UX Series 13: Mobility Work at Axéréal

David Debert, who has been working as an industrial manager at Axéréal for 18 months, is using Mobility Work CMMS on a daily basis. User-friendliness, user-friendly interfaces, time savings and reactivity: according to him, the 4.0 software delivers its promises.

The French group Axéréal, mainly based in central France (Centre-Val-de-Loire), is the first French grain cooperative and gathers around 13,000 cooperative members.

The group’s branch Axéréal Élevage is specialized in four different fields: animal feeding, hatching, production organization, buildings and barn equipment.

Mobility Work: Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

My name is David Debert and I am industrial manager at Axéréal Élevage. I am in charge of the operation management, which goes from the plants to the delivery through customer service, planning, programming… Which means that I am also in charge of the maintenance section.

How did you discover Mobility Work?

I was regularly seeing posts on the social media LinkedIn about Mobility Work CMMS and I researched it on the Internet to find further information. A bit later, I met someone by accident who knew Mobility Work already and who was quite happy about it. Things really started by word of mouth.

What convinced you to test the product?

The choice to create a simple tool that is really accessible for a large part of users. That is precisely what I was waiting for, as none of my maintenance teams’ members are really fond of digital tools nor specialized in CMMS deployment. There are of course maintenance managers who are working on equipment, but none of them has to manage a large team or to plan technicians’ activities. The teams are quite small, so I need for the maintenance manager to spend most of his time on the field using our tools rather than sitting in front of a computer. That is exactly what Mobility Work allows us to do: I therefore decided to test the solution.

I would then say that I decided to look for information about Mobility Work because we were willing to implement a CMMS software. We have already been trying to find a satisfying tool for quite a while, and we therefore had nothing to lose, except maybe time. It turns out that we didn’t lose time after all, because the solution was meeting most of our expectations when we tried it. Now we just have to keep getting along with it.

Before deploying Mobility Work, we were using the Office Suite to manage our industrial maintenance: preventive maintenance plans and stocks management on Excel, equipment’s technical sheets on Word… We basically didn’t have the possibility to follow curative maintenance plans.

Since when has Mobility Work been implemented in your company?

Here at Axéréal Élevage, we first started using the CMMS in December 2017, in only one of our plants. As from April 2018, we really started implementing the tool in the same plant, and now four production sites are using it. One has to keep in mind that we have ten sites in total, and that the ones chosen among them are those with the best maintenance management. By this time next year, we are planning to deploy the CMMS in two additional sites. For the other plants, I think we’ll wait another two to three years.

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What are Mobility Work’s benefits according to you?

The main advantage is that the tool is really easy to use for anyone who’s not accustomed to it: the basic information remains very accessible. The fact that it’s mobile, as it can be used from a tablet as well as from a smartphone, is a real great benefit for anyone who is struggling with digital interfaces. You don’t have to spend too much time in front of a screen or to always use a keyboard: Mobility Work allows users to directly use Google’s keyboard microphone.

Beyond that, whether it’s for me, for maintenance or sites managers who feel a bit more comfortable with digital tools, Mobility Work CMMS allows us to get real indicators when it comes to corrective maintenance, which we couldn’t do efficiently before. The tool gives us the possibility to follow preventive maintenance to know whether we’re on schedule or not, to receive the maintenance indicators and to optimize our maintenance processes.

To sum up, there are two different main advantages: first of all some people are not really comfortable with technology and would have had some trouble using any other CMMS, and second of all the fact that the tool is as focused on analysis and optimization as other CMMS software.

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

We chose to implement NFC chips: I think the team would really struggle if we had to stop using them. We sometimes still have minor difficulties using the app, for instance when a technician wants to scan a chip, but this feature has really become essential.

I would also simply like to talk about the fact that it’s a mobile app, as it really is an asset: technicians can take the tool with them and use it quickly, they can take pictures, they don’t need to go back to their office to sit down in front of computers, they can easily access safety documents directly on their smartphones whenever needed… In one word, it is quick and easy: all these features allow us to save time.

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

We would like for the NFC chips to be fully integrated, as it works perfectly with the browser but still needs to be enhanced on the mobile version, according to us.

I also once talked directly with one of the Mobility Work team’s member in order to give us the possibility to manage stocks on a multi-site store, which could be accessible from one or several sites. I know our request was taken into account and will be developed soon.

What are your future plans about Mobility Work?

As I said earlier, we are planning on integrating the CMMS tool to two more sites. Meanwhile, we are asking ourselves whether we should integrate all our trucks, as a part of transportation is integrated in our branch. This could allow us to have a digital follow-up of the trucks’ maintenance.

At the same time, we want to continue working on analyzing and optimizing preventive maintenance, it’s a rather young project which we only started implementing in April 2018, as we were effectively using Mobility Work in June. I think that after several months of use, we’ll have a far better overview.

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

As we are evolving in an environment that is constantly changing, we of course want our partners to be always more reactive. But we also know that we have to take a step back once in a while and admit that we are satisfied with the Mobility Work team’s reactivity, through the online support as well as when we exchange with it by email or phone.

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It’s rather dynamic and I think that the Mobility Work project benefits from people who like what they do, and who is therefore dynamic and motivated to constantly make things move. It allows us to quickly and efficiently exchange on the problems we have, and to potentially implement solutions as long as we are not the only ones to suggest them.

I think that one of Mobility Work’s strengths is to be able to remain critical about the software to adapt it: it is of course a lot of work, but that’s also what makes the tool viable compared to other CMMS software. For the time being, the team understands our needs!

Thanks to Mr Debert 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.