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Jake's Finer Foods Finds Savings & Support with Dude Solutions Asset Essentials™

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CLIENT: James Mugavero, Facilities Maintenance Manager

GEOGRAPHY: Houston, Texas

VITALS: 

  • Two facilities: production facility and distribution center in Houston 
  • 200 employees (sales, support, customer service and warehouse team members), including 2-person maintenance team 

CHALLENGES: Old maintenance software was difficult to use and customer support cost extra

RESULTS: With Asset Essentials, James and his team can better track, schedule and complete work to keep their facility more profitable and safer. 

Jake’s Finer Foods is a food distributor and restaurant supply company that’s been in business for 70 years and continues to grow. They deliver a selection of over 10,000 items to parts of Texas and Louisiana, and move on average around 26,000 cases per night at their distribution center in Houston. 

Jake’s has around a 200-person team, and Facilities Maintenance Manager James Mugavero emphasizes the “team” part. 

“We’re a team. We’re not employees,” he says. “We all have the same objective and customer service is #1.” 

Support Plus Much More 

When James set out to find a new maintenance management system for his maintenance team, he looked for a software provider who aligned with the core values of his company. After all, his old software wasn’t intuitive or easy to use, and you had to pay extra for customer support. 

“I was hooked right after our first conversation with what Dude Solutions could do for us. I feel like we have a relationship with Dude Solutions. You have one of the best support teams I’ve ever dealt with on any aspect of software or vendors.” 

In addition to customer support, James’ must-haves in the Work & Asset Management software included: 

• Easy to use 

• Mobile 

• Tracking for work orders and assets (especially costs) 

• Ability to grow with the software 

• Cost-effective 

“Once you buy [Asset Essentials], it’s not just one size and only fits one task,” James says. “There’s so much you can do with it. We’ve already had some discussions about rolling it out to the sanitation and transportation departments.” 

Measuring the Difference 

Immediately — that’s how quickly James says he could see the impact of the software on their productivity and efficiency, and now he can show the impact through data and reports. 

“I was fighting hard to get [the software], and once I got it, I wanted to prove it was the best thing since sliced bread.” 

He does this by sharing certain KPIs (key performance indicators) with upper management at their weekly meeting. One thing they always look at is critical work orders, those that are tied to life and safety (like ammonia-related ones). 

A recent KPI that resulted in cost avoidance of at least $10,000 was with their forklift speed. James says that on most nights, they would have two or three of their high-speed doors hit by forklifts, an incident that costs $3,000-4,000 to fix. 

“I started doing my work orders and creating POs (purchase orders) for the doors and labor to repair them, and AE (Asset Essentials) was giving us an expected event. It was spot on predicting the next event, so I looked at the speed of the forklifts and decided to cut it in half. Doing that cut our incidences in half, and the forklift operators are more accurate now.” 

He says their team can also complete work orders 4x faster with the ability to use a smartphone to complete work, enter preventive maintenance tasks, etc. The communication from work requestors is more streamlined, too. 

“It’s helping us carry out one of our core values which is accountability,” James says. “When you have proof on paper, you can’t argue.” 

James’ Advice 

Looking into the future, James says he wants to be running more reports and gathering more data to help them operate efficiently, as well as roll out the software to other departments within the company. They are also using it to expand their safety program and house important PSM safety documents in the software. 

James says that he would tell other companies considering using Dude Solutions that they’ll never regret it. 

“In every challenge that you have, [Dude Solutions] tries to come up with a solution that saves you time, makes you look good and drives your team to be the best in the industry.” 

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