Company overview: AX Group
AX Group set foot into the Maltese construction industry in 1975 and has established itself as a household name since then. Having constructed many of the island’s landmarks, AX Group has now diversified into property development, hospitality and the care sector too.
By late 2018, AX Construction was at the peak of heading many construction, restoration and turnkey projects authorized by the Maltese government, and leading local and international corporate companies. Many of these projects called for strict adherence to compliance standards and deadlines.
The company’s tremendous growth had bled into many management challenges for it in the past few years. These included low visibility into tools being used on various job sites, greater compliance requirements for larger projects and unplanned equipment downtime.
Expansion leads to management burdens
In the face of this exponential growth, keeping up with the quality standards AX Construction was known for became a challenge. The IT Projects team took note of these problems when they began their hunt for a construction asset management solution in 2018.
The team knew they needed to address AX Construction’s dependence on error-prone, static spreadsheets to document the movement, use, and repair of its equipment.
Here are the challenges AX Construction had to contend with due to their use of spreadsheets.
Lack of visibility across job sites
With a diverse set of construction assets spread over 50 project sites, tracking equipment across sites, and tools in transit was taxing. Spreadsheet tracking meant that there was no real-time visibility across sites.
Trivial tasks such as locating a tool for a job often took up to 5 phone calls. This adversely affected the productivity of field workers and led to higher project costs and unmet deadlines.
Risk of non-compliance to safety standards
AX Construction had to carry out frequent compliance and tool calibration checks due to the nature of its projects. It was an internal practice to get their equipment inspected for quality certifications (like OSHA in the US).
With spreadsheets, there was no single source of manufacturer’s data sheets and no way to set reminders for inspecting and calibrating each piece of equipment. Missing a calibration instance meant there was a risk of non-compliance to safety standards, injuries at work and hefty project remodeling costs.
Unplanned equipment downtime
Most construction equipment like tower cranes and dragline excavators cost more than $100,000, and required diligent maintenance. The AX Construction team knew from experience that regular maintenance lowered their service costs, extended equipment life and minimized downtime.
Initially, spreadsheets were being used to keep a log of all service events on its equipment. Information was pouring in from various sources without being properly consolidated. This made tracking the lifecycle and maintenance sessions of each piece of equipment tedious.
AX Construction heads towards more structured growth
The IT Projects team at AX Construction was tasked with assessing how technology could help AX Construction counter these challenges. It realized how all of these issues alluded to the absence of a dedicated construction asset management solution. And thus, it went on its hunt for the perfect fit.
According to the IT Projects Coordinator, a few applications were shortlisted and “EZOfficeInventory scored the most” on their assessment as it had just what they needed.
Things started to look up for AX Construction once they implemented EZOfficeInventory.
Complete tool visibility across job sites
AX Construction now has complete visibility into more than 2,000 tools and heavy equipment, from its equipment yard all the way to its job sites. The Locations module has enabled site superintendents and foremen to get real-time updates on tool movements
The Audit feature makes it easier to acknowledge possession of tools upon delivery. This has drastically improved accountability.
Furthermore, field workers no longer have to spend hours searching for tools. EZOfficeInventory saves them delays, overruns, and reworks, thereby increasing productivity on-site.
Quality project delivery
EZOfficeInventory has also enabled AX Construction to duly comply with safety standards. Site superintendents and foremen can now record the issue and expiry dates of quality certificates using Custom Fields.
Custom Reports help them see which certificates are nearing expiration and which tools need to be re-calibrated. All data lies in a centralized cloud database, ready to be pulled up any time an audit or inspection is due.
Timely calibrations ensure that AX Construction meets its compliance requirements and delivers quality projects at all times.
Reduced equipment downtime
EZOfficeInventory has greatly simplified maintenance processes for AX Construction. Maintenance data from all job sites is consolidated. The Service module enables them to define how often they want maintenance events to repeat for their equipment.
With the Reports module, maintenance data is directly pushed to users’ smartphones via email alerts. All key stakeholders are current on the latest maintenance data. Hence, time spent gathering, compiling, and sharing this information is saved.
This has drastically improved visibility on overdue maintenance tasks. The team aims to achieve ‘zero equipment downtime’ with EZOfficeInventory by ensuring that no planned maintenance task is missed.
The value in EZOfficeInventory
EZOfficeInventory has helped AX Construction face its challenges head-on and grow in a more structured way by enabling seamless collaboration across construction sites and teams. AX Group is now planning to implement this structure in its care and hospitality divisions too.
This can be best captured by what Terence Borg, from the IT Projects team said of EZOfficeInventory: “AX Construction is recognized as the most organized construction company in Malta. EZOfficeInventory played an important part in enabling that!”