Sockeye Streamlines Maintenance Scheduling

Across 35 Cargill Facilities

About Cargill Incorporated

Cargill Incorporated provides food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services to the world. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, the Cargill Protein Group includes all of Cargill’s North American beef, turkey, foodservice, food distribution, pet treat and egg product businesses. With a commitment to supporting the places where they live and work, this Wichita-based division employs more than 32,000 people across the U.S. and Canada at dozens of facilities and offices.


Migrating to SAP Left a Gap in Maintenance Scheduling

Recognized as one of the Achievers Most Engaged WorkplacesTM in North America, Cargill is committed to leading innovation in employee engagement, high productivity, and worker safety.

For Cade Schoonover, Assistant Vice President of Maintenance and Reliability at Cargill Meat Solutions, this commitment means streamlining maintenance scheduling to optimize operations and uptime by keeping facility workers safe and productive. When Cargill deployed SAP in 2015, Cade Schoonover explored commercial software to address the functionality gap for maintenance scheduling in the new system. “We wanted to deploy something that was off-the-shelf and could be supported for use across all Cargill facilities,” explained Cade. After an extensive evaluation process, the team at Cargill chose Sockeye.

“In my role, leading the maintenance and reliability plant engineering space for the North American protein businesses, work management is one of the most fundamental things that we do. One of the biggest hang-ups is backlog management and scheduling. Sockeye is an enabling tool that makes that process successful,” shared Cade Schoonover.

“Sockeye accommodates what we call schedule indexing. At Cargill, we put a high priority on scheduling the most important work,” said Mike Williams, Maintenance Information and Process Lead at the Cargill Protein Group. He explained how Sockeye fits their scheduling process perfectly:

“The Sockeye scheduling tool aligns excellently with the work our people were already accustomed to doing. It allows them to assign a rank for each work order and then sort the list to schedule the most important work first based on labor availability.”


Sockeye Centralizes Maintenance Scheduling, Saving Time Across 35 Cargill Facilities

Sockeye saves users the effort of pulling the data needed to create weekly work order plans in spreadsheets by naturally extending business systems already in place. It integrates seamlessly with all leading maintenance systems – including SAP, Oracle JDE, Infor EAM, IBM Maximo, and Avantis – to leverage real-time, dynamic data.

At Cargill, data between SAP and Sockeye is automatically synchronized so maintenance schedulers can better manage their CMMS backlog. Sockeye typically eliminates up to 90% of the data input work upfront. Rick Baldridge, Corporate Reliability Excellence Process Leader at Cargill, elaborated, “Spreadsheets required a lot more time. Now with the data connector between SAP and Sockeye, it is very, very quick and easy. We are saving time, no doubt about it.”

For the Cargill Meat Solution group, maintenance scheduling is a process that spans across all 35 facilities. Centralizing the process on Sockeye has provided management with centralized dashboards featuring real-time key performance indicators.

“Now with Sockeye, I don’t have to manage individual plant tools on spreadsheets,” said Cade Schoonover. “Having maintenance scheduling centrally managed by Sockeye, with automatic updates and improvements, and being able to have information pushed out to everybody at the same time, those are huge benefits to me.”

“I think the best measurement of our success is the backlog to labor ratios,” continued Rick Baldridge. “The better your work management systems, the more your backlog to labor ratios will drop. Good planning drives a lot of efficiency. Work gets done quicker. Backlogs get consumed much quicker. Sockeye is now in every one of our animal protein facilities, and in some of our larger facilities we’re generating 1,000 work orders a week. Sockeye really does a nice job of enabling our business process. It’s really good.”

Streamlined Scheduling Helps Optimize Workforce Utilization & Safety

Optimizing workforce utilization is a key priority for Cargill. “We’re very cognizant and sensitive to the need to schedule 100% of every one of our technician’s time, so we can utilize that labor to try to exert as much influence as we can over the condition of our processes and equipment for optimum uptime,” explained Mike Williams.

“We can utilize that labor to try to exert as much influence as we can over the condition of our processes and equipment for optimum uptime”

mike Williams, Maintenance Information and Process Lead

Better workforce utilization with Sockeye among Fortune 5000 companies typically frees up valuable time for up to 10 percent more preventative maintenance, reducing emergent work and increasing uptime by 1.2 to 1.8 percent. Many experts agree that scheduled work is 3 times less costly and 5 times safer.

“We recognize that there is a huge cost difference between planned and reactive work. When we have reactive work, there are a lot of hard and soft costs involved. It reduces our production capacity. It effects product quality,” said Mike Williams. “Not only does it keep us from returning other equipment, planned jobs, and bringing other equipment to good repair, it also exposes our employees to safety hazards. When it’s reactive work, there’s production pressure to get the equipment returned to operating condition as quickly as possible, resulting in shortcuts and exposure to unforeseen risks.”

“In planning our scheduled work, we’re able to accommodate all the things we need, whether it be equipment availability, tools, having the right parts, or booking the technicians we need,” continued Mike Williams. “That’s why we put a very, very high priority on planning and scheduling maintenance work.”

Organizations like Cargill rely on Sockeye to improve uptime, reduce maintenance costs, and reduce lost time accidents. Enterprise customers report 12 to 20% improvements in scheduling adherence correlating almost exactly to the time Sockeye saves planners. Industry experts report that adherence improvement reduces maintenance costs by over a million dollars annually per 75 techs by improving wrench time, reducing accidents, and reducing parts inventories.

Success within the North American Cargill Meat Solutions group is now garnering global attention. “There are a lot of other Cargill businesses asking questions and planning to jump onboard soon. We already have Cargill meats Europe evaluating Sockeye. It is pretty exciting. As compared to any other tool that I know or any other method for maintenance scheduling, I give Sockeye a 10 out of 10,” concluded Mike Williams. “We are looking at Sockeye as an enterprise solution for maintenance scheduling globally.”


Sockeye has enabled Cargill Meat Solutions to:

Extend SAP for maintenance scheduling

Retire delicate, disjointed spreadsheet tools

Optimize scheduling & reliability

Centralize scheduling across 35 facilities

Improve workforce utilization & safety

    “Sockeye is now in every one of our animal protein facilities, and in some of our larger facilities we’re generating 1,000 work orders a week. Sockeye really does a nice job of enabling our business process. It’s really good.”

    Rick Baldridge, Corporate Reliability Excellence Process Leader

Related Case Study

Sockeye Elevates Cargill’s Operations

Sockeye seamlessly integrated into Cargill’s workflow, effortlessly filling the scheduling gap left by SAP migration. Discover how simplicity, efficiency, and perfect fit made Sockeye the ideal solution.

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