Case Study: Painters USA Saves up to 60 Hours per Month with Asset Panda

Painters USA strives to be the leading provider of quality commercial and industrial painting, coating, and floor solutions to clients around the United States.

Industry: commercial/industrial painting and coating solutions

Location: Glendale Heights, IL, United States

Asset Panda Solutions:

  • general asset tracking and management
  • maintenance information and records
  • warranty/user manual access
  • asset kitting and assigning
  • barcode scanning
  • custom tags and fields
  • customizable user access
  • custom reports
  • signature capture
  • scheduling assistance

Customer since: January 2017

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Warehouse Manager Daniel Cook Claims Accountability, Productivity, and Overall Company Satisfaction Are Up

 

Summary

Since 1976, the woman-owned, WBENC-certified Painters USA has worked to provide what it calls the “highest quality painting services,” while also “enhancing the community and the lives of our employees, clients, and vendors, one brush stroke at a time.” The company’s biggest asset hurdle to accomplishing this mission, though, was that it was keeping paper records of inventory, job requests, and maintenance needs; this method caused employees to make mistakes and triple-check their work on a frequent basis. Warehouse Manager Daniel Cook chose Asset Panda to rectify this situation.

After implementing Asset Panda into its warehouse and business operations, Painters USA could finally improve its ability to:

  • Assign kits assets to foremen, track where these assets are, and determine who used them last
  • Check-in/out assets more quickly
  • Access asset records, warranty information, or user manuals out in the field
  • Avoid ordering extra/duplicate assets
  • Save time and money due to all of the above
  • And more!

I can’t tell you enough though how much of a relief it is knowing we have chosen a software that has an answer for every problem, reinforced by a team that’s willing and able to work with us every step of the way on even the smallest details, with a promptness the likes of which I have almost never encountered in customer service.
Daniel Cook, Painters USA Warehouse Manager

The Challenge

Painters USA, Inc. has worked tirelessly for over 40 years to be the nation’s leading provider of painting, coating, and surface solutions for commercial and industrial clients. Co-founded by Meg Cook with her husband Dan, the company of 150+ employees has won multiple awards for its professionalism and customer service. In fact, its primary mission is to enhance “the community and the lives of our employees, clients, and vendors, one brush stroke at a time.”

In order to truly accomplish that goal, however, Painters USA realized it would need to do something about its faulty asset tracking processes. At that point, the company was only using paper records to track assets, assign work orders, and keep maintenance logs. Warehouse Manager Daniel Cook said the biggest hurdle was “turning over, maintaining, and tracking our equipment’s whereabouts and its repair history,” because “when you work to offer as many services as we do, the list of equipment and all that accompanies it grows quite cumbersome.”

Cook provided this example of Painters USA’s struggle to properly gauge and track their asset needs:

“Let’s take scheduling, for example. A salesman bids a project and scopes the equipment he believes is needed in order to complete the work, operations reviews these worksheets and tells the team what we actually need, and a project detail sheet (PDS) is created summarizing the results. The warehouse uses this form to compile what equipment is called for with any purchase orders for the upcoming job… pretty simple, right?

Well, on almost any given week equipment requested wouldn’t be available (double-booked, awaiting parts, etc.), would require other logistical arrangements like job-to-job or foreman-to-foreman transfers, etc. Couple these issues with the fact that we receive a significant amount of project detail sheets with under 1.5 days to prepare. In other words, 65.74% of projects we start, allow less than 36 hours to prep (in the last four months alone – 119 out of 181). The fact that one person was able to make this work from 2012-2015 is pretty mind-boggling.”

The Solution

Clearly, Painters USA needed a different asset tracking and management solution. Cook began the search process and quickly came to realize the majority of the software he was vetting wouldn’t meet his company’s requirements for better asset organization. He noted how most of these platforms were “more suited for rental [or] retail companies,” and their “user experience on a desktop computer had an overwhelming amount of buttons tabs or actions most of which we would never need. That or they lacked one, if not more, key functionalities vital to our needs (no mobile ability, no signature features, barcode equipment in excess of 20k, etc.).”

Through all his web searching and some of his “own keen intuition, research aptitude, and unexaggerated awesomeness all around,” Cook found Asset Panda and quickly realized its potential. However, it would take some convincing of his peers and superiors that Painters USA’s current system of using check-in/out clipboards and PDSs was broken.

“At the time I first came across Asset Panda (at least two years ago now), the company showed little interest in such a project, and I had very little time to explain to them just how much they needed it,” Cook said. “Later, at different times, I had one or two employees suggest software that they found during unsolicited research to me. Surprised, impressed, and grateful for their support on the matter, I explained to them first – how short those platforms fell compared to our overall needs, and I asked that they take the time to test their solutions against Asset Panda’s.”

Cook believed Asset Panda was exactly what Painters USA needed. He said the platform offered “a simple user interface, including multiple and customizable user access abilities, a mobile platform that allowed touch-based checkbox-style use in place of barcode scanning, a time-stamped and recorded signature option on all user actions, a reportable function for tracking all relevant repair costs, PM work, employee assignation, and a scheduling feature preventing our largest hurdle during the dark ages [of PDS use].” Cook also noted the software’s ability to support QR/barcode scanning via the mobile app was the extra push needed to convince his colleagues Asset Panda was the option for them, even though they didn’t end up fully utilizing it.

Cook raved about the attention to detail and incredible support he received as he was working to implement Asset Panda. “I had emailed your team with a couple questions and requests or alterations a number of times this last year,” he explained, “And within a day, maybe two, I got a response that acknowledged my need, explained the steps required to make the adjustments or alterations in question in language that was very easy to follow, and additionally the changes I was looking for had already been made… unheard of in my experience.”

