Calif.’s Service Rock Products Taps Kenworth PremierCare

Sat June 06, 2009 - West Edition
CEG




The thought of picking up the phone or listening to voicemails in the morning no longer makes Service Rock Products shop supervisor Steve Womack cringe.

“I used to get complaints from our mechanics that they didn’t have the parts needed to complete repairs, and operators or plant managers would complain about repair delays or repairs that didn’t get done. These complaints are all but gone,” said Womack, who credits the Kenworth PremierCare Connect Enterprise program and the company’s team of shop personnel who helped implement it.

Service Rock Products is a ready-mix concrete and aggregate producer with maintenance shops at 11 of its 18 locations in California and Nevada. The Mitsubishi Cement-owned company operates ready-mix concrete and aggregate plants in the high desert areas of Southern California, as well as Las Vegas and its surrounding communities.

Womack and his team are responsible for the maintenance of all the company’s equipment. The fleet includes close to 200 mixer trucks, most of which are Kenworth W900S mixers with easy maintenance access under the hood and excellent maneuverability. Service Rock Products also operates 12 on-highway tractors and more than 250 pieces of off-road and support equipment, including bulldozers, 100-ton haul trucks and loaders.

Service Rock Products fully implemented Kenworth PremierCare Connect Enterprise about 18 months ago. Connect Enterprise’s bar code scanning feature enabled Womack to gain real-time monitoring of parts inventory and mechanics’ job-to-job labor at all of the company’s service locations.

“I’ve heard it said that ’you can’t manage what you can’t measure,’ and this Internet-based system has given us the tools to start measuring,” Womack said.

One example of that success came after the system was fully implemented at two of the company’s 11 maintenance facilities. The average time spent on preventive maintenance (PM) per truck service visit at those two facilities was reduced by 40 percent, from 4.8 to 2.9 hours, according to Womack.

The overall time-savings allowed the fleet to reduce intervals between PM servicing. As a result, worn parts are replaced sooner, engines are serviced more regularly, and potential issues are addressed earlier, Womack added.

“We realized a 2 percent increase in the number of hours our company’s trucks were available for jobs instead of the drivers sitting in the shop waiting for their trucks to be repaired,” Womack said. “This reduced our trucking costs by about $58,000 at those two locations.

“Human nature being what it is, we found that our mechanics tended to place more emphasis on repair work that they felt was important or felt comfortable doing,” Womack explained. “After going with Connect Enterprise, we’ve been able to prioritize maintenance work to better serve the needs of our customers by scheduling the repairs accordingly.

“That has helped our company to expand into other regions while keeping the same level of service at our maintenance shops that customers had always come to expect,” said Womack, who said he views Service Rock’s equipment operators, drivers, and the concrete and aggregate plant managers as his shops’ customers. “It’s also meant that operators can get back out on the road and make our company’s customers happy because they aren’t waiting for concrete to be poured. It’s kind of exciting to see where we can continue to take this program.”

Materials from Service Rock Products are used by homeowners, commercial and residential building industry contractors, NASA, California Department of Transportation, U.S. military, and the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The company provided ready-mix concrete for several notable projects, including foundations for JPL’s radio telescope antennas at the NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California’s Mojave Desert. The antennas support NASA’s manned and unmanned space missions.

Kenworth PremierCare Connect, which is used by 440 fleets representing about 35,000 trucks, is a powerful and comprehensive fleet and maintenance software program. In addition to electronic parts purchasing, preventive maintenance tracking and in-depth reporting, Connect provides convenience and reliability via multi-user, multi-location functionality and extensive training and technical support. The program offers scalability with three versions: WebConnect, Connect Professional and Connect Enterprise. Kenworth PremierCare also offers a parts inventory management tool called Connect Inventory Manager, introduced last year.

Each program can be tailored to best suit a specific operation using Connect’s optional modules. These Windows-based solutions for fleets of all sizes provide a comprehensive blend of essential tools and services to help optimize operations.

For more information on Kenworth PremierCare Connect, call 800/434-5076 or visit www.kenworth.com.