Defense contractor saves thousands of hours and $100K annually with Varis



Skookum Contract Services


Bremerton, WA

Number of service locations



IBM Maximo EZMaxMobile

Implementation timeline

Less than 3 months

Company Background

Skookum chose to integrate Varis with its IBM Maximo system based on Varis’s usability and innovative features. The seamless connection between its Purchase Requisition and Work Order modules allowed its users to quickly find the parts they needed to complete the work.


Skookum Contract Services, a service contractor with over 1,400 employees, continually searches for improvements to provide more value at its 25 client locations. Skookum knows the value of time, especially when there is never enough. Each project and work order must be accomplished on time and on budget. And to keep on schedule, specific maintenance/assembly component parts must be ready for use. Quickly identifying the right part, from the right supplier, and at the right discount was very challenging, requiring a cumbersome, 15-step process. 

Skookum calculated that technicians providing services at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island were losing over 5% of their productive time due to this manual process. This equates to over 3,000 hours annually that could have been used for productive maintenance work – making a difference for their clients. With over 100 technicians, they needed to simplify their part lookup process to optimize the day-to-day activities of their skilled workers. 

In addition, Skookum needed any new solution to integrate with their existing IBM Maximo enterprise asset management software. Above all, the solution needed to be easy to use and not require each employee to undergo hours of training that would interfere with their daily work. 

Skookum reached out to their counterparts in the Maximo User Group who may have faced these issues, and other members shared how Varis had helped them overcome similar challenges. Skookum also reviewed the evaluation provided by Gartner Peer Insights and found that Varis consistently received high-quality reviews.


Skookum chose to integrate Varis with its IBM Maximo system based on Varis’s usability and innovative features. The seamless connection between Skookum’s Purchase Requisition and Work Order modules allowed its users to quickly find the parts they needed to complete the work. 

In less than three months, Varis provided Skookum a digital marketplace that allowed for easy selection of goods and services with no training required. Using a consumer-like web interface, workers can easily search for and select the correct parts. There was no more searching paper catalogs or multiple websites. Varis helped ensure each worker login focused on the specific required parts for each user’s job. And each part selected would always be tagged with the agreed contracted price every time. Scott Smith, Skookum’s director of reliability and asset management, said, “Varis’s e-catalog functionality and support was outstanding. Critical success factors were met with flying colors: time to implement, intuitive search, and end-user acceptance.” 

Workers no longer have to track down supervisors for purchasing approvals. If any approvals are needed, Varis routes required purchases into a digital queue for supervisor review and approval. Each purchased item keeps its history and can easily be tracked by the accounting and finance group. Varis also seamlessly integrated with Skookum’s existing IBM Maximo enterprise asset management software. Maximo can create preventive and prescriptive approaches for predictive maintenance, and Varis makes new and replacement parts available on time and on budget. 

In addition, Varis enables Skookum to load its Contract Services privately negotiated agreements with others suppliers into a single pane of glass—no more eProcurement punch-outs or shopping multiple sites.

Skookum had long desired to move to a completely paperless work order environment, but it was never possible without a consolidated digital marketplace like Varis that includes all of its approved catalog items from its more than 120 vendors. With Varis, Skookum created a completely paperless, fully digital environment was created with easy access to all of its on-contract suppliers. 


Skookum integrated Varis into its IBM Maximo Purchase Requisition and Work Order modules. It was also able to integrate Varis directly into EZMaxMobile™, which allows users to interact with Maximo from mobile devices in real time or offline. This allows workers to locate the parts and products they need without having to be chained to a desk and PC. Skookum saw an 80% reduction in time spent by employees searching to purchase the right parts and equipment. The company also reported $100,000 in annual targeted savings through increased and enforced supplier discounts. 

These savings help Skookum deliver on its mission as a nonprofit to “create opportunities for people of all abilities” while delivering world-class, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-certified and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)-accredited services to its customers. 

Skookum has seen an “instant time savings” by leveraging Varis to move to a completely digital work order experience.

Scott Smith said, “This is a problem area that has plagued the maintenance domain for 30 years, and Varis has finally solved it. You have a great product. There have been no issues integrating between Varis and Maximo.”

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