Aptean EAM Case Study: Universal Forest Products (UFPI)

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Migrates to New CloudBased Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance

Industry

Lumber Challenges

» Dated software lacking modernized user interface

» Need for better reporting and analytics on equipment

Benefits

» Intuitive, user-friendly dashboards improve visibility and control

» Streamlined reporting and analytics features save time and simplify KPI tracking

The story of UFP Industries, Inc., through nearly 70 years of existence, is one of growth and success. When the business was originally founded in 1955 as Universal Forest Products, it was a small supplier of lumber for the manufactured housing industry with a limited footprint around its headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fast-forward to present day, and the organization’s excellent products and service have propelled it to become a multibillion-dollar publicly traded global enterprise. A Fortune 500 company, UFP Industries now is a holding company with three subsidiaries across the industrial, construction and retail verticals.

Of the business’s more than 220 affiliated companies worldwide, 45 in the United States have relied on an earlier version of Aptean’s software for enterprise asset and computerized maintenance management since 2013. Users have appreciated how the system enables them to organize processes for handling maintenance work orders, as well as its functionalities for planning, scheduling and reporting on costs.

That said, given the company’s continued upward trajectory and prominent position in its industries, it only made sense to migrate to the new, cloud-optimized Aptean EAM when it became available. After all, for a true leader in its markets, a leading solution is the most appropriate fit.

Aptean EAM
UFP Industries

“With the previous version being from an old generation, but now a new generation driving our business, it was just a no-brainer to start moving forward with this new more modernized and user-friendly system,” said Trenton Mattingly, maintenance system integrator at UFP. “It was just a natural progression to move to the modern version of what is really very good software.”

Three UFP operating affiliates in the U.S. made the decision to move forward with Aptean EAM toward the end of 2022. The smooth migration process, functionalities unlocked and benefits realized have prompted others to decide to migrate to the updated solution. Based on the positive experience, Mattingly has both exciting plans for the future and some advice to share.

2 Case Study | UFP Industries Migrates to New Cloud-Based Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance
“One of the things I’ve appreciated most about Aptean EAM is the KPIs and metrics that you can pull out of it. The two affiliates we most recently migrated, they’ve already told me how much they like having everything at your fingertips and being able to dig down to what’s really happening. So that’s been a huge plus.”
Trenton Mattingly, Maintenance System Integrator, UFP Industries

A Smooth, Successful Migration with Aptean Support

From the very beginning of the process, Mattingly and his colleagues at the companies of UFP felt comfortable relying on Aptean’s support and service teams as their plants migrated to the new system. It began with determining the ideal series of steps and an overall timeline for the project, with the goal being that everyone involved was on-board with the plan and a smooth transition could be made.

“I love the fact that, before it ever happens, Aptean’s team sits down with you and lays out a road map,” Mattingly said. “They let you know the sequence you should follow. They were clear and made us feel comfortable with a step-by-step approach. It was a very pleasant process to go through.”

This strategy proved fruitful, as the migration was completed even more quickly than expected, and dependable support enabled the businesses to overcome challenges along the way. The training facilitated by Aptean’s dedicated professionals was also effective and efficient, in no small part thanks to the intuitive interface of the new EAM solution.

“Aptean has a wonderful support team—by far the best I’ve dealt with. Any migration issues were quickly addressed and resolved,” said Mattingly. “They do a very, very good job as a company as far as satisfying our needs and putting us at the top of the list. I think everybody knows their role and how to fulfill it—the service was just the greatest.”

“Plus, we planned on training over five days, but we easily finished within three days,” he added. “Our experienced users of the older version immediately saw the similarities and transitioned to the new EAM faster than we anticipated, with only minimal additional instruction required.”

3 Case Study | UFP Industries Migrates to New Cloud-Based Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance
“With the previous version being from an old generation, but now a new generation driving our business, it was just a nobrainer to start moving forward with this new more modernized and userfriendly system. It was just a natural progression to move to the modern version of what is really very good software.”
Trenton Mattingly, Maintenance System Integrator, UFP Industries

Functionalities Unlocked and Benefits Realized with Aptean EAM

Right off the bat, Aptean EAM users at UFP affiliates were impressed by the greater degree of freedom and accessibility that the system offers. Making changes and finding the data they need is much easier, and locating the features and modules required for their tasks is straightforward and natural.

“Folks at the UFP companies are far happier now that they have more control over their system,” Mattingly said. “They can modify a lot of stuff that used to be way in the background. If a plant wants something different, like a different naming convention, we can do it instantly now that it’s brought to the front.”

“People also really like how easy it is to navigate—it’s all on one page, and you just navigate with the toolbar,” he continued. “You don’t have to do a bunch of closing panels and switching between modules. That helps with productivity in the plant and getting processes streamlined, like reporting. I’m delighted by how much Aptean’s simplified it.”

