When West Liberty Foods began tracking their plant maintenance and other operational issues digitally by utilizing Leading2Lean’s CloudDispatch computerized maintenance management systems, the Iowa-based meat processor was able to realize some major efficiencies—and cost savings. The company reported that it has saved $2 million dollars on maintenance costs and reached 89 percent maintenance workforce utilization since adopting CloudDispatch, with operational availability hitting 96 percent in one of its four processing plants. Moreover, West Liberty Foods is now able to track its spending on materials and employee time seamlessly and without delay.
Founded in 1996, West Liberty Foods operates four processing plants and a cold storage warehouse for its prepared beef, turkey, chicken and pork products. These products are mainly produced as white labels for major national grocery retailers and food service customers. As is true across the industry, maintaining the strictest food safety standards and adhering to all necessary regulatory reporting requirements—while still consistently offering on-time delivery—are essential practices for West Liberty Foods, and its previous operations and maintenance systems was negatively impacting the company’s production line reliability.
Before transitioning to CloudDispatch, West Liberty Food’s maintenance technician and plant management coordinated all maintenance and operational issues manually via hand-written notes, recorded paperwork and manual data input into the existing operations systems. This paper-based system was not only time-consuming and cumbersome; the company’s plant management also had difficulty pulling up and analyzing the relevant data needed to make key operational decisions.
In light of this background, West Liberty assessed several computerize maintenance management software (CMMS) systems before selecting Leading2Lean’s CloudDispatch system. The CloudDispatch system has allowed line operators to initiate dispatches and track their resolution in the same systems while also providing leaderships with key insights into increasing operational availability and improving asset management.
For example, in the first facility in which the company utilized CloudDispatch, operational availability was 86.6 percent. Leading2Lean’s software systems boosted that to 96.3 percent within two years based on the additional visibility provided into the manufacturing process. Maintenance teams were empowered to institute a predictive preventive maintenance schedule, reducing maintenance issues, while the intuitive software interface allowed technicians to learn the new system easily.
“Digitizing maintenance helps our maintenance teams maintain a world-class standard,” says West Liberty Foods corporate maintenance manager Chad Williams. “Everyone has real-time visibility into what’s happening at our plants. If we have a problem, we can quickly get to the root cause of it. This has not only saved us money, but it has also improved our processes and made us more productive with the resources we have.”