As the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages, Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV), Raleigh, N.C., recognizes the importance of speed and efficiency for its operations.
PBV’s Garner, N.C., plant produces more than 37 million cases a year of products that are within Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc.’s portfolio. The 350,000-square-foot facility touts state-of-the-art machinery to bottle, package and store the numerous brands of carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink teas and bottled waters.
To help keep production on track, a state-of-the-art maintenance-management system can serve as a valuable resource. Tasked with managing 87,000 work orders in its system, PBV needed a system to seamlessly process these orders. However, PBV’s maintenance-management system lagged in comparison to the bottler’s state-of-the-art machinery, which impacted work orders in the initial and processing stages.
Utilizing a paper system, work orders bottlenecked from the start. The process involved opening and logging work orders onto spreadsheets, which were manually distributed to mechanics. Because of this, excessive man-hours were required to organize and manage the paper trail. Additionally, the system lacked a systematic way to track the progress of the orders.
The ability to stay ahead of maintenance issues and improve productivity also was an opportunity alluding PBV’s operations. The bottler’s paper system also lacked the capability to provide data to identify trends that could help the company optimize equipment efficiency.
Knowing that its maintenance system was overdue for an upgrade, PBV enlisted the expertise of Dude Solutions, a provider of cloud-based operations management software, and its program MaintenanceEdge. Dude Solutions provided a system that manages every aspect of PBV’s equipment maintenance lifecycles, allowing the bottler to manage its entire maintenance workflow through a single platform in which PBV can log, process and track work orders in real time.
Dale Stein, PBV’s plant engineer, highlights that MaintenanceEdge has allowed the company access to information it didn’t have before, including basic maintenance tasks, inventory levels, forecasting, maintenance needs and costs.
“Dude Solutions helps us track not only the hours mechanics will spend on a task, but the costs and the parts that are involved as well,” Stein says. “All of our documents are stored in MaintenanceEdge, making it easy to run reports and retrieve the data. I can trend on the actual performance of our equipment, determine the correct maintenance frequency, or whether I need to add or remove tasks that aren’t needed.
“Our mechanics have so much information available now,” he continues. “They can track people as they’re completing jobs and get jobs to them quicker. It’s a lot more efficient. The paperwork hassle is completely gone.”
When PBV switched to MaintenanceEdge, the new system also equipped technicians with the capability to access the system using a mobile device. Integrating tablets and the ability to access the software with a phone allowed the bottler to improve efficiency, reduces errors, and save time and money.
Because PBV mechanics now use tablets on the line, they don’t have to carry around a stack of papers or go back to a centralized computer, allowing them to complete their work orders right then and there.
Stein says that going mobile has streamlined the mechanics’ job efficiencies. “If I don’t have a tablet, I can use my phone out on the floor to look up a part without having to find someone with a tablet or go back to the shop,” he says. “Being able to find a part in a matter of seconds rather than 20-30 minutes is a big time savings.”
Through Dude Solutions’ platform, PBV also has been able to keep machines running and has improved efficiency by automating tasks such as tracking inventory levels and reordering. Additionally, PBV can look at trends based on historical data to accurately forecast and schedule repairs, renovations and replacements, as well as calculate projected costs.
For Stein, the partnership with Dude Solutions also has provided a valuable resource for PBV. Whether it’s the seamless transition to the platform, the type of metrics that now can be tracked or details like an easy-to-use mobile dashboard for technicians, Stein touts the software provider’s manufacturer focus.
“They’re coming out with new updates and integrating the feedback we give them,” Stein says. “Dude Solutions has become part of our equation for success.”