A combination of the right equipment and a fit-for-purpose repair and maintenance strategy is the secret to success for civil contractor J&M Bashforth & Sons.
Having the right equipment is just one ingredient for business success, according to J&M Bashforth & Sons Director Luke Bashforth.
Another essential aspect to ensure ongoing productivity, efficiency and value is the right sort of repair and maintenance strategy.
Luke says WesTrac’s new FitFleet agreements are precisely what’s required to enable the business to go about its core duties without the risk or frustration of unplanned downtime and delays. Luke said:
“The FitFleet agreements which currently cover 19 of our Cat® machines, allow us to maintain focus on the day-to-day business without the worry of repair and maintenance requirements.”
Established in 1946 in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, J&M Bashforth is a family-run civil contracting business that operates a mixed fleet of Cat and other equipment. Luke is the third generation of the family working in the business. The company has been a customer since WesTrac took on the Cat dealership in NSW in 2004.
WesTrac Product Support Representative Jim Hewitt says the long-term connection has led to a special relationship between both businesses. Jim said:
“J&M Bashforth has been a long-term, loyal customer for nearly 20 years,” Jim said. “All our employees know all their employees and we value the ongoing business.”
Fitfleet Delivers Maximum Value from Assets
FitFleet is an ongoing support and maintenance solution provided by WesTrac, for an individual machine of any brand, that encompasses both an agreement and access to an online portal that provides data-driven insights into the overall health and utilisation of that machine.
There are four types of FitFleet agreements available with each offering different levels of support – Essentials, Plus, Premium and Ultimate.
According to WesTrac Asset Strategy Manager Dean Cruickshanks, the whole point of FitFleet is to ensure customers get maximum value from their assets. Dean said:
“FitFleet combines the latest data gathering technology and WesTrac expertise.”
“Data is captured directly from the asset and WesTrac’s Asset Solution Advisor Team analyses that data to stay abreast of machine health and maintenance requirements.”
“When maintenance is required, we’ll organise for the appropriate parts to be sent to site and, if it’s included under the service level agreement, will schedule service technicians as well.”
There are four service level options under FitFleet, catering for all types of customers, from those wishing to carry out repair and maintenance tasks themselves through to those taking a “do it for me” approach. As agreements are applied on a per machine basis, customers can opt for a range of different service levels across their fleets depending on inhouse expertise and the complexity of maintenance and repair requirements.
J&M Bashforth has a combination of FitFleet Ultimate and Premium service agreements in place, which provide a range of advantages including the ability to spread costs evenly each month based on machine utilisation.
According to Luke, that has major benefits when it comes to cashflow management. He said:
“The fact that our maintenance and repair costs are known and maintained at a steady amount each month is a big advantage.”
“It’s another reason we’re able to get on with running our business in the most productive and efficient manner.”
Dean expects FitFleet to quickly become popular with customers because it removes another layer of risk from their businesses. He said:
“The four service levels cater for a range of customer needs and asset management requirements.”
“We understand that some operators are more than happy to carry out their own services and may have easy access to one of our branches, but still like the security of having WesTrac monitor and advise on service requirements, so the complimentary Essentials agreement which comes with every machine purchase is ideal for them.”
“Even under an Essentials agreement, if they require a technician to assist, we organise that on a fee for service arrangement.”
For customers seeking to spread costs based on machine utilisation and to have the security of knowing parts and service personnel will be onsite as required, the Plus, Premium or Ultimate agreements are more appropriate.
It is all about ensuring there’s an agreement that suits the asset and the owners’ needs. Six of J&M Bashforth’s machines are under Ultimate agreements and the remainder on Premium agreements. Luke said:
“We really value the longstanding relationship and focus on continual improvement that WesTrac offers when it comes to equipment and service.”
“The various levels of FitFleet agreements are testament to that.”
Fitfleet Portal Makes Fleet Management Easy
Another valuable and evolving aspect of FitFleet is the customer portal.
Designed to provide customers with access to key information about their equipment, service schedules, work orders and invoicing, it is easy to use, customer focused and saves time.
According to WesTrac Digital Specialist Chloe Howse, who is working on the development and rollout of the portal, the initial release is just the beginning.
WesTrac’s intention is to continue development of the platform in line with customer requirements. Chloe said:
“We have opted to take an iterative approach so that customers get a tool that really benefits them.”
“There are already several tools available which serve specific needs and we’re not trying to replace them but rather to fill any gaps in order to make the customer experience even simpler and more streamlined.”
That approach has already drawn praise from early adopters, who have welcomed the fact that the FitFleet Portal is being built around the customer rather than from the supplier perspective.
The dashboard interface is simple with key information available at a glance, or at most just a few clicks away, meaning customers don’t have to pick up the phone or email.
And there aren’t any tricks to using the FitFleet Portal. It is simply a case of FitFleet customers signing up and logging in, with no need for tutorials or complex documentation.
For more information on FitFleet, click below.