Scobee Powerline Construction
After dealing with outdated processes, clunky software and shop disconnect, Scobee Powerline Construction turned to Fleetio to streamline documentation and communication while offering the kind of customization and flexibility its industry requires.
Type: Electric Utility
Where: Cameron, MO
- Update “archaic” fleet management processes
- Find a new software that was both more advanced and easy to use
- Improve maintenance workflows and communication between shops
Scobee Powerline Construction works with regional electric utility companies and cooperatives to help construct, restore and repair their power grid. Their fleet primarily consists of equipment for the electric utility sector, such as bucket trucks and digger derricks, which require attentive scheduled maintenance since Scobee is often mobilized for natural disasters and other high crisis situations. When looking for a fleet management system, the team at Scobee knew they needed a customizable solution to update their hybrid process of paper forms and non-intuitive software, as well as a system that could easily bridge the communication gaps in their maintenance process.
Nix the forms and ancient software
Like many fleets, Scobee Powerline Construction struggled with labor-intensive and outdated processes for managing its fleet data.
“When I got here, it was archaic,” said Lisa Laughery, special projects manager. “They used to bring in paper work orders to me, and I would enter the work orders into the system. All our documents were stored in a three ring binder, a huge binder.”
On top of an abundance of forms, the online system Lisa had to manually enter those work orders into was clunky and difficult to navigate. Lisa knew that Scobee needed something different, and looked into newer, more modern fleet management solutions that didn’t entail any duplication of effort.
Moving to an online, mobile platform for managing inspections and work orders led to a more streamlined reporting process for operators and technicians. It also took Lisa out of the data entry equation, meaning less paperwork and opportunity for error, but allowing her to maintain easy visibility into the fleet and its maintenance.
“Now, they do it right in the field because they have the ability to move where the vehicle is,” Lisa said. “I don’t have to do work orders anymore. That’s what my maintenance team is for, and that’s what they’re doing.”
"[Fleetio] makes my job easier, because everything is documented...the hours, the miles, when the service is due, what services have been done." John Blades, Shop Foreman
Pick the right fleet management platform to fit their needs
Once the decision was made to try something new, Lisa began the search for a new platform to manage their fleet data in a more efficient environment. Scobee’s operation required a certain level of advanced customization to accommodate the kind of work they do, and finding those specifications took a little hunting.
“We looked at Verizon, which was a top competitor, but it just didn’t have all the bells and whistles Fleetio had, and they didn’t have the customization that Fleetio has, not just standard, out of the box features,” Lisa said.
Fleetio allowed the team to use custom fields on inspections and work orders that were tailored for their equipment, and that level of customization even let the team accomplish more HR-based functions within the platform alongside data management.
When it came time to actually implement Fleetio, Lisa knew that Fleetio’s onboarding would aid in the process of migrating to the platform, but she wasn’t anticipating how much the ease of use would streamline the migration on her end.
“I thought that I needed to do just about everything [myself] to get going,” Lisa said. “By the time the training started, they were like, ‘You’ve already done a lot of our work here, so what can we do to make it easier for you?’ And they really honed in on how I could use the system to save time and money and, you know, my life, basically.”
That ease of use meant that Lisa didn’t have to spend weeks learning difficult functions on a brand new software and could start focusing on using Scobee’s fleet data to start moving the organization forward. It also meant that she could spend less time training her staff in classes that would take them out of day-to-day work.
“We do not have a training class on Fleetio, because it was so easy,” Lisa said. “When our new guys come in, I tell them how to get the application on their phone, and I say go look at it, if you need help let me know, and also our guys in the field can show you.”
Keep better maintenance data and manage shop teams
As a company that’s vital to the servicing and repair of public utilities, keeping vehicles maintained and operational is vital for Scobee. Having an easily accessed, continuous log of service on each of their vehicles along with PM schedules and work orders allows the team to quickly assess which assets are right for the job at hand.
“At the drop of a hat, we could get called on a storm, whether it’s a tornado, ice storm, hurricane,” said John Blades, Scobee’s shop foreman. “We may have ten minutes notice to pack up and go. I pull up Fleetio, and instantly, I can tell which units are ready to go, and which ones are close to service.”
Scobee also has an added element of potential complication in that their technicians aren’t always in the same room together, so making sure that cross-shop communication is quick and thorough is important to ensuring complete service on fleet vehicles.
“Our maintenance team is spread between two shops, and Fleetio helps a lot,” said lead mechanic Ryan Gross. “We can just jump on and see that somebody else is in the middle of a job, and then where I need to take over or what’s left to get it completed.”
"I would be lost without Fleetio. I'm just being honest. I mean, it's our lifeblood right now. It really is." Lisa Laugher, Special Projects Manager