Kuhns Equipment has serviced agricultural vehicles like tractors, combines, and smaller farm equipment since 1996. Based in Gibson City, Illinois, Kuhns is also a full-time dealership for agricultural equipment.
In 2020, Service Manager Troy Schuler joined the Kuhns team. His previous shop had used Fullbay for years, and he was eager to see what the software could do for the crew at Kuhns.
WHAT DID KUHNS NEED?
Business was booming at Kuhns – so much so that it was getting hard to keep up. They were using software to help them out, but it couldn’t keep up, either. Troy hoped Fullbay could help them untangle their administrative and managerial work, as well as pull back the curtain on how the shop operated.
CHALLENGE #1 MOBILE DISPATCH
Harvest time is always insanely busy at Kuhns; they receive at least 40-50 service calls per day. As you might imagine, if those farmers calling in can’t get their equipment serviced or repaired, they’re going to miss out on the harvest – that’s bad for them and bad for the country’s food supply!
They needed to assign those 40-50 calls to mobile technicians, who needed to get out on the road sooner rather than later. But their current software didn’t update in real-time; the volume of calls meant Troy had to juggle absolutely crucial calls with those that might wait a bit. “I would make changes to technicians’ schedules and it would be 48 hours before it showed up for them,” Troy says.
That meant their techs weren’t always being dispatched to the right jobs in a timely fashion. It wasn’t a great look for Kuhns.
CHALLENGE #2 SHOP TRANSPARENCY
Kuhns had plenty of work, but they had trouble keeping up with it. They took on as many repair jobs as they felt they could manage, but even then they were spread too thin. “Too many jobs [weren’t] getting across the finish line,” Troy recalls.
“If you can’t get jobs out the door you can’t get paid for them. [Fullbay] allows me to know what’s going on so I can manage those little things and there are no loose ends out there.”
He didn’t realize it at the time, but Kuhns had a problem bringing in the right parts at the right time. Numerous jobs ended up stalling because they were waiting on parts that simply weren’t getting ordered in a timely fashion. This is a problem no matter which way you look at it, but Troy wasn’t able to see how big of an issue it was at first.
CHALLENGE #3 TECHNICIAN EFFICIENCY
Efficiency is critical in a well-running shop. “I use efficiency not to push my guys, or harp on them,” Troy says; instead, he uses it as a tool to see what they can all do better. From what Troy could see at Kuhns, his techs were not working as efficiently as they could, but that was likely because of roadblocks in their way.
The problem was how to find and remove those roadblocks.
Good software helps you do this, but the system Kuhns had in place didn’t give them a lot to go on. It had only “Basic reports, and nothing that could help you drill down, analyze, and quantify the reason for why the efficiency numbers were the way they were,” Troy says. “If you don’t have those numbers, you can’t find the problems!”
As we mentioned above, Troy had a previous history with Fullbay; he had used it at Central Truck & Ag LLC since 2017. He was eager to put Fullbay to work for Kuhns; he knew it would give him a good look into what was going on at the shop, as well as help him keep track of the little things that kept snowballing.
REAL-TIME MOBILE UPDATES
Kuhns no longer faces the horrors of backed-up requests getting jammed in an inefficient scheduling system. Now that Fullbay is in place, Troy can create a ticket and assign it to a technician. The technician will instantly see that ticket pop up on their iPad, and know they’ve got to hit the road or get to a bay.
Much-improved scheduling meant customers got their equipment up and running all the faster, and were able to get back to their real work – harvesting! – quickly. They were thrilled, and so was Kuhns.
“Being able to make those real-time changes to a schedule [in Fullbay] and being able to do that immediately and the technicians being able to get those changes on their iPad – that’s invaluable to me.”
A FULLY TRANSPARENT SHOP
To grow their business, they needed to finish jobs in a timely manner. Fullbay allowed the Kuhns crew to see exactly what was going on in their shop. Now, Troy can see things from multiple angles to find and solve problems. Within two months he realized they had a parts problem that damaged customer perception and cash flow. “If you can’t get jobs out the door you can’t get paid for them,” he notes.
If you’re a shop owner, you know quite well it’s the little things that can pile up and cause the biggest problems in the end. With Fullbay, those little things are carefully tended before they can snowball into shop-impacting issues.
MORE EFFICIENT TECHNICIANS
Troy can now see why techs might not be performing at their absolute best. More importantly, he can see if there are actual problems that he needs to solve for them before they can actually do their jobs.
Like any other business, Kuhns wants to get paid for the work it does, and part of ensuring every dollar is accounted for means seeing all of the delicate inner workings. It’s more than just hours billed vs. hours paid. Is there a tool in the shop that could speed a repair up? How long does it take for the necessary parts to arrive? Is a dawdling owner authorization hamstringing the entire repair?
Fullbay pulls back the curtain on the shop’s inner workings, providing a clear view of exactly what’s getting done, what needs to be done, and what needs to change.
“[With Fullbay] I can have full accountability in the shop. I can watch my technician efficiencies, I can watch usage. Those two things are huge numbers for me. I’ve got to make sure that every dollar I’m paying out I can also get back in.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Kuhns has only been using Fullbay since July of 2020, but Troy claims he’s able to double the amount of work they bring in. “That’s me being conservative,” he adds. We’re thrilled to have helped out so much, and eager to keep helping Kuhns grow their business!