Johnson Brothers is a family-owned corn and
soybean farm in central Iowa. In operation since 1942, it embodies the essence
of the traditional image of the “American Heartland”: hard-working,
salt-of-the-earth farmers working land passed down through the family. The farm
produces and sells 187,000 bushels of corn and 55,000 bushels of soybeans on
2,000 acres. Johnson Brothers contracts with Monsanto to grow seed corn on another
2,400 acres – a “custom” service in which performance is measured in quality
rather than quantity.
To remain competitive in an increasingly
consolidating marketplace in which fewer and larger production farms dominate,
Johnson Brothers needed a system that would not only track work orders, trigger
preventive maintenance checks and monitor parts inventory, but also allow the
business to calculate exactly what its equipment was costing per bushel per
acre. Without this ‘paradigm shift’ from qualitative judgments to data-driven
decisions, Johnson Brothers would have difficulty remaining competitive without
seriously compromising their profitability.
Asa Moeckly, Partner and Service Manager, had
worked for two years to develop his own computerized maintenance management
system (CMMS) using Access database software. However, Moeckly was forced to
conclude it couldn’t meet all of his needs and began searching on the Web for
an alternative. The eMaint X3 met all of his criteria: it was ready-to-go,
could be customized to Johnson Brothers’ operations and was Web-based – meaning
Moeckly could access it from his iPad no matter where he was, in the field or
at home. The X3 took about one month to implement from start to finish, including
training, importing data from other databases and adapting the business’
inventory storage system. The most surprising outcome, says Moeckly, is what
the data collection showed: “We were investing more time and money into
maintenance than we had ever thought.”
true cost of maintaining the 120+ pieces of equipment is now clearly
understood, allowing Johnson Brothers to price their crops competitively,
without cutting into the bottom line.
systems and training minimize down time, even when workers hired to
service the equipment change with the seasons.
inventory declined by 30% with better data on what’s needed when.
decisions regarding when to replace vs. repair are possible, now that the
true cost in man hours and dollars is totally transparent.
with Polaris fluid analysis reports facilitates predictive maintenance
Rona Palmer is the Marketing Director at eMaint Enterprises, located
in Marlton, NJ, that provides CMMS and EAM solutions for all of your
maintenance and asset management needs.