YARDZ HELPS MID-SOUTH ROOF SYSTEMS BID FAREWELL TO SPREADSHEETS FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT
February 1, 2023
With new blood comes new ideas.
Devin Bell is the Logistics Manager at Mid-South Roof Systems (MSRS), a commercial roofing company specializing in large industrial facilities and warehousing space with low-slope roofs. He knew that one of his primary jobs would be total management of the company’s equipment rental fleet – and it could be a time-consuming one at that, given the volume of equipment involved.
The previous manager had used a spreadsheet to capture all of this critical information. According to Bell – it wasn’t a bad system ““ but it wasn’t going to work for him.
“I took over for the person who used to manage the rental fleet. It was just one of his many responsibilities, but it easily took up half to three-quarters of his time,” said Bell, who has been with MSRS for just over six years. “He was used to it, but I simply didn’t have the time to put tons of information into that spreadsheet.
“So when they asked me to take it on with my other roles, I knew I needed some organizational tool to handle this because I couldn’t afford to spend half my time ““ or more ““ solely on fleet management.”
Although the type of equipment Bell rents is somewhat limited ““ it’s primarily comprised of forklifts and manlifts, along with some dumpsters and toilets ““ it’s still an arduous job, given the amount of equipment the company requires.
“We’re renting upwards of 75-100 pieces of equipment at a time, and it’s a huge job to keep track of what’s where and what needs to come off rent and where we are with budgets,” Bell said. “Plus, as one of the top 10 commercial roofing contractors in the U.S., we can have anywhere from 15-30 jobs going at a time, all around the country.”
Adding to the complexity is the fact that MSRS, which rents all of its equipment, works with multiple vendors, helping them identify the most competitive prices. However, the number of vendors makes effective fleet management exponentially harder. What’s more, equipment shortages, as well as the difficulty vendors often have in getting parts to service their machinery, means that having a stable of reputable vendors to choose from is a must.
Enter YARDZ, one of the premier tools for asset management. This advanced platform gives users a boatload of functionality, allowing them to do anything from ordering equipment to performing call-offs to allocating assets, and everything in between. Once Bell concluded that he would need some form of automated assistance, he remembered that Jason Perez and Josh Schuyler, the principals of YARDZ, had already provided MSRS them with a sample of the product’s capabilities.
“The YARDZ folks actually did a demo for us a few years ago,” he recalled. “Because our previous warehouse manager was pretty entrenched in the way he was performing his duties, YARDZ just didn’t suit him, so he passed.
“However, once I took charge of equipment rentals, I decided to take another look, and I was very impressed,” said Bell. “Ultimately, we signed up, and I began using the platform almost immediately.
“I wanted to have a single, user-friendly resource to know what I’ve rented, who I rented it from, and where it’s at.”
Bell uses the YARDZ platform for myriad tasks, all geared towards running a rental fleet operation that is quicker, more accurate, and more convenient.
Bell uses YARDZ primarily for ordering equipment, as do two of his production managers (one from roofing, the other from the sheet metal department).
“Once I place an order for a piece of equipment, the reservation is secured, it lands on the job site, and YARDZ automatically imports the information that evening. It does the same for all our vendor websites, allowing me to see the current status of all our orders.”
Bell also uses YARDZ to automatically notify him when a piece of equipment is overdue. It then gives him the option to move out the notification date or do a call-off. In fact, he generates almost all his call-offs through YARDZ, because it’s a real-time update; the need to wait 24 hours for the new uploads to populate is eliminated.
One recent update to YARDZ is the ability to conduct equipment remote inspections. Because OSHA requires companies like MSRS to perform these critical inspections on a daily basis, Bell sees this as a significant resource ““ so much so that he will be testing out this capability and, assuming all goes well, MSRS will purchase additional licenses to the platform.
While telematics are an attractive feature of YARDZ, Bell’s company is not quite ready for that transition.
“We’re not using telematics yet, as not all our vendors have telematics capabilities, but I do see that part of it growing significantly over time,” he noted. “Being able to track precise equipment location, along with a number of other parameters like fuel consumption and comprehensive engine data ““ is something we’re looking to incorporate into the platform.”
YARDZ was willing to go above and beyond to ensure that Bell had a tool tailor-made for his company.
“We worked with YARDZ to integrate a new function specifically for us,” Bell stated. “I can now go into a project in YARDZ and click on a financial tab, which gives me a projected percentage of the equipment budget spent for a specific project. We’ve incorporated that information into the inventory summary email that goes out every morning. So all members of the team can see the status of the budgets on their respective projects.
“This isn’t standard to YARDZ, but they were willing to work with us to provide us with that capability. It was a very cooperative process.”
Bell noted that from the start of the day, he is on the YARDZ platform hourly, if not more. He relies on it to perform a number of tasks that were formerly relegated to antiquated spreadsheets. But the ability to keep a current and accurate record of all his equipment orders is the function that has proven the most useful.
“I don’t have the resources or time to jump from vendor to vendor. YARDZ “˜magically’ pulls them all into one central location.”
YARDZ is now a vital element in Bell’s rental process, saving him money while providing more up-to-date, accurate equipment data. More importantly, YARDZ has helped him save his most valuable resource: time.
“I can’t give you a specific stat on productivity, but I would wager that there is anywhere from a 25% – 50% time savings between using YARDZ and the way the previous manager handled it. You can’t put a price on that.”