Thomas & Coffey specified the functionality, which is now standard in Mainpac Enterprise Version 3, with the objective of becoming number one in asset management for its clients in the mining, heavy industry, manufacturing, defence, utilities, energy and healthcare sectors. Managing director of Thomas & Coffey, Martin Whittaker, said “we are aiming to lift the bar in asset management and to deliver the sort of information and services that our clients have a right to expect. “Until we partnered with Mainpac to implement this advanced functionality, we were not able to communicate very well to our clients information about the things that really matter in managing major assets.
“There are many ways of monitoring and reporting on asset costs. But crucial information concerns things like unplanned downtime, re-works, start-up time after shutdowns and the savings that can be achieved by addressing down time.
“Mainpac Enterprise represents a huge advance towards retaining detailed knowledge of complex and difficult to maintain client assets and therefore to communicating to the client the important things about the management of that asset,” Mr. Whittaker said.
He said the need to integrate the information which was being produced discretely by various applications was one of the major reasons for the partnership with Mainpac.
Thomas & Coffey uses an ERP system called Timberline, popular with construction companies, which manages financials and job costing. The company also had several small niche software applications which manage certification of its staff, scheduling and the management of customer assets.
An interface between Timberline and Mainpac ensures a transparent flow of information between Mainpac and the ERP system’s payroll application.
“Our business model differs from our competitors. We take on the risk of optimising the deployment of our staff which is comprised mainly of a permanent workforce, with a small supporting casual staff. The effective use of our staff is crucial. So, the emphasis in the functionality we commissioned from Mainpac was on resource scheduling,” Mr. Whittaker said.
The objective is to achieve a very high level of employee utilisation by optimising a complex matrix involving employee competency, experience and certification. Both customer service and compliance are major issues.
Chief information officer at Thomas & Coffey, Mr. Peiying Zhang, said “previously the knowledge to effectively manage and schedule resources was in people’s heads and typically required the use of a white board.
“Our objective with the full exploitation of the Mainpac Enterprise system is to achieve the highest possible levels of resource utilisation and to be able to expand as business requirements or circumstances might dictate. We see the commissioning of Mainpac Enterprise as implementing new infrastructure.”
Thomas & Coffey plans to put the new system to the test in a multi-million dollar maintenance contract which it has secured recently.
The strategy to engage Mainpac under a partner agreement resulted from a think tank in which Thomas & Coffey management tabled the most desirable functions in an asset management application. From this Thomas & Coffey short-listed three potential suppliers, specifying that enterprise functionality was a crucial requirement.
“We see ourselves at the forefront of best practice in asset management. We chose to work with Mainpac because it has a solid 25 year history as a software company and it demonstrated the flexibility to work with us. Mainpac is at the forefront of IT best practice.” Mr. Zhang said
Thomas & Coffey’s industrial trade services include operational asset maintenance, repairs, overhauls and fabrication & machining and building maintenance and installation services covering carpentry, electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning and fire.
Mainpac is an Australian-owned software development company now in its 25nth year. Its software for asset and maintenance management is installed at more than 400 sites across Australia and international markets serving manufacturing, mining and public sector users. The company’s MAINPAC AM (Asset Management) and MAINPAC Enterprise solutions, based on the Microsoft .NET platform, meet the needs of all sizes of organisation and are supported by ancillary products that use data captured through maintenance activities to support other enterprise information systems for ERP, MRP, financial or project management functions.