Cloud-Based Asset Management Tracks Activity Across Hundreds of Small Outlets

When you operate more than nine million square feet (840,000 square meters) of retail space across more than 1,100 small points of sale, facilities maintenance can become very challenging, very fast.

It isn’t that any of the properties requires daily maintenance—and that’s the problem. None of the spaces needs enough time or attention to justify the daily presence of an internal maintenance specialist. But they still need to be managed and maintained at a level that will impress and delight customers—in this case, the more than 13 million shoppers who buy more than 115 million clothing items per year from Gruppo Coin, Italy’s leading fast-fashion business.

“With all those points of sale, there are a lot of assets to manage, including electrical and air conditioning plants; smoke detection, fire safety, and alarm systems; public address and sound systems; hoisting systems; and the hardware for its data transmission systems,” Infor notes in a case study on Gruppo Coin’s Enterprise Asset Management strategy. Weekly, bimonthly, and monthly maintenance requires strict scheduling, but the system also has to be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected alarms or maintenance requests.

The Way It Was
Gruppo Coin manages its equipment and facility maintenance through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with 20 different external providers. In the past, a 20-member technical team monitored maintenance activities, while the outside vendors “relied on Excel spreadsheets and Word files sent by email, text messages, and telephone calls to manage both planned and extraordinary maintenance activities,” Infor reports.

“These were absolutely insufficient tools for guaranteeing that our technical services provided suitable and effective monitoring and control over maintenance services,” said Gruppo Coin’s Manager of Technical Services, Andrea Scussel.

“This lack of specialized tools made it impossible to precisely check and analyze compliance by our external suppliers with the services stipulated in the SLA contracts,” he recalled. So “it was also impossible to keep track of actual costs and overall efficiency of the services.”

Moving Enterprise Asset Management to the Cloud
Gruppo Coin set out to reorganize its maintenance system around three key objectives.

The company wanted a database of its physical assets.

It sought an information management platform that could deliver a clear picture of all its facilities’ current status, as a basis for managing supplier relationships and ensuring SLA contract compliance.

And it was concerned about cost control, particularly for unplanned service calls generated by individual sites.

After a two-month search, Gruppo Coin placed its confidence in Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). “It seemed clear to us that this company was particularly active, receptive, and flexible concerning our specific requirements,” Scussel said. And EAM delivered, with a cloud-based system that:

  • Gives store managers an up-to-date view of all their assets, including upcoming maintenance calls and resulting costs and material use
  • Provides a “virtual bulletin board” for scheduling, prioritizing, and monitoring specific tasks
  • Allows the company to benchmark and standardize practices across an extended network of small to medium-sized stores
  • Will allow for historical analysis as more data is added to the system, enabling the company to streamline maintenance procedures and optimize costs.

The ‘Irreplaceable Control Tool’
Gruppo Coin is still working to extend the EAM system to all its assets. But there’s no question that Scussel is satisfied with his IT solution and pleased with Infor.

“The application has kept all of its promises,” he said. “It has become an irreplaceable control tool and an important benchmark for the company. Infor knew how to listen to our needs, and supported the creation of a work group that was aimed specifically at meeting our demands and translating them into the best solutions.”

Click here for a copy of Infor’s Gruppo Coin case study.