Fexa Interview with Chet Lange, Director Store Devt & Fleet at McCoy’s Building Supply
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH THIS 3 MINUTE VIDEO OF THE FEXA ASSET MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES
McCoy’s has been a long time customer of Fexa. The team at McCoy’s has taken full advantage of the configurability and flexibility of Fexa to use the platform as a means to extracting value and savings for the business. Listen to this interview to learn more.
* How McCoy’s Optimizes Asset Data for Value Using Fexa: Interview Highlights *
Chet Lange, Director of Fleet, Facilities, & Construction, McCoy’s Building Supply
I originally started my career in the fleet leasing industry. As I joined McCoys. I started with fleet management and added facilities and the construction pieces to my department and current job duties.
KIM: How do you approach your asset data when it comes to you know, managing your business?
CHET: Well for starters, 50% of all our revenue is delivered on the back of a truck, and that is why we focused a lot of our efforts on how we could leverage Fexa for Fleet Management.
So the data about these assets are a pretty critical component of our business. When we approached Fexa, I knew that we were moving CMMS providers and we really were looking for a software that would help us manage our fleet. Additionally, the FM part of our facilities maintenance was another important piece, but the big driver was definitely fleet management initially. It’s really important in fleet management, that you know all the particulars about your asset, you have to know what kind of engine the equipment has in it, you have to know the warranties, you’re part of DOD compliance, you actually have to track back every maintenance transaction to the fleet assets.
But the other piece of that is you need the data for making your purchasing decisions. Another thing that’s really important is understanding:
- How much does the asset cost?
- And how much did it cost me to maintain?
- How much downtime did we experience relative to that asset during it’s life?
- And finally, on the back end, with the disposition of that asset, how much value did it bring in on the wholesale market?
So, how you make the decision to buy things is really driven by tracking all that information back to the assets, which I think it has a really, really good approach for all assets in the FM world as well to get the greatest value from your assets.
KIM: So tracking those data points back to that specific asset is critical, but if you’re managing an HVAC unit on the rooftop versus a truck, there are different data points and metrics to be looked at. How many asset attributes on average per asset type do you think you’re tracking in Fexa today?
CHET: I would say on the high end, with a fleet asset, you could probably have anywhere between 40 to 60 different attributes that go in Fexa. And then on HVAC systems, it gets a little bit more simplistic, it could go down to 10 attributes. And finally, we have a few packaging tools and miscellaneous items that we’re keeping in the system, right now as well – they only have like four attributes per asset in Fexa.
KIM: That’s really incredible, because it really speaks to the adaptability of the software to where you can add any attribute anytime to track.
CHET: Yeah, one of the things I think that Fexa did a great job for us on was the adaptability. When we were setting up assets in prior CMMS systems they would allow for custom fields, but you had to have any and all of those fields all across the board for every single asset. So since we have forklifts and warehouse equipment versus on road transportation equipment that we wanted to track the flexibility from Fexa was a really good thing. We could apply the right attributes to different classes of equipment uniquely.
KIM: How often are you doing asset evaluations?
CHET: Well, right now it is mainly on our fleet side. However, we are starting to do it on the facility side of things. Something that we did recently is we went back to the data on all of our HVAC units, we looked at the age of the units, the repair history, and more. We were actually able to say hey, we want to put our HVAC units on a 15 year life cycle. And where are we at today with each one? And then I had all the service data on plugged in our Fexa instance and we were able to create an adhoc report to use for negotiating volume buying for the next few years. We knew which units and how many were the next candidates for replacement for planning as we go into the next budget year. So what we did is we grabbed all the information pulled it together, and we actually had a competitive RFP for our HVAC services armed with very precise data. We went out to the manufacturers themselves, saying that over the next three years, we had this many rooftop units coming up for replacement over the next three years. We’re able to take that out to bid and secure a multi year pricing agreement with the manufacturers.
KIM: A lot of times when we talk about data, we talk about reviewing data to be reactive. But that’s actually a great example of how you would proactively package that data together and be able to negotiate about our volume costs.
CHET: Yeah, and then the other piece of that is for our retail environment. So you know, HVAC systems only go out when you really need them and that is in the summertime. Having hot stores really is just not acceptable thing. So the other piece of that is is when we have multiple units out for replacement, It gives us a pipeline of available units. So if we have an outage, we can swing units over to a particular store that we had in the pipeline and not have to wait the full six week lead time to get there or pay extra for expediting a new unit.
So it’s what we call proactive procurements verses reactive pure procurement. It gives us a little bit more leverage but also gives us a little bit of flexibility when we have those unforeseen incidents come up.
KIM: Chet you mean…
CHET: Yeah, Fexability! (Chuckles)
KIM: Procurement has been a common area where our customers on the facility side are seeking new ways to source new contracts, but maybe not through a formalized RFP. And so leveraging those data points, like you’re talking about really has saved you money. Do you expect to extend this to really all of the trades?
CHET: Yeah. What we want to look at is everything that say we would call a “wearable asset” that has some kind of specific life on it. So you know, slider doors would be a an example, warehouse doors would be an example. Even our Parking Lot Striping, though that’s not an asset in the same sense as an HVAC unit, it is a “wearable” item that requires maintenance. We even put parking lot striping data in Fexa as an asset so can schedule restriping our parking lots on a regular basis. So that tends to rotate 18 to 24 months, so we will put it in there with that that life and then we would go in and download a report on that asset to see what our candidates are for that particular year. If you can put together a plan and you can route a particular striping company to go through and do all of these stores in a single contract and route you can actually find a whole lot more value in savings. That’s just an example. So it doesn’t really have to be a total asset based thing either. It can be anything that has a wearable life.
KIM: That’s excellent. Chet, what advice can you give facilities groups that want to be more asset centric?
CHET: I just think one of the things is if you have the ability to get pictures of your assets, that you can store right in Fexa, it’s great. And the other piece is get all the particulars off of that asset, every serial number, every different type of warranty that you have, even around sub-components – like with an HVAC, you will have an air handler unit and an actual compressor – all will have different lives and warranties. So if you had the ability to go out and capture all that information, then maintain it in a solution like Fexa, you can really find value. I think that you can never capture too much data. You will find that the data can be very valuable for running your operations and for the health of your assets and your business!
KIM: Thank you for your insights, Chet. I’m sure our customers current and future appreciate the advice you’ve shared!