Speaking of reporting, those features are among a handful that Mattingly is quick to call out. Aptean EAM makes it a breeze to get in-depth analytics and metrics on asset performance, which helps the people at UFP track key performance indicators (KPIs) and understand how to boost both the effectiveness and the reliability of equipment.

“One of the things I’ve appreciated most about Aptean EAM is the KPIs and metrics that you can pull out of it,” he said. “The two plants we most recently migrated, they’ve already told me how much they like having everything at your fingertips and being able to dig down to what’s really happening. So that’s been a huge plus and takes a lot of the headache out of doing guesswork with charts and spreadsheets.”

“Now we’re seeing it almost instantaneously through that dashboard, and that’s been a great, wonderful thing. They’ve all fallen in love with that,” Mattingly added.

Specifically, getting a read on preventive maintenance efficiency is a much simpler process now. What before required combining several reports together and analyzing them simultaneously now can be pulled with the analytics functions in a matter of seconds. That kind of efficiency in reporting is leading to more opportunities in the continuous improvement (CI) department.

“They love getting into Aptean EAM and how easy it is to send reports out to Excel,” Mattingly said. “What it’s going to promote is making the process of getting a look into plant operations much more efficient, especially since we can do it with multiple locations at once. With that level of visibility and control, we’re going to be able to see where we’re doing well and where we need to shore up our processes.”

“The bottom line is that when our equipment runs better, that means more profit and that business will be better down the road,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the cloud deployment method affords UFP greater scalability, enhanced data protection, stronger cybersecurity and broader accessibility. Plus, all updates are applied automatically, sparing the internal IT team that burden.

4 Case Study | UFP Industries Migrates to New Cloud-Based Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance

Future Plans for UFP Industries and Words of Wisdom

Excited by the advantages of Aptean EAM that they’ve already secured, the UFP team is looking into the API integration options that the solution offers. In particular, they’re considering syncing the system with existing equipment monitoring software to generate work orders in Aptean EAM based on real-time, automated input of alarm codes and meter readings.

They have ambitious plans for migrating more affiliates from the older software to Aptean EAM. Mattingly said “as many as possible” will be moved over this summer, which is the peak season for the construction industry, before things wind down for the winter.

“We’d like all the companies of UFP to get on Aptean EAM eventually,” he added. “We know it’s a good system for their total productive maintenance (TPM). It’ll just make their equipment run far more efficiently.”

The companies of UFP will be better prepared for these migrations thanks to the lessons learned in the course of switching over the first three operations. The experience impressed upon Mattingly the importance of taking the time to clean up the existing system—be it an older EAM already in place or another solution—and thereby streamline the transition.

“It’s good to do some housekeeping in your existing system first,” he said. “If it doesn’t exist anymore, get rid of it, because otherwise that’s just another bit of data they’re going to have to move.”

“I did that diligently as we migrated, and that helped the service team move data more quickly,” he concluded.

He also found that interim period between migration and go-live, when the system is in a test environment, is a valuable time to conduct due diligence. It’s a prudent move to ensure that all conversions are successful, queries are functioning properly and key users are registered with necessary permissions before the proverbial switch is flipped.

“You can go live in a matter of days, but my advice is to spend more time in the test environment and do some investigating,” Mattingly said. “Make sure the correct people are in there, that the right queries are in place and all critical functionalities are working.”

5 Case Study | UFP Industries Migrates to New Cloud-Based Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance
“Aptean has a wonderful support team—by far the best I’ve dealt with. Any migration issues were quickly addressed and resolved. They do a very, very good job as a company as far as satisfying our needs and putting us at the top of the list.”
Trenton Mattingly,
Maintenance
System Integrator, UFP Industries

What Makes Aptean an Exceptional Business Solution Provider

The story of UFP’s initial success with our legacy software and the leap forward made with the migration of three plants to the new cloud-based Aptean EAM demonstrates both the quality of our software as well as some of our key strengths as a provider. There are more still to share, though, each of which add to our reputation as a name to trust in the business solution space.

We can begin with our dedicated professionals’ decades of collective experience in our target markets, which include not just the industrial sector but also the food, beverage, fashion, apparel, distribution and retail segments, among others. This has afforded our team with in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges present in each of these fields, as well as the best practices for overcoming them.

What’s more, our complete solution ecosystem extends well beyond EAM, covering enterprise resource planning (ERP), overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), product lifecycle management (PLM) and transportation management systems (TMS). That makes us a one-stop-shop for all your business software needs and can help simplify the vendor selection process.

Now, if you want to know more about the new cloud-based Aptean EAM and how it can help your business keep equipment in optimal working condition while driving greater efficiency and lower total cost of ownership, contact us today. You can also schedule a personalized demo.

6 Case Study | UFP Industries Migrates to New Cloud-Based Aptean EAM to Enhance Equipment Performance and Maintenance
“We planned on training over five days, but we easily finished within three days. Our experienced users of the older version immediately saw the similarities and transitioned to the new EAM faster than we anticipated, with only minimal additional instruction required.”
Trenton Mattingly, Maintenance System Integrator, UFP Industries
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