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    Case Study

    The Hillis Group Improved Inventory Management With Align

     

 

Problem

The Hillis Group, a pipeline and construction contractor based in Easton, Pennsylvania, was successful and growing, but with that success came a new challenge in tracking and managing its tools. With tools being distributed to more job sites, it was becoming more complicated to track down tools on various job sites and losses and misplacements were getting out of hand. The company installed Align (formerly ToolWatch) in 2017 but had harnessed only a fraction of the system’s powerful features in the belief they only needed better tool tracking capability. As a result, while tool management improved dramatically, most other administrative and cost operations remained business as usual.

Solution

When the Hillis management team saw the results Align had delivered in managing their tool inventory, they knew it was time to migrate other company functions into the Align system. About a year after implementing Align for tool tracking, Hillis hired a new inventory manager, Vinny Fattorusso.

Despite not having extensive experience with sophisticated mobile tracking software, Vinny was able to quickly see the potential of the Align system for getting inventory management under control. Among his first efforts was to inventory each mobile warehouse. He discovered many tools that were not where they should be, and using Align, he could relocate many items that had been assumed missing and were to be booked as losses. “Even just walking around the warehouse and scanning tools,” Vinny says, “I found items that had been reported missing or stolen. So many things that were reported missing I was able to see by scanning the tool and realized this was the same drill reported missing at said job site.” In his first year, Vinny and his team were able to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars of tools and equipment through the Align software.

Taking advantage of the seamless interconnectivity of the Align platform, Vinny worked with his team to establish a reporting system to keep field supervisors in the loop on tool inventory control. Every Monday, he issues a tool report for each job site so each supervisor and field team can see what tools are missing on their job site.

The custom report includes missing tools and tools and equipment that are expected to be on each job site. That way, supervisors know what tool or equipment to look for and ask the field team about it. “The Monday Align reports have helped a lot because we’re able to correct things, make sure things are accounted for, and keep everything efficiently moving to each location,” Vinny notes.

Today, Hillis tracks everything that moves, even materials, with Align. They track the cost and distribution of materials and consumables to each project and job site. They track and bill the mobile warehouse for the trailer on the job site.

Result

Hillis expanded its use of the Align platform to full advantage on both Pro and Mobile apps, including materials management, purchasing/receiving, vendor reporting, inventories, work orders, service schedules, and so much more — all in real-time. From anticipating how many paper towels they’ll need to track valuable pipeline construction equipment, Align has given The Hillis Group the tools to maximize inventory, productivity, and profitability in the field and the home office.

Hillis Inventory Manager Vinny Fattorusso says: "The Align system has become an essential part of our company because we can easily track tools, equipment, and materials in real-time. We can quickly see where all our assets are and make sure the jobs won’t experience delays if they need anything."

 

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