Project Description

John Soules Foods Success Story: Overview

John Soules Foods is committed to processing quality foods, utilizing iMaint to keep their maintenance procedures on track and provide the necessary audit trail. Read on to learn more about the John Soules Foods success story.

Products: iMaint | Market: Food & Beverage | Download PDF: Click here 

You may not remember hearing of John Soules Foods based in Tyler, Texas, but you have probably tasted some of their fully cooked products sold for restaurants, grocery stores, and warehouse food stores. Whether you prefer your beef or chicken oven roasted, rotisserie seasoned, grilled, breaded, Southern style, or something else entirely, they have a product for you.

Maintenance Challenges and Successes

As a food processor, John Soules Foods has many guidelines and procedures that must be followed exactly to ensure that their product meets all health, safety, and quality standards at their facilities in Tyler, Gainesvile, GA and Valley, AL. Careful maintenance in all areas of their plant is a large part of this process, and their iMaint CMMS helps keep their maintenance procedures on track, while providing the necessary audit trail – down to the level of changing filters – for inspectors. This audit information is so important, that some customers require data on executed PMs in order to purchase any product from John Soules Foods.

When asked about how iMaint performs in relation to processing downtime, Marina Garza, Maintenance Purchasing Assistant for the Tyler, Texas plant replied, “We prefer to think of it as uptime, rather than downtime. Using our fully-implemented iMaint, we have gone from about 84% uptime to up to 98% uptime. That is something that makes management happy!” This change translates into a significant cost savings for the company that has calculated their downtime to the cost per minute.

John Soules Foods first began implementing PMC in their Tyler, TX plant in 2002. As they continued to grow and acquire other companies, their IT department felt they needed a more robust CMMS solution and they purchased iMaint in 2014. This change also allowed them to use mobile devices and the Integrator modules.

“Our facility runs two shifts, Monday through Friday, sometimes even weekends, with the third shift coming in to clean up and sanitize. Over 350 PMs are generated once a week by the maintenance planner and these are performed and closed out over the weekend, with records kept on all activities on things like electric knives, water jet knives, ovens, freezers, conveyors, packaging, and boxing machinery. “Operating on this schedule has greatly decreased the downtime for the lines during the week,” explained Garza. “We have a maintenance crew of around 65, plus supporting staff and they are responsible for completing the PMs. If a machine has a recurring problem, it will be noted almost immediately,” continued Garza. “We started the company with 2 or 3 packaging machines and now we have 15. With growth like that, the only way to trace a problem down is through the paper trail – or now the computer trail – with the machine number and line number so we can correct the issue.”

Using the features of the Inventory module have proven crucial to controlling the ordering process. “When we implemented the min/max options for inventory, this decreased the PO requests by about 50% for our plant in Texas. This meant that by ordering the necessary amounts, they were no longer held up on processing because of inventory needs. This was a game-changer,” enthused Garza.

Expanding iMaint Provides More Control

Using all of the iMaint modules is one key to John Soules Foods’ maintenance success. “Of course we use Work Orders and Scheduling on a daily basis. We use Purchase Orders for all maintenance purchasing, including services and construction issues like cement or building needs. Since I have worked here, we have grown from 200+ employees to over 1,000, and have had three major expansions of our work space and buildings,” Garza said.

“We use the Project module to follow all Purchase Orders in a project, so we can track expenses, Work Orders and have a complete record. The Project module also helps us track contractors, the scope of work, and all contracts associated with the project,” Garza continued. “Besides using Scheduling for PMs, we use it for the buildings and grounds to check doors and door gaskets, water filters, fork lifts, pallet jacks, and for other non-food machinery. We create a variety of schedules for these areas also.”

Each day Garza is able to run a report to find out what purchases are late and then follow up to find out the problems with delivery. She feels this is a critical part of the process, since it prevents things from the traditional “falling through the cracks” and proving to be a gigantic headache in the future.

Garza also provides management with a report of expenses, which allows them to check daily and/or weekly expenses, as well as question any purchases made for maintenance needs. “iMaint definitely fills the bill for us. It handles all of our maintenance needs, gives us the necessary documentation, and keeps us in compliance with inspectors, auditors, and regulations. It just keeps us going!” concluded Garza.

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