The Results

Asset Panda immediately went to work for Cook and his colleagues at Painters USA. These were just some of the improvements Cook mentioned:

Improved Kitting

The ability to enter what Cook called “seemingly unlimited data” on an asset has sped up the check-in and check-out process for field employees, particularly because Painters USA started kitting or bundling the assets they most commonly used together under one umbrella asset. Before fully implementing Asset Panda, prepped assets were checked out compliantly (the morning of or just before loading up for a project) only 14.62% of the time; after implementation, Cook noted compliance rates increased to almost 38%.   

“With all of an assets accessories listed within each asset, we cut down the number of assets we have to track and consolidated one equipment group into one asset, sending only one email when prepped, and requiring only one box for a foreman to select for an asset that may have 10 or more other tools or accessories that accompany it,” Cook explained. “This reduces the size of our inventory list on the software making it more user-friendly and easier to review, as well as provides a complete list with pictures of all accessories empowering our foreman to inspect and confirm an asset is ready to use and that nothing has been left out.”

More Accountability

Painters USA is now better able to hold employees accountable for any problems surrounding assets. For example, the company can limit their foremen to viewing only the assets assigned to them, and as such, it’s now easier to determine which employee was last in contact with those assets should any questionable issues arise (like the items going missing or losing functionality). The company has also been able to accurately catch problems and red tag over 90% of assets during inspections or asset check-ins. 

“Did the warehouse fail to notice a missing power cord or vacuum attachment? Did we cut a corner when checking the asset back in? Did the previous user forget to turn everything in or neglect to request a repair or “red tag” an asset?” Cook said. “All of these are tracked and answered with Asset Panda; we can see who did what when, which can, in turn, show us if a step was missed along the way so even an action that wasn’t performed and hence, tracked by Asset Panda, will still be easily noticeable when reviewing all time stamps and activity.”

Saved Time

On the whole, Cook and his colleague Karina Reyes in Operations believe Asset Panda has helped Painters USA save anywhere from 1-3 hours per day, the equivalent of 20-60 hours per month. Having a better grasp overall on the current status of its assets means the company no longer loses productivity trying to figure out where items are or if they need to be fixed or replaced. Asset Panda’s mobile app has also made accessing information wherever an employee may be easier than ever, which in turn saves time which could have otherwise been wasted searching for this data in person or via separate systems.

Cook recalled how Asset Panda’s ability to store digital assets like user manuals recently helped his team: “A crew of ours here in Chicago was working on a project out in North Carolina.  [They were having] issues with one of our assets; I was able to talk them through how to open up the asset and view the attachments within to locate the user manual and troubleshooting guide.  With this information made easily available and pre-organized to the asset’s specific documents, they were able to locate where on the machine they could read an error code, and look up the corresponding table within the manual, identifying the error code and instructions on how to troubleshoot and inevitably fix this issue. You could argue they might have the same ability by just googling these documents… which to some extent is true, but Asset Panda removes the guesswork.”

Reduced Costs

Asset Panda’s detailed tracking system made Painters USA far more aware of just exactly which assets they had, what condition they were in, and whether or not new ones needed to be ordered. Before, the company would accidentally double-order items they thought they didn’t have. This benefit has also helped Painters USA better determine future budgeting needs and make informed purchasing decisions.

For example, Cook noted just over 85% of repairs are categorized as wanton, but this “helps the company in many other ways than accountability.” “Misuse or negligence is great information to have on hand for performance reviews, for both positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, he said. “Asset Panda is a great asset (pun intended!) to assist in budgeting our training needs and expenses for the upcoming quarter, but our sales rates or bid accuracy is probably my most exciting expectation for this metric. We can now put extra money in a specific type of project that has historically caused a higher rate of required repairs on specific assets. Overall, with improved workflow and expense tracking, we can now more comfortably buy the equipment we need and guarantee that the allocation and condition of our assets will be maintained in accordance with our values and expectations.”

Conclusion

In the end, Cook said he doesn’t quite know what would have happened to Painters USA if it hadn’t adopted Asset Panda, but he has a few ideas. “I would hazard to guess nothing short of hemorrhaging money wasted on frivolous purchases of constantly lost or misplaced accessories, equipment repairs from either misuse or outdated assets… injury or worse,” he stated. “A paint sprayer, for example, that hasn’t been routinely inspected could very easily result in motor seizure risking extreme heat burns/fire, or an unreplaced spray line could pose anything from property damage risk to injection injury (the surgery required for this type of injury is frightening).”

Overall, Cook touted Asset Panda as one of the vital components of the machine that is the Painters USA business. “When a company is viewed as a machine whose sole purpose is to churn out the improvement in quality of life for each and every cog that plays a part in keeping the gears moving, the wheels spinning, the money flowing, and the satisfaction growing, then you can see how Asset Panda’s Software has increased our competitive edge within the industry,” Cook explained.

“I can’t tell you enough though how much of a relief it is knowing we have chosen a software that has an answer for every problem, reinforced by a team that’s willing and able to work with us every step of the way on even the smallest details, with a promptness the likes of which  I have almost never encountered in customer service,” Cook continued. “Your product will undoubtedly prove invaluable as we push to make our company, and its many regions scalable and uniform, allowing us to positively affect the lives of our employees, customers, and vendors one brush stroke at a time!”

 

Asset Panda is used by a variety of professionals who cater to the commercial and industrial industries. One of our customers is NEXClean, a specialized cleaning company which predominantly services health care organizations; this company saved 4-5 hours per week after implementing our software. Additionally, a Goodyear factory in China worked with Asset Panda to customize our software for their needs and consequently saw a streamlined system for asset purchasing requests and subsequent notifications when they were ready. Asset Panda can help your commercial and industrial services see similar results.

You can try Asset Panda for free with our 14-day trial, or give us a call at 855-898-6058 to get a custom quote.

 

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