Brink Farms, a third generation-owned agricultural hauler based in Michigan, was struggling to manage its sizable parts inventory and track repair costs for its 55-truck fleet.
Their experienced maintenance shop manager was manually keeping track of work orders and parts, on top of his other management duties, and was feeling strained by the high volume of work.
Furthermore, bi-annual inventory audits were frequently coming back short, because technicians would sometimes forget to write down which parts were used for a repair. This inefficiency and inaccuracy were making it difficult for the company to forecast costs into the future and track repair costs for assets.
Brink Farms knew a change was needed in order to improve inventory accuracy and begin tracking its repair costs and turned to Trimble’s web-based TMT Fleet Maintenance solution – particularly the Parts Inventory Management system – for help.
“We were looking for something that was user-friendly and would be simple for us to track the numbers, but also that could give us a more accurate picture of what our cost per unit was on each truck and trailer,” said Brian Brink, president.
The SaaS-based system allows the company to access the TMT platform remotely, an important feature that eliminates the need to be on-site to log in. Furthermore, this allows updates to be made automatically from afar, without any interruption to service or need for in-house IT support.
The company pursued an “aggressive” rollout plan, taking advantage of the deep education and training opportunities Trimble offers for implementation.
“We’re a very detail-oriented company and like to review everything thoroughly, so having our Trimble rep come to us to do some in-person training was very helpful.”
Since implementation, TMT Parts Inventory has helped Brink Farms get a better handle on its inventory, and streamline what parts it has on hand, significantly reducing its backstock inventory.
“We had a lot of obsolete parts,” Brink added. “There was some overstock that we no longer used, and we’re going through the process of figuring out what we want our inventory to look like.”
To date, Brink Farms has been able to decrease its inventory by 14 percent and continues to further streamline the parts it keeps on hand.
Now, mechanics are able to scan parts more efficiently, which in turn has improved the accuracy of the company’s parts inventory.
“We’re catching things sooner, before we run out of parts,” Brink explained.
Brink Farms is also utilizing the solution’s robust reporting functions, looking at what parts are being used each week to better forecast the next month’s cash flow.
Overall, Brink says the solution has helped the company run more efficiently and effectively – “it has led us to better management practices,” he said.
“We’re seeing the benefits of TMT Parts Inventory and how it’s streamlining things. We're really becoming more efficient.”
-Brian Brink, president, Brink Farms, Inc.