Case Study: Track Utilities Earns Back a Day a Week with Asset Panda

Track Utilities, LLC’s mission is to provide remarkable value, customer service, and innovation and aims to be seen as the most “respected, diversified, and successful independent dry utility contractor in the Western United States.”

Industry: commercial/industrial painting and coating solutions

Location: Meridian, ID, United States

Asset Panda Solutions:

  • general asset tracking and management
  • maintenance information and records
  • warranty/user manual access
  • auditing compliance
  • employee tracking
  • asset assigning 
  • custom tags and fields

Customer since: December 2016

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The Company Now Boasts Higher Accountability, Fewer Costs, and Improved Maintenance Routines

 

Summary

For over ten years, Track Utilities, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peak Utility Services Group, has provided the Northwest and Intermountain West regions of the United States with a variety of electric and telecommunications services, including aerial telecom, underground and overhead electric, joint utility trenching, and directional drilling. However, Track Utilities was having a difficult time not only keeping track of its assets, but also figuring out an efficient system to assign them out to employees for various projects. This is because the company was only using Excel spreadsheets, and project leads and foremen frequently had no idea if assets were already assigned to workers or if they were even available.

After some searching and customization, Asset Management Lead Brian Bruni implemented Asset Panda and his company saw the following results:

  • Better accountability regarding where assets are, who used them last, and if they’re available for use
  • Reduced expenses thanks to no more ordering of unnecessary/duplicate assets
  • Improved understanding of maintenance and repair needs and scheduling
  • Unlimited ability to access asset warranties and information
  • And more!

“[Asset Panda] saves us countless hours throughout the week knowing where our tools are. I would say just with one division, for 20 people in that division, we save an hour a week at minimum. That’s a lot of cost savings; they’re just not having to run around looking for tooling, so it’s definitely helped in terms of cost for us.”
Brian Bruni, Asset Management

The Challenge

With a heavy emphasis on customers, employees, and environmental safety, Track Utilities works hard to provide repair, maintenance, upgrade, and installation services for electrical and telecommunications projects around the western United States. One of the company’s primary goals is to be the “preeminent dry utility contractor in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming,” and it pushes the idea of TRAITS to its roughly 300 employees: trust, respect, accountability, integrity, teamwork, and safety.

Unfortunately, Track Utilities couldn’t fully realize this objective or properly follow its TRAITS mission so long as its asset tracking system continued to fail its employees. The company was only using Excel spreadsheets to manage its assets, and this frequently led to confusion, lack of preparedness, and even loss of items across the company. Asset Management Lead Brian Bruni noted how these Excel spreadsheets “didn’t work very well” due to rows and rows of hard-to-find data, and his company wasn’t “even sure where the items that were on that list either were assigned to someone wrong or we didn’t have those assets; nobody knew where they were.”

Bruni said the biggest issue was accountability: “Something would come up missing, and we had a hard time tracking where it was. For example, John borrowed this and John loaned it to Tony, so we could never really keep anyone accountable for those tools and we couldn’t prove someone had it or lost it or if it was stolen or not stolen. So that was the biggest [problem]: accountability.”

Track Utilities had another issue on its hands when it came to implementing a better asset tracking solution, and that was cost. “Cost was a big thing because we would replace the tools because we didn’t know where they were,” explained Bruni. “We didn’t even know what we had as far as tools go.” These concerns and more led Bruni and the team at Track Utilities on a search for a better, more comprehensive asset tracking and management solution.

The Solution

For around two months, Bruni and his team conducted research into the variety of asset tracking solutions available on the market. Their primary goal was to keep costs down while also being able to customize the product to fit Track Utilities’ specific needs. “I actually called a lot of larger companies to see how they were tracking and they had some programs that were tens of thousands of dollars,” Bruni explained. “We also searched online, and we did some testing where we signed up for trials of different programs.” One company even provided them a “drastically different” quote for setting up 1,000 assets than they were led to believe.

