Sioux Falls Truck & Trailer - Apex Supply Chain Technologies 2015-06-24آ  Sioux Falls Truck &...

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  • Sioux Falls Truck & Trailer Reducing walk-and-wait time for big savings and productivity gains

    For Dan Mills, the decision to implement an Apex inventory management solution came down to putting a price on employees’ time – and protecting his company’s IT investment.

    Mills is parts and service director for North American Truck and Trailer, a thriving, full-service dealership with 13 locations throughout South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. At the company’s flagship Sioux Falls location, Mills saw a growing problem that was eating away at productivity – a daily bottleneck at the parts counter.

    Its nearly 60 service technicians would spend a good part of every day walking to the counter and waiting in line to pick up parts. “It wasn’t uncommon to see 5 to 7 people standing in line,” said Mills.

    There was a similar problem with picking up diagnostic laptops. These expensive computers run licensed software that’s required for many jobs, but Sioux Falls was having trouble managing them. To protect the company’s IT investment, they started checking them out at the parts counter, which made the line at the counter even longer.

    A simple calculation spurs a solution Mills knew the long lines were inefficient and aggravating. But he was surprised when he realized just how much this “walk-and-wait” time cost the company. He calculated that it took technicians at least five minutes to walk to the parts counter, stand in line, and wait for the needed part. “Based on what we pay them, it was costing us $9 for a technician to pick up a $3 part, said Mills.”

    Before it became a bigger issue, Mills decided to move forward with a system he’d been looking into: automated, self-serve dispensing from Apex Supply Chain Technologies.

    More security and visibility of high-priced laptops First, Mills set out to safeguard the company’s IT investment. He chose the Axcess™ 6024 automated locker system, which provides secure, 24/7 laptop check-out and check-in. All data is recorded in Trajectory Cloud™, giving the company a clear view of who’s using them and for what job, when they were checked out, and when they’re due back.

    The system also helps keep the laptops in good working condition. Trajectory Cloud tracks how many hours each device is used, and sends automated alerts to the IT department when maintenance is due.

    Shorter lines, and better visibility into parts usage Next, Mills turned his attention to the line at the parts counter. He installed an EDGE™ 5000 on the shop floor to dispense many commonly used parts such as grease and gaskets, sanding disks and cutting wheels, and O-ring kits and mini fuses.

    EDGE 5000

    “It was costing us $9 for a technician to pick up a $3 part.” Dan Mills, parts and service director

  • © 2015 Apex Industrial Technologies LLC. All rights reserved. Apex Supply Chain Technologies, Trajectory Cloud, Axcess and EDGE are trademarks of Apex Industrial Technologies LLC. NAT-1051 SiouxFallsNA ISS: 4/15

    The EDGE™ 5000 now saves the company roughly $3,200/month in walk-and-wait time.

    A shorter line brings big savings Of course, the most noticeable change at Sioux Falls is shorter lines at the parts counter. This has meant impressive savings both in productivity and what it costs for technicians to pick up parts.

    The EDGE 5000 now dispenses about 400 parts a month, at less than one minute each. That saves Sioux Falls roughly $3,200 each month in technician walk-and-wait time. And with 400 fewer parts to handle, the parts counter manager can now devote more time to working on big, complex jobs.

    The department’s diagnostic laptops are safely stored in the Axcess 6024, carefully maintained and ready to work. And with this first major success under its belt, National Truck and Trailer is looking to roll out similar solutions at all of its locations.

    Find Your Solution To learn more about Apex automated dispensing and asset management solutions, visit, email us at or call 1.800.229.7912.

    Employees simply walk to the nearby EDGE 5000, enter their ID and work order number, and select the part. The entire process typically takes less than a minute, saving hours of productive tech time each month.

    Every transaction is recorded in Trajectory Cloud, making it easy to track who’s using which parts, when, and for what customer. This ensures that more parts are being billed to the customer.

    “Before, parts weren’t always billed out to specific jobs,” said Mills. Now it’s easier to track every part to the right job. If we’re working on a warranty job, it’s much easier to track it and bill it to the manufacturer.”

    Technology that Counts

    The Axcess 6024 and EDGE 5000 The Axcess 6024