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    Case Study

    Saulsbury Deploys Holistic Construction Asset Management With Align

Overview

Saulsbury Industries has been the trusted provider of full-service engineering, procurement, and construction solutions since 1967. Headquartered in Odessa, Texas, the company specializes in serving clients in the energy and heavy industrial sectors. Saulsbury’s reputation for delivering safe and high-quality projects has allowed them to expand their services across multiple active job sites spanning eight U.S. states.

In 2014, the Saulsbury team began their search for an asset management solution that would enable them to track their physical assets and fully manage them. This included providing various levels of access to all departments to unify their construction operations enterprise-wide.

The Challenge

In 2014, Saulsbury had over 50,000 assets in the hands of approximately 3,000 employees spread across multiple job sites nationwide. Although the company used an ERP platform, its tool and equipment inventory control relied on pen-and-paper clipboards. These manual processes led to inaccurate information and unacceptable amounts of lost time and assets, all of which Saulsbury knew were negatively impacting project performance and company profits.

One pressing example of this was the amount of time field workers wasted each day waiting to pick up tools: there was a 30-60 minute wait outside the tool room each day—a time-consuming and costly routine. Over the course of a year, this was stealing three to five weeks of productivity per worker, just waiting for the tools they needed. The process relied heavily on handwritten notes and was difficult to track, making accountability for tangible assets very difficult to enforce on warehouse staff, field management, and foremen. Meanwhile, the management of trailers, trucks, and tool vans fell under the fleet team’s purview, further complicating asset visibility.

To address this problem, Saulsbury wanted more than to know where its tools and equipment were and how many they had. The company also wanted to create accountability and manage those assets proactively to solve real business problems.

Saulsbury Asset Management Challenges

Saulsbury needed a scalable solution for its construction enterprise that would provide the accurate location of assets, create accountability among the field team, support warehouse logistics like pick tickets and equipment service, and provide the back office with financial data to bill jobs and inform strategic business decisions.

The Solution

In 2014, Saulsbury made the strategic decision to adopt Align Enterprise to take control of its construction assets and enable more efficient and effective operations across field, warehouse, and back office teams. Align was the perfect solution as it seamlessly integrated with Saulsbury's existing Viewpoint Spectrum construction ERP and its Geotab telematics integration for its fleet. 

 

Quotation Mark

  • "We couldn’t have done it without Align. Align is the source of truth for where any item is located, who is responsible for it, and who is paying for it. Align seamlessly aggregates all the information from our Spectrum, ERP, and Geotab systems and puts it all at our fingertips, instantly."
    Sam Stubbs
    Former Manager of Asset Systems and Project Services
  • "Overall we wanted to be more competitive. Align's barcode scanning systems, GPS systems, and integrations have allowed us to do so."
    Jeff Moncrief
    Director of Asset Management at Saulsbury Industries

Notably, every member of Saulsbury’s team in the field and warehouse to the back office found it easy to adopt and utilize the real-time data provided by the platform. Align empowered Saulsbury to eliminate all paper-based processes and digitize its asset operations, providing accurate and accessible information for better decision-making.

The Results

Time Savings

Saulsbury eliminated the wasted time waiting for tools and equipment in the tool room. They utilize Align to scan workers’ hard hats and instantly collect critical information such as their names and requested items.

The streamlined process reduced tool room wait times on the job site by approximately 90%.

Fleet and Heavy Equipment Management

Align’s integration with Geotab serves as a vital tool for precise GPS tracking information and visuals to help Saulsbury locate valuable assets quickly and easily.

The warehouse team took these capabilities one step further by installing a 50-inch TV monitor, which displays Excel spreadsheets automated by Align Pick Tickets and the Viewpoint Spectrum integration. The data updates every 60 seconds, providing the warehouse staff with the most current pick tickets and fleet status information. The names and the locations represented on the screen correlate to:

  • Employees in Workday created as employees in Align via an integration
  • Trailers as locations in Align
  • Job sites from Viewpoint Spectrum imported to Align as locations via an integration

In addition to that, the spreadsheets are color coded to highlight critical areas where the Saulsbury team is falling behind so that priorities remain in focus and critical tasks are addressed quickly. The system works similarly to airport arrival and departure screens, making it easy to track and manage assets.