As Bruni puts it, “luckily we just came across Asset Panda in our research.” He narrowed his search down to ten asset tracking and management solutions, and then down a few more before finalizing on AP’s product. “I ended up going with Asset Panda because of the fact it was so customizable and obviously the cost,” Bruni said. “You couldn’t really beat the price point with anything else and what anyone else was offering.”

There were multiple reasons Track Utilities decided to go with Asset Panda’s software beyond the customization and cost factors. Bruni also mentioned how notifications were an important feature his company could set up to make sure tools, machines, and various other assets weren’t out-of-date and were regularly maintained. He also said the company wasn’t taking advantage of warranties, so being able to add in the warranty information for anyone to look at was a huge plus. “If we have a tool go down, we know to bring it back in and know exactly when we bought it and know where we bought it,” Bruni explained. “We have thousands of different tools for this industry, so being able to look back and find out where we bought something years ago so we don’t have to waste another week’s worth of time trying to figure out where we bought it would save us a lot of headaches.”

Once Track Utilities decided to go with Asset Panda, Bruni worked one-on-one with Brooke from the customer support team who got the company “all up and going.” “There were some things we wanted the program to do and so Asset Panda put those requests in for updates, like we wanted to be able to add some information to our employees so essentially the employees became an asset and we were able to add items under them for training records and things like that,” Bruni said. “Asset Panda was great about adding anything that we needed specifically for us that might make it better — they’ve been great to work with.”

The Results

After implementing Asset Panda internally, Track Utilities found significant improvement in many areas of its business. For starters, Bruni said his company is no longer wasting money on purchasing replacement tools it never really needed in the first place. With these tools, Track Utilities is also able to upload the warranties for better maintenance accountability and long-term tracking of the assets’ lifecycles.

“I think we’ve had about 6 different tools which, in the past, we would’ve had to replace those,” explained Bruni. “We would’ve just bought something new, but instead we absolutely know we just bought those. Anything new that’s being entered, we have the warranty information, so being able to find those tools and get them distributed to the guys and being able to save the money and not replacing them is a huge relief.”

Additionally, Bruni said the other main advantage Asset Panda has given Track Utilities is the software’s ability to help the company keep its tools and safety equipment up-to-date. “Making sure those assets are in line with the dates that they need to be replaced or tested would be a definite benefit,” added Bruni. “Before, we wouldn’t know unless someone looked at that Excel sheet that it’s time to turn things in. There were times we had guys bring things in that were months overdue, and now it’s pretty much set up that when they come in, we know when those tools are going to be swapped out. We can get our guys the tools and the things they need to do their jobs safely and make sure we are being compliant.”

Finally, Bruni notes these results have helped give Track Utilities a competitive edge in its industry. “It’s about getting the job done in a safe, timely manner. Being able to make sure that our employees have the right tools or the right safety equipment, knowing where it’s at so they don’t have to go looking for it, and being able to complete the jobs in a timely manner has definitely helped us be a competitor.”

Conclusion

Overall, Track Utilities now saves about a full day each week thanks to the ease and efficiency of Asset Panda’s system, according to Bruni. This means the company saves at least 32 work hours per month, and sometimes even more when jobs take longer than expected or random emergencies pop up that Track Utilities must add to its repertoire of projects.  

Bruni can’t sing enough praises about Asset Panda’s effect on his company. “Since Track Utilities has started using Asset Panda we are now able to keep tools with the appropriate crews and make sure they are returning tools after being used. The ability to keep people accountable and take ownership of the tools they work with has paid for the cost over and over again,” he said. “The team at Asset Panda has been amazing to work with; they have taken some of our ideas/needs and implemented them to make it work for what we needed. Our next focus is beginning to utilize the inventory management portion of Asset Panda. We are looking forward to working with the team at Asset Panda to customize this to our needs.”

Many companies like Track Utilities use Asset Panda to organize their assets and ensure their projects and services are conducted as efficiently and successfully as possible to their customers. Perry Building, for example, uses Asset Panda to track the construction company’s tools, manage assets from the field, and allow multiple users to update asset status via the mobile app. Likewise, IT consulting and services company LogicForce was able to save up to 75% of their manual asset tracking hours each week by switching to Asset Panda.

Sound like results you’d like for your company? 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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