Plant & Works Engineering
Helping top keep on the straight and narrow
Published:  26 March, 2012

Symonds UK, a provider of products and services to the retail and industry sector in the UK, wanted a new browser-based CMMS solution to improve and integrate existing systems in job tracking, communication and offer a “cradle to grave’’ service for their customers’ assets. The company has worked with Maintenance Management System specialists SoftSols Group for a number of years. Previously benefitting from using the IMPACTxp system.

Symonds also needed to be able to integrate different software packages for accounting and maintenance to reduce double entry of information and be able to track jobs more effectively.

Their different customers all have distinct reporting needs according to the different businesses. Symonds UK had to find a solution that was robust enough to cope with the differing demands, yet flexible enough to be tailored. After extensive market analysis, they selected SoftSols’ maintenance management solution, Agility.


The solution

Agility is a comprehensive, browser-based maintenance management solution. Its flexible design meant that changes could be easily introduced to address Symonds’ specific asset management requirements.

Symonds has many customers with multiple sites and the Agility system holds details of each site location and the fleet of trollies, roll cages and mechanical handling equipment at each one. Planned maintenance visits are automatically scheduled through the Agility system and reactive work requests can be entered by customer service staff or fed through from their remote offices, linking with their own accounts and operations systems.

Symonds also implemented a custom upgrade to Agility – a barcode hand held unit - to record details of every repair to every trolley or roll cage. Each asset has a unique bar code attached to it. Using the hand held unit, each asset is scanned prior to repair, with parts and time logged against the asset and a daily log displayed to fitters. That data is captured over a remote network and fed directly into Agility against the uniquely identified asset.

Symonds implemented Mobile Expert for all mobile maintenance work in April 2011. This is being used to capture details of work completed, including custom data capture forms with configurable checklist items and data fields. At the end of the job the engineers capture a signature from the customer and the work order is closed automatically through the Agility system.

Agility is also a powerful performance tool. Reports and statistics can quickly be extracted to demonstrate the value to the business of improved maintenance rates and work scheduling.

Mike Davies, from Symonds, said implementing Agility had made significant improvements across the company in a range of areas: “It’s allowed us much more flexibility, reduced our paperwork and made allocating jobs to our engineers much more efficient.’’ He explained: “We look after more than a million assets across 16,630 sites. Being able to accurately track the history of assets is crucial to our business.

“The simple Agility reporting system has allowed us to be able to adjust the reports as required for our maintenance work. Now, we can log maintenance time and parts against specific items with a scan of the item’s barcode, and all the information is held in Agility. The time saved with having all the information in one system and the ability to be able to track our own costs is priceless to us.

“We work with the top five supermarket retailers throughout the UK providing up to 100% of their trolley servicing and other contracts, and can provide around 300 reports, tailored to our customers’ needs. Agility has certainly helped us secure these and other contracts, helping to grow our own business.

 “We are planning to roll out Mobile Expert across other divisions of Symonds to reduce paperwork and processing, allow real-time job tracking and track stock. We are trialling milk cage tracking using barcodes with major dairy producers, and RFID (radio frequency identification) tagging on customer assets.

“Agility helps give us a clear and current insight into our performance and service to clients and improves our asset management enormously.’’


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