UX Series 15: Mobility Work at Vallourec

CMMS Software : Mobility Work at Vallourec

Barthélémy Longueville has been working for 12 years for Vallourec, world leader in premium tubular solutions. After eight years in China, during which he was in charge of industrial and business operations, he decided to come back to France to hold the position of Chief Digital Officer in order to oversee the digital transformation of the Group. As for Manuel Pinto, he joined Vallourec at the beginning of his career in industrial maintenance. He is now working as a maintenance manager in a plant located in Déville-lès-Rouen (Normandy, France). They both agreed to share their experience of the deployment of Mobility Work next-gen CMMS.

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

Manuel Pinto: I see myself as one of the senior of Vallourec. In 1991, I first set foot in the plant of Déville-lès-Rouen to work as a maintenance troubleshooter, and then as an electrical preparator. In 2017, I was appointed manager of the troubleshooting team. I am working as a maintenance manager since 2012: first I was attached to the unit responsible for heat processing but two years ago this position evolved, as the activities of hot rolling process were outsourced to the Group’s plants in Germany. So, since 2017, I have been attached to the cold processing unit.

Barthélémy Longueville: It has been 12 years now since I’ve joined Vallourec’s teams. I had been working for two years as a quality manager when they offered me a position in China. There, I successively held the posts of plant manager, industrial manager, then general manager in charge of industrial and business operations for the electric power activities in China.

Since I returned to Paris in 2017, I have been appointed to address the digital transformation within Vallourec France. Our strategy for digital transformation unfolds around three main axes:

  1. Digital solutions as a lever for innovation for our customers. In other words, our goal is to leverage data to provide our customers with new services.

  2. Digital solutions as a lever for performance. In this second axis, we act at an operational level in order to improve the production in all our plants, to reduce costs and to increase quality thanks to new technologies, and especially to analytics solutions.These initiatives cover operating functions (such as purchasing, management control, etc.) as well.

  3. Digital solutions as a lever for collaboration and communication. By introducing innovative solutions, we are aiming to enhance communications within and between the different teams of Vallourec.

In my opinion, Mobility Work next-gen Computerized Maintenance Management System is at the crossroads of the second and third axes, in that it allows our teams to rationalize their industrial maintenance operations while offering technicians new possibilities for exchange and communication.

How did you discover Mobility Work?

Barthélémy Longueville: If my memory serves me well, I guess Marc-Antoine Talva, co-founder and CEO of Mobility Work, was the one who got in touch with us. We then met him for a demonstration of Mobility Work.

What convinced you to test the application?

Barthélémy Longueville: Our decision to adopt Mobility Work  was first motivated by the prospect of integrating to our tools a modern, easy-to-deploy, Cloud-based solution.

We needed an innovative tool to strengthen our TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) strategy but also to reinforce the relationship between maintenance operators. Mobility Work is an efficient application, focused on its users, on maintenance technicians, which obviously has an immediate positive outcome on our teams.

This approach therefore seduced me and I was convinced of the usefulness of such a tool. But what finally won me over to push the project forward were the first two weeks of testing we did with Mobility Work.

So, we decided to deploy the application at the Déville-lès-Rouen plant; there, our maintenance technicians adopted the solution very easily. It is true that they are a modern and dynamic team, they did not put up any resistance. But it is very rare to see a digital solution being adopted so quickly. In only two weeks, we witnessed changes in habits: almost all technicians with credentials were already using Mobility Work CMMS. It worked right away, which is a very good sign.

How did the decision-making process go?

Manuel Pinto: After the presentation, I was seduced by Mobility Work as well. This first impression was later confirmed, once the application was deployed and the flowcharts, equipment and spare parts created. As Barthélémy mentioned earlier, the teams immediately adopted the tool: when we saw maintenance technicians reporting their activities on Mobility Work and moving away from our previous tool, we knew that it was a done deal.

Barthélémy Longueville: There was also a period of improvement during the summer, if I remember correctly, during which you took pictures of the equipment to make the tool more visual.

cmms-equipment-sheet-maintenance

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Manuel Pinto: Indeed, we did not immediately launch all the features of Mobility Work. We started with the simplest one, the activity report, and focused on it. We presented the advantages to our teams: accessibility of the activity report, simplified communication, greater availability of maintenance interventions. Thanks to this feature, we improved the exchanges between the maintenance manager and his teams.

We recently began taking pictures of the 2,000 machines that make up our fleet. We have gradually adopted some features.

How long had Mobility Work  been in place in your organization?

Barthélémy Longueville: We deployed Mobility Work  in May 2018 at the Vallourec plant in Déville-lès-Rouen.

The production of all activity reports was a starting point in the integration of Mobility Work into the plant, as they allow teams to monitor industrial maintenance operations.

How has the deployment of the CMMS been experienced?

Manuel Pinto: Several generations work together at this plant. At the very beginning, the teams did express some concerns. The younger ones immediately adopted the application. For the most part, Mobility Work somehow looks like what they are used to, like social networks. The adoption may have been a little more complicated for the others, but within a week everything was settled. Today, no one would go back.

To prevent possible concerns, we organized training sessions. We have a technician here, usually responsible for the structure and spare parts, who committed to training. He organized three training sessions, each lasting 30 minutes for about ten participants, for our thirty users.

Within the first two weeks, we already had about 1,000 or 2,000 activities registered in the application.

