First, we would again want the interfaces with other CMMS systems to be enhanced. It’s exactly the same for ERP data transfer: this is crucial for us as well as for other companies I guess. Second of all, we thought about a form that could allow end users to do quick checks and to register a larger amount of tasks in just a few clicks, instead of having to create them individually. Finally, according to us, the maintenance plan management should be more developed in order for the spare parts management to be enhanced.

What are your future plans about Mobility Work?

As I am in charge of bringing methodology to our plants, I would say that Mobility Work still is a complementary tool today. We are willing to continue developing it and to implement it in Mexico, within around twenty plants. We are even thinking about going further and implement it in China. Our goal truly is to convince a large amount of Danone Waters infrastructures and to make them understand that this tool can really enhance their productivity. Our Mexican plants are really similar, so it would be very useful to benefit from the whole community dimension there!

During the time you have been using Mobility Work, did you encounter proper service support?

Yes, I did. I find it very satisfying that Mobility Work constantly cares about customers and does its best to always improve the solution, we truly value that. We always keep in mind that we are working with a startup and that it’s not always obvious for large companies to go down this path, each structure has its own way of thinking. It is important that each party knows its boundaries. Sure, some aspects still need to be more professionalized, but we have admit that Mobility Work is as startup: agile and very attentive. Another benefit of this tool is its cost, it is indeed very different from conventional CMMS that companies still choose to work with today. The notion of risk remains pretty relative and that is for sure a major competitive strength...

To conclude, I would say that large companies often are reluctant to work with startups. I have to admit that the modus operandi are different and that one has to get accustomed to this kind of work relationship. Thanks to the very smooth communication with Mobility Work’s team members and with Marc-Antoine Talva (CEO), we can cooperate together, remain responsive and keep a high quality level. We obviously achieved to work together and to learn from each other!

Thanks to Mr Maillot for delivering his honest testimony: users’ feedbacks are at the heart of our approach, and are helping us improve our product on a daily basis.

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