Align Status Board

The status board provides a comprehensive overview of Saulsbury’s 285 trucks, 37 semi-trailers, and 158-trailer fleet, displaying the location of each asset in the field, warehouse, yard, and the entire supply chain. It also offers real-time financial implications for every data point.

By keeping this critical information accurate and up-to-date, warehouse management can organize inventory, accurately complete pick tickets, and efficiently prepare deliveries.

To further improve its asset management, Saulsbury also utilizes Align to extend the life of its valuable assets by automating notifications for all service needs, which include determining the necessary time for an oil change and identifying when the transmission needs to be flushed. The increase in operational transparency also means that IT no longer needs to navigate multiple platforms to see work orders and preventative maintenance paths.

The streamlined process allows Saulsbury’s team to maintain peak productivity without the risk of errors.

Interdepartmental Communication and Streamlined Operations

Align became a nucleus for interdepartmental communications, connecting teams with actionable operations data enterprise-wide. Here’s how adopting the construction operations platform improved processes for each department within Saulsbury:

Project Managers and Superintendents

At the beginning of a job, the project managers and superintendents must provide an initial loadout list of necessary tools, equipment, and materials. The list is crucial for ensuring the correct items are available and delivered to the job site on time.

However, creating pick tickets was repetitive and time-consuming for Saulsbury’s team. So they implemented Align templates with standard loadout items to create pick tickets. Align expedites initial field processes and ensures the correct tools and materials are available for the job, thus reducing the risk of delays and mistakes that could impact project timelines.

Saulsbury superintendents also utilize the Align Item Browser for accurate asset information on any project. Data is automatically updated, ensuring that the current point of contact is always available, even if the invoice approver changes during the project life cycle.

This capability is especially advantageous for supervisors when winding down projects with assets still assigned to them. Project managers request a list of inventory assigned to their job site toward the end of a project to gain insight into missing inventory. Inventory not found would result in the job paying back the asset management division for the loss of the items so it could be replaced in the company’s inventory.

Align Item Browser Screenshot

Warehouse Team

Align supports end-to-end warehouse logistics workflows, from requisition to pick-ticket to fulfillment and transfer to the job site in one of four ways:

  • The items are loaded into a trailer that the Superintendent picks up from the warehouse.
  • The items are palletized and picked up by a third-party for delivery to the job site.
  • The items are boxed up and delivered by FedEx.
  • The items are placed in a dedicated building outside the warehouse with individual locking chain link cages the job site workers can access after hours. This allows the site Superintendent to retrieve their tools outside of the warehouse's normal operating hours, typically very early in the morning.

By providing robust warehouse logistics workflows, Align became the single system for maintaining accurate tool and equipment inventory information, including not only where an item is currently and who is responsible for it, but the entire history of the item, any service plans attached to the item, and more. This allowed Saulsbury to proactively manage its construction assets and avoid overstocking inventory or running out unexpectedly.

Human Resource Department

In order to streamline asset management and ensure assets and resources are appropriately assigned and accounted for, the human resource department now updates all employee information and the items assigned to them within Align. By using Align in combination with Workday, Saulsbury easily tracks:

  • Employee with assets currently assigned to them
  • Employee driver records
  • Approved driver list
  • Current CDL to operate Class 8 Semi Tractors
  • The extent of utilization

Taking this proactive approach ensures accountability at all levels, making it easier to track down missing items or investigate issues that may arise.

Conclusion

Align empowered Saulsbury to take control of their asset operations and solve real business problems, from long wait times at the job site tool room every morning to inefficient warehouse logistics, integrations with Geotab for fleet management and Viewpoint Spectrum ERP for improved financial operations.

While Saulsbury hasn’t quantified exactly how much tool and equipment loss it eliminated or how much efficiency Align created for the company, it solved many of the major business challenges its team set out to accomplish when adopting Align in 2014. As new business needs arose, the Saulsbury team moved additional aspects of its construction operations into Align, gaining more value each subsequent year since they launched the platform.

Curious how you can streamline your processes just like Saulsbury? Book a demo today

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