"You had to dare to start with such a simple idea, and promote such openness"
Jean-François Boudes is a maintenance manager at Carambar & Co (CPK Production) in Strasbourg (East of France), in the Suchard factory. The French group, created in 2017, specializes in the production of sweets and chocolates, and also owns the brands Carambar, Malabar, La Pie qui chante, Krema, Pastilles Vichy and Poulain, spread over 5 factories in France.
Mr. Boudes is a convinced user of Mobility Work and a main driving force for the deployment of the CMMS within the group; he has thus agreed to talk about key steps, challenges and benefits associated with the implementation of Mobility Work, the next gen maintenance management platform.
Mobility Work: How did you know Mobility Work, and what convinced you to test the product?
Jean-François Boudes: I joined Carambar & Co in March 2017. After 25 years of experience in maintenance, I came to bring my expertise to the plant. When I arrived, I suggested ten projects in order to improve maintenance management, including the management of curative, preventive, improvement routines, spare parts management, the training of maintenance operators, first level maintenance, etc. The 8th step was about the implementation of a CMMS solution. Back then, preventive maintenance was managed with Access, spare parts with SAP, curative maintenance operations were managed in an Excel system, but we did not have a unified system to manage our work orders or analyze curative, preventive, and to improve maintenance costs. So one of my main projects was to deploy a CMMS solution.
The Carambar & Co group is still young and currently structuring. We met with the group’s other maintenance managers on December 11th at the group's headquarters near Paris. During this day, we attended a presentation of Mobility Work. The solution had been suggested to us by a person who had had the opportunity to work with Marc-Antoine Talva (CEO of Mobility Work), now IT manager at Carambar & Co, and who therefore suggested that Marc-Antoine Talva comes and gives us a presentation.
Having already identified our need to adopt a CMMS, the plant’s management fully agreed with this project, which seemed very easy to implement, and after this first presentation, we decided with other factories of the group to equip ourselves with a CMMS. Three factories quite quickly had the solution tested - the Vichy, Carambar and Suchard ones, in January 2018.
I was immediately seduced by the user-friendliness of the tool, its easy implementation and the search engine function. Deployment costs are very low, especially when compared with the CMMS I had to deploy in my previous company, which required very large financial investments (including consultants) as well as very long lead times. With Mobility Work, we were able to deploy a CMMS within 2/3 months. The deployment is certainly not yet complete, but it is really a very user-friendly tool and very easy to set up - these are the main characteristics of this tool in my opinion.
Can you tell us more about the deployment of Mobility Work in your factory?
Mobility Work is already in place in two of our plants, and is currently being implemented in the Carambar plant. The other two plants are not yet engaged in deployment at this time, this is planned over a longer term.
Deploying the solution within our factory was very easy: the advantage is that you don’t need to use a machine treeview, unlike other tools. However, the implementation was so easy that it has partially misled us. Paradoxically, it required a preparatory work to reflect on our machine treeview, which had not been sufficiently well prepared from the beginning, and made us waste time at the beginning. This problem has since been solved.
The second challenge we had to face during the deployment concerned line technicians, more specifically how to get the electromechanics to use the solution. We quickly faced a small technical problem, which is that we are currently not equipped with any mobile tools. We had to choose between mobile phones and tablets, and we eventually opted for tablets in order to be able to benefit from a sufficient screen size, although these are not as easy to carry. For technical and budget reasons, acquiring these mobile tools took longer than expected, but they should arrive within 15 days. In the meantime, line technicians have already started registering work orders on their office desktops. The advantage of tablets is that they enable technicians to enter information wherever they are in the factory, in particular at the foot of the line, and take pictures, search for associated documents, etc.
In parallel with this project meant to structure the maintenance service, we are also working on the implementation of standards; until now, documents have been scattered. So we used Mobility Work CMMS to set up standards so that technicians could easily find them from their tablets.
How was Mobility Work CMMS received?
The reception was very enthusiastic from the maintenance management; we are now able to gather all the maintenance management functionalities in a single tool.
As for the electromechanics, we had two types of reactions: on the one hand, those who were used to use computers and mobile phones, and the others. This situation is clearly involving a culture change for some people ; we have to take the time and the means to accompany them. Moreover, it is necessary to explain to them pedagogically the validity of the CMMS, which it is not a surveillance tool. We have to show field users the interest they have in using this new tool in order to convince them definitively, for example to find documents more easily.
We decided to purchase tablets for electromechanics. This project is an opportunity to modernize our plant and to provide them with a playful tool, which is its main goal. The only reservation is that within our electromechanical technicians, some of them are culturally less used to using them. In this case, support must be provided.
Which feature do you use the most, that you cannot do without?
Without any doubt, reporting curative interventions. My maintenance philosophy - which is not very specific - is that maintenance must achieve an ideal balance between curative, preventive and improvement interventions, and that the first key is the curative.
The news feed allows you to see some of the work done by the technicians: some of our lines run 5*8, and it sometimes happen that some technicians do not meet each other for a whole week. Mobility Work CMMS is a communication tool that allows you to communicate with line technicians you rarely see, and to manage work distribution.
The three factories that have deployed Mobility Work are networked; it is nice to know that it is possible to get information within these three factories. However, this is a feature we have never used so far. I already experienced such thing with a previous CMMS that we had deployed in my previous position, within several plants. We were very enthusiastic about the idea of being able to communicate and share spare parts stocks, but in use, we realized that we were finally sharing only a few spare parts. In addition, the search for technical information was usually made through phone calls. For me the networking aspect is a plus, but is not necessarily the major benefit of this product. The real added value is linked to internal exchanges between the plant's departments.
What are your future plans about Mobility Work ?
Several projects are currently in progress: first, we would like to be able to take spare parts out of the stock and manage our store using Mobility Work, which we intend to put into practice during the summer.
The next step is to use the different reportings dashboards and to set up indicators – especially as the dashboards have been improved during the last update.
Maintenance in our factory is divided into 3 parts: I would like each of them to have a giant screen that includes Mobility Work dashboards, so we can point and browse our CMMS indicators when meeting with line technicians. This is a feature I would like to develop by the end of the year.
Finally, with the help of an apprentice, I would like to be able to develop connections between our field electronics (brushless motors, supervision...) and our CMMS over the next year. The idea is to develop predictive maintenance, even if it mainly remains preventive as we know it, but with adapted tools: how to recover engine torque drifts, longer response times, and thus anticipate failures...
During the time you have been using Mobility Work, did you encounter proper service support?
This is going very well, the relationship is very good with Mobility Work's management, which offers many ideas and anticipates our needs. Be careful, however, to structure things, to manage the growing power of the tool well and not to make false promises.
We are well aware that Mobility Work is constantly developing; it is an extraordinary tool, but we must keep our feet on the ground. I would advise you to pay attention to structuring your development. The demand is very strong, and you are living a very beautiful adventure, but be careful while you are growing.
As for the support team, it is very good. The apprentice engineer in charge of the CMMS implementation has always obtained very fast answers each time he contacted your team.
I am a Mobility Work fan, and I recommend this CMMS whenever I can. I had the opportunity to teach to maintenance students this year, and I made a brief aside in my course to talk about Mobility Work!
You had to dare to start with such a simple idea, and promote such openness. What I liked about Mobility Work's philosophy is "Let's just do things, ask the right questions, and implement them quickly and simply". And putting so much effort into improving our work processes is truly worth it! Congrats!
Thanks to Mr. Boudes for agreeing to give his testimony; user feedback is at the heart of our approach, and helps us improve our product on a daily basis.