After commuting to a job at CAT in Toronto for 10 years, Iron Equipment owner Jamie Molloy decided to find something local.
For a few years he worked for Wajax Industries in field service, where he became accustomed to working on his own, and then decided he was ready to become his own boss. Five years ago he started Iron Equipment out of his home near Pontypool. The firm is a mobile heavy equipment, diesel generator service and repair company servicing customers in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland, Durham and the surrounding areas.
His first big customer was Waste Management who operated the landfill site in Peterborough. Most of his customers have fleets of heavy equipment such as excavators and include the City of Kawartha Lakes and the Tomlinson Environmental Services which now operates the Bensfort Landfill site. The firm provides on-site maintenance for its customers, bringing their tools and equipment with them. They have fully pneumatic mobile lubrication trailer with oil product pumps and waste oil collection; four fully tooled service trucks; one service truck with a 5000 lb. service crane and a portable load bank unit to maintain their clients’ generators. On staff are four heavy equipment technicians providing repair, diagnostics and service for their customers’ heavy equipment. They also provide generator services and are TSSA regulated to provide complete generator fuel system assessment upgrades and repairs.
Molloy has always been diligent with expenses, but since Connie Danielson joined the firm originally as a bookkeeper and now as the firm’s Controller, he has taken the administrative part of the business to a whole new level. Over the past four years, the firm has invested heavily in technology to provide their staff working off-site with an extensive array of information to help them address the issues they face on the road. It was a big commitment, but it has paid off. Working with a Vancouver software developer, Flofinity, Molloy created a database available to all staff on a server in the “cloud”. Information includes customer repair history, fleet specifics including any customized configuration for each vehicle, and a parts inventory. Technicians in the field can review repair history, order parts and prepare service reports from their vehicles. They can prepare detailed invoice reports immediately, recording work performed, parts used and other detailed with their phones. They don’t even need to type – they can use Google talk to record the information.
This investment has had a significant impact on the firm’s cash flow, as invoicing is much quicker, and the level of detail is appreciated by their customers. Molloy hopes the invoicing cycle will soon be only three days.
The firm is now taking their technology advantage one step further, installing GPS technology in the equipment of many of their customers. With their thorough records and access to the GPS, Iron Equipment plans to establish maintenance schedules, complete with the serial numbers of parts for each vehicle, to assume a proactive role in the fleet maintenance of its customers.
Under Danielson’s guidance, the firm has benefited from the support of local agencies including Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Corporation, which has helped them with new hires and the purchase of tools and equipment. They have now reached the stage where they need a location beyond the trailer in Molloy’s yard, and are currently seeking local options. Not bad for their first five years- what will the next five bring? KG