“L2L helps our maintenance teams maintain a world-class standard. Everyone has real-time visibility into what’s happening at our plant. If we have a problem, we can quickly get to the root cause of it. L2L has not only saved us money, but it has also improved our processes and made us more productive with the resources we have.” ~ Chad Williams, Corporate Maintenance Manager, West Liberty Foods

The challenge

While maintenance technicians and leadership in the plants were diligent in taking notes, recording paperwork, and inputting data into their existing operations system, technicians had a difficult time finding and analyzing the data to make the best business decisions. If the team wanted reports, they had to request them from the IT department. They weren’t able to get a full view of what was happening in the plants because they couldn’t see the data in time to react to a problem. Between recording the information and running the reports, it was on average three to four days before the team really knew what was happening in the plant. With manual entry of line and machine abnormality data, important data sometimes wouldn’t get recorded at all, or it became lost.

West Liberty Foods’ leadership determined that they needed a software that would provide the right data delivered to the right people at the right time, which was while production was in process, not after. The goal was to provide plant managers with plant floor clarity so the maintenance team could be more effective at proactive activities and not limited to responding to the same equipment failures over and over.

The solution

After assessing other alternatives, West Liberty Foods selected L2L, because it digitalized the company’s maintenance function. Not only were dispatches initiated by line operators in the same software that tracks their resolution, maintenance leadership finally had insights into how to effectively increase operational availability and manage their assets.

The result

Deploying L2L helped West Liberty Foods reduce its cost of spares by revealing where ongoing machine abnormalities occur – saving them $2 million in maintenance costs. Because L2L maintains digital records of abnormality trends and resolutions, technicians easily access machine history, an important benefit in their highly regulated manufacturing environment.

Additionally, now that West Liberty Foods can track all tasks in real-time, they’ve improved their resource/workforce utilization by 88.5%. This real-time view helped the company identify and act on opportunities to improve efficiency in every area of the plant floor.

When West Liberty Foods deployed L2L at their first facility, their machine uptime (operational availability) was 86.6%. After two years, the same facility led the company at 96.3%, nearly a 10% improvement.

Because of greater transparency and accountability with L2L, West Liberty Foods has seen an improvement in company culture — one of greater transparency, accountability and engagement. Even for those employees who have little knowledge of computer systems, it has allowed them to quickly engage with L2L.

Finally, West Liberty Foods has strict company guidelines and procedures, along with defined regulations required by the USDA. L2L allows for easy and clear visibility into this process which has helped West Liberty Foods work with the USDA.