Project Description

Nichols Farms

Nichols Farms Increases Work Order Completion Rates by 400% Using eMaint CMMS

Customer Since: 2016 | Industry: Processing

Nichols Farms processes more than 35 million pounds of pistachios and almonds per year. The plant wanted to implement a computer maintenance management software (CMMS) system, however, they weren’t sure which one to choose. After testing five systems, they selected the eMaint CMMS because it could be tailored to fit the facility’s specific needs and effectively help maintain the plant’s 1300+ assets.

  • Reduced Reactive Maintenance From 40% To 15%

  • Increased Work Completions By 400%

  • Obtained System Buy-in from 22 Technicians

  • Reduced Audit Preparation from Hours to Minutes


Nestled in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, Nichols Farms is one of the largest pistachio and almond processing plants in California. Operating for more than 55-years, the three generation, family-owned business uses a variety of equipment to harvest, hull, and dry the pistachios and almonds, then processes and packages them for shipment to five continents. When the plant’s new maintenance planner Christopher Kennedy was hired, his first job was to find and implement a CMMS.


Nichols Farms employs over 300 people, twenty-two of which are maintenance technicians. Before eMaint, the plant used spreadsheets to document completed work. Order entries were inconsistent, and paper forms did not always get recorded. Additionally, 40% of work orders were labeled reactive.

Maintenance leadership wanted a system with a configurable interface that would allow them to tailor fields, layouts, work orders, forms, and workflows. They ultimately chose the eMaint CMMS because it offered the flexibility the plant needed, including easily customizable terminology to fit the Nichols Farms culture.


Chris fully understood the power of the eMaint system and its ability to streamline the existing preventive maintenance (PM) program. By demonstrating how teams could view a detailed report showing asset-specific equipment history and past behaviors, he was able to convince personnel of the system’s value.

Additionally, maintenance leadership wanted to equip all technicians with their own computer tablet and system login for viewing work order status. By using the CMMS, they could easily document their work, making them accountable and active participants in improving the preventive maintenance program.


With the installation of eMaint, work completion rates increased by a whopping 400%. Numerous maintenance forms were updated in the system, and planning and scheduling workflows were redeveloped, organized and implemented. Chris even tapped the eMaint ranking index for maintenance expenditures (RIME) capability used for prioritizing jobs.

Another big win for Nichols Farms came when the maintenance team used the CMMS to facilitate compliance with the strict safety food quality (SFQs) guidelines. The flexibility of the system allowed him to effortlessly add a signoff box to a procedure and clearly show auditors that technicians were routinely performing a required food safety task. Auditors loved it.


  • Increased work order completion rates by 400% using the eMaint web-based system
  • Reduced reactive maintenance to 15% and therefore cut labor hours
  • Transitioned to a 100% paperless work order management system
  • Created work request transparency; technicians could see work order progress
  • Decreased auditing time by creating forms to clearly show compliance with SFQs

“World-class maintenance is what we strive for, and world-class maintenance programs use a CMMS.”

Christopher Kennedy, Maintenance Planner, Nichols Farms