How does the deployment fit into your digital transformation?

Barthélémy Longueville: In terms of IT project management, this is really a change of paradigm. We usually buy licenses that need to be upgraded each year. This process requires the intervention of a team for deployment, training, etc.

In comparison, Mobility Work next-gen CMMS is easy to handle and to use. We have a paid solution hosted on the Cloud. Here too, we are in a continuous improvement approach, i.e. the product is not perfect, we know that Mobility Work is a constantly evolving start-up, but the product is improved as it goes along. We also have a say in the development of new features.

As often, the Déville-lès-Rouen plant is a little ahead of the others. In view of the success achieved there, we decided to deploy the CMMS tool in other plants of the Group to grant them with the same benefits and create a community of users. Maintenance professionals will be able to exchange best practices on a given piece of equipment, to compare industrial maintenance strategies or the use of spare parts, without geographical constraints, and thus improve our overall industrial performance.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of Mobility Work?

Manuel Pinto: For me, the main advantage is that you can check the application wherever you are: at work or at home. I am constantly connected, I always know what is happening on site, which was not possible with our previous CMMS software or with an Excel activity report.

I think this is also a real benefit for maintenance technicians: they now have a way of knowing what happened during their absence, before they even arrive at the factory. This has for example facilitated relations between operating and troubleshooting teams as well as between troubleshooting and preparation teams.

Moreover, the deployment of Mobility Work has saved teams a huge amount of time. We operate on a three-shift model, every morning we have a maintenance meeting during which we review all past activities. Mobility Work simplified this meeting for us.

But the real added value of this next-gen CMMS for operators is to be able to consult the equipment’s history of interventions on which they work. They can find out if the failure is recurrent, if a solution already exists or if it is a new problem.

What was the impact on the operational level?

Barthélémy Longueville: This added value, that Manuel mentioned, will progressively be reflected in the operational performance of the plant. Maintenance technicians are valuable resources, so it is important to give them the means to focus on their maintenance interventions, on improving equipment rather than wasting their time with a complicated tool to use.

While there is no direct evidence of an effective cost reduction, there is indeed a gain in efficiency. That is, we reduce the time spent by maintenance technicians on administrative tasks, so that they can transmit reliable information to the production department, be able to manage their maintenance activities more efficiently, and optimize their operating time. In the long term, this will result in an overall improvement in equipment maintenance. I am therefore convinced that we will soon see a gain in machine availability, maintenance costs, etc.

Manuel Pinto: It is still a little early to be definite, but we are witnessing a movement in this direction. It will take a few more months before we see the fruits of it. As Barthélémy said, we have noticed a certain time saving that allows us to focus on improving equipment and processes. Thanks to the history of interventions, we are now able to better analyze failures and significantly reduce downtime.

Barthélémy Longueville: Mobility Work CMMS opened up new horizons in terms of continuous improvement. As part of this global approach to quality improvement, we occasionally discuss with maintenance technicians the problems they encounter with the equipment. By combining the history of interventions and statistics, we quickly find out which technician has been most involved on the machine we are interested in.

What feature do you use most?

Manuel Pinto: I would say the newsfeed. All day long, I watch the progress of industrial maintenance operations on the application. This gives me an overview of my teams’ daily activities.

newsfeed-monitor-maintenance-mobile-cmms

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Then I would mention the tasks. Every morning, during our maintenance meeting, we select the relevant tasks to create an activity report. In fact, I am very satisfied with the new version of the newsfeed, as it now shows the tasks and activities directly associated.

What features would like to be developed?

Manuel Pinto: Today, we have calendar maintenance plans. However, in a modern plant like ours, the calendar organization is not adapted to our preventive maintenance strategy. We need visibility as close as possible to what we produce. For example, we work on the number of tubes: for the maintenance of a cylinder, we base ourselves on the number of operations, actions performed and not on the time spent in the factory. It would therefore be wise to move away from this calendar model.

Then I would like to mention the mobile application. This was the theme of a user workshop I attended. There is still a gap in usage between the web and mobile versions. Information entry, for example, is not yet as intuitive as on the web version. This is important to ensure the responsiveness of maintenance technicians.

What are your future plans for Mobility Work?

Barthélémy Longueville: Our ambition is to deploy CMMS Mobility Work on our sites abroad, in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, but also in France in particular. The Vallourec Group is present in more than 20 countries around the world. It is a very diverse group, we have dozens of production units with different cultures; it will not always be easy in terms of managing change.

To achieve our ambitions, we rely on a partnership with Mobility Work in an agile approach. As we saw the user satisfaction and performance increase, we began planning to deploy Mobility Work across the Group.

Are you satisfied with the team’s reactivity?

Barthélémy Longueville: Compared to other software providers, the collaboration with Mobility Work is going well: support, integration of the first data... In addition, I have the impression that our teams have a privileged contact with the Mobility Work teams. Our feedbacks are taken into account.

Manuel Pinto: I am in contact with the Mobility Work teams via the online chat. They are very responsive. Of course, there are sometimes some frustrations, especially with regard to the delivery of new features. But it's a good kind of frustration, it proves that we want to move forward together. There is still a good listening from the team when we report certain issues or possible areas for improvement. I even participated in a user workshop to this end.

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Thank you to Mr. Pinto and Mr. Longueville for their two-part testimony. Users’ feedbacks are at the heart of our approach and help us to improve our product on a daily basis.