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Do You Know Where Your Tools Are?

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TRULAND Equipment is a John Deere dealer with 18 locations in Indiana and Ohio that supplies and services a wide range of new and used equipment for residential, commercial and agricultural applications. 

The following is an interview with Mickey Justice, Service Manager at TruLand. He took time to give us an insight on Truland and its history, as well as to why ToolHub was the right solution for the company.

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1. Tell us about TRULAND Equipment’s journey and how it got here today.

TRULAND Equipment started in two territories, one in the eastern part of Indiana and western Ohio as a group of dealerships that slowly overtime came together to form The Kenn-Feld Group, better known as KFG. In the same way, the Western TRULAND Equipment locations began as Harper Implement, Green Power, Troxels & Jackson Lee Pearson and over time merged to form TTG. 

 

In August of 2023, and after many months of hard work, the beginning point for TRULAND Equipment became a reality and 18 dealership locations began our journey together as TRULAND Equipment.

2.  Where do you think TRULAND is headed as a company to build on past successes?

As any company does, TRULAND Equipment continues to look for opportunities that could add to our success story through building partnerships with other entities, customers, and manufacturers. A recent example is our new partnership with Toro to add capacity and new lines of equipment that brings value to our customers. Of course we also expect to bolster market share through our continued high levels of quality and customer service.

3.  What challenges were you facing before looking for an asset management solution?

Interestingly enough, prior to the merger, TTG and KFG were both struggling with maintaining visibility and control of tools with respect to location usage and sharing requirements. Both entities used different applications two monitor and control those tools, neither with any efficiency or great success. Tools are being lost, broken with no manager awareness to repair or replace. To say the least it was incredibly frustrating for owners, managers, and especially technicians.

4.  What were some important points in your search for an asset management solution you wouldn’t compromise on?

 

Visibility, repeatability, expandability, analytics. I'm sure there are more I'm not thinking of.

5.  Why was Canam (ToolHub) chosen over the other solutions you looked at?

Primarily, I was impressed with the starting point demo of the existing tool, considering Canam (ToolHub) was really at the beginning of their journey with John Deere dealerships. I was deeply impressed with the amount of work they put in to understanding a process they had not spent much time inside. It what kind of shows you the flexibility of their existing platform from other customers.

Secondarily, and possibly the most important piece for me was their willingness to adapt to our process flow, rolling with changes we were making all the while two companies coming together in a merger as one.

I have a personal motto I've used for the last 35 years that describes some of difficulties companies have breaking in to new markets where the brand may not be well known and it goes something like this: Skeptical buyers want “My Word Given Through Action”.  They don't know me so why would they trust me. They need to see character, quality, follow through, and a value proposition that makes sense to their needs. The ToolHub Team’s overall Performance matched my personal motto at every point to date.

6. What KPI’s were identified as needed to show a successful rollout?

Some of the KPI's as I was requested to develop the rollout related to seasonal timing because of harvest and a narrow implementation timeline with planting soon to follow.

Ease of tool identification/auditing and loading them into ToolHub’s system.

 

Early emotional adoption by key users like service managers and technicians. There is always fear in facing change so this was very important.

7.  How was the onboarding process and how were users reactions to such a change?  What did you do to mitigate any push back or encourage adoption?

Early on was a challenge because we're in the middle of a merger as well and we didn't know what we didn't know. Both parties were learning from each other. The ToolHub team was very helpful in kind of easing and laying those fears and helping that process of the onboarding get going

 

As for user reactions, they were mixed early on with some skepticism because of the frustration they experienced with prior software packages.

 

Truthfully I Intentionally did very little to mitigate mixed skepticism or fears. Me trying to tell them this is a great product and they're gonna love it wouldn't work in this industry.  I was very transparent up front with my managers and technicians stating to them that this was being built for them and their wants & needs is what would drive this program. If they weren't happy with it, we would not keep it.

8.  What have been the main benefits of ToolHub now that you’ve gone live? 

Simplicity, complete visibility, standardized processes that continue to evolve to this day thanks to ToolHub's willingness to adjust to our needs.

9.  What has ToolHub given you that wasn’t there before the project? How has ToolHub improved users ability to track and manage tooling on a daily basis?

A lot, but just being able to track a tool to a location and get it on the truck within minutes. Being able to use analytics to predict demand is something we've not scratched the surface on, but will become vital as TRULAND continues to grow.

10. What are some of the lessons learned that still need to be addressed in the next phase of user adoption and usage?

We need to continually revisit training to manage the effects of updates. I'm finding that people's attention span in a fast-paced environment and is extremely short, so one thing I would like to look at is one minute tutorial videos to explain particular tasks without having to have a formal team meeting.

11.  What recommendations would you have for other companies that will be going through a similar process to onboard their toolrooms to an asset management solution like ToolHub?

Communicate communicate communicate.  Make sure your stakeholders know what’s happening every step of the way, what’s coming next and the expectations that are attached to them.

 

Dedicate 2 employees per location if possible to simplify the auditing and labeling of tools where there are larger numbers of tools (more than 200).

Be absolutely transparent with employees that will take part in the auditing phase. They need to know that this is a segment of time that is wholly dedicated to a process that is relatively short lived but it can be taxing.

Take pains to train precision into the process you're asking them to follow for every phase of the project and even after launch. You will find that a lack of clarity will lead to rogue processes you would never approve.

 

Try to identify as many of those processes related to asset management and get them written down in a format you are comfortable sharing with ToolHub.  The more detail the better.

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