Sanimax is a company born of a succession of mergers and acquisitions of family-owned businesses that spanned six generations and two different countries. The company’s 7 plants, spread across North America, employ more than 1,000 employees at 10 different sites. The company possesses more than 7,000 pieces of equipment including a fleet of 1,000 vehicles. The challenge involved implementing business processes and systems common to all plants
SECTOR: Reclaiming and meat processing Food by-products
PROJECT NAME: Standardization of maintenance management (B1-ERP) via Guide Ti and Microsoft Dynamics AX
CONTACT: André Allaire, Project Leader
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: From June 2009 to February 2010
PARTNERS: Fullscope and COGEP.
From the start, the project envisioned the use of the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, which included a CMMS/EAM module for facilities and truck fleet maintenance. It was not long, however, before Sanimax realized that the first solution considered would result in significant delays in operations. Based on its previous successful experiences with COGEP at its Montreal and Quebec plants, Sanimax selected Guide Ti once again as the best solution to implement.
• Standardize operational procedures in the company’s garages and plants in all countries concerned
• Gain greater precision and control over costs
• Improve time management by ensuring that mechanics perform maintenance tasks on the right vehicles and equipment at the right moment
• Implement a paperless management system (e.g. on-screen time stamp, parts with bar codes, etc.)
• Integrate telemetry
• Consolidate data processing to reduce the inherent risks associated with operations and thereby reduce risks overall
• Make up for the year that the ERP project took and complete implementation within eight months
• Ensure continuous communication of information between computing programs (Guide Ti, AX (ERP) and TURNPIKE (telemetry)) in spite of each software’s unique functionalities
• Créer les interfaces entre Guide Ti, AX et TURNPIKE
• Integrate change management while taking into account three different organizational cultures: Quebec, Ontario and the United States
• Replace three maintenance management software solutions
• Recuperate all current and historical data pertinent to the existing systems
• Ensure careful monitoring of activities during migration
• Support an administrative structure that deals in several currencies, uses multiple languages, carries out operations at different sites and has differing needs (e.g.: garage versus plant) using a single database
• Provide real-time tracking of transactions in the financial system
• Host (for the first time) all solutions on external servers
Due the complexity inherent in a project involving multiple sites and languages, COGEP proposed a progressive deployment of the solution, one plant and garage at a time. This was a viable strategy because each site possessed independent software and databases. The data was migrated successfully with no loss of data or interruptions in operations.
IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE AND BUDGET CONSTRAINTS
Project schedules and delivery dates were planned jointly between Sanimax and COGEP. COGEP experts showed evidence of exceptional rigor and determination to respect the targets that had been agreed upon. It is worth recalling that Sanimax had fallen several months behind its own schedule when it made the decision to change maintenance management solutions at the last minute. COGEP was in the fortunate position of having substantial freedom of action with regard to all aspects of project management; autonomy that spanned the duration of the entire project. We applied our “Little Steps” approach but executed it in an accelerated manner. We stayed within the timeline of 3,000 hours that had been agreed upon and, in fact, completed the project in 2,700 hours.
A key element to the project’s success was the fact that COGEP was present on site during implementation of the solution. With a Guide Ti specialist on site, users were more confident and each of their questions received an answer that was direct and immediate. In addition, COGEP was able to better explain and demonstrate the benefits of respecting the new business processes. Our extensive knowledge of maintenance software and our thorough understanding of Sanimax’s business processes were important success factors.
Our experience with regard to the vehicle fleet maintenance sector enabled us to gain more rapid acceptance of the new processes, present different possibilities and determine the best approach for each operational context. Our method, which consists of forming trainers who, in turn, train others in the organization (“train the trainer”) and our made-to-measure project management model led to rapid deployment of the solution and, more importantly, encourages users to be more autonomous. To summarize, the participation of employees and our communication model were key elements to the success of the project that included a significant number of risks and uncertainties.
N.B. The B1-ERP project received the “Octas-2010 Solution d’affaires – Progiciels“ award from Action TI and was also nominated for an award of excellence.
“In collaboration with COGEP, a deployment plan with clear objectives was put into place and COGEP pledged to respect those commitments in spite of a number of significant constraints. The project was delivered on time with the requested features, without any compromise to quality, and was closely led and monitored by the project team at COGEP. The company acted as a partner committed to making the project a success—and not only as a solution provider.” – André Allaire (Project Director, Sanimax)
“I overheard a group of maintenance people stating how much they like Guide Ti.” – John McCartney, Project Manager, Fullscope
“We searched for the “best of breed” in software solutions to manage our maintenance needs. Guide Ti was our first choice. Its user-friendly interface made our employees’ buy in adoption very simple. There’s no doubt in our minds that we made the right decision when we selected Guide Ti!” – Bruno Walsh (Chief of Maintenance, Sanimax)