Unknown or underused functionality of fleet maintenance management software.
As cost analysis for fleet operation expenses continues to drive maintenance shop efficiencies, computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) providers are continually working to improve product functionality and introduce new features to help reduce fleet expenses.
“Instead of organizations worrying about the cost, my biggest message to them is focus on ‘What savings can you get?’ and drive the savings,” suggests Ric Bedard, founder and CEO of Cetaris.
Check out some of the features fleets can take advantage of to help continue to improve fleet operations and reduce costs.
Monitoring chronic vehicle repairs
Chronic repair identification functionality provides shops insights on repeat failures or repeated repairs done on an individual piece of equipment. Having the ability to proactively monitor a vehicle repair that has occurred multiple times can provide insight on larger vehicle issues and help ensure technicians get to the root cause of a problem.
For example, say a fleet is bringing in a trailer for a brake adjustment. Dave Walters, senior solutions engineer for Trimble, provides details on how the functionality works within the company’s TMT Fleet Maintenance software.
“When we add that job to a work order, our product does what we call a chronic repair check,” Walters says. “We look at the repair history of that asset and see if we have ever adjusted the brakes on this piece of equipment before. If we have, within a defined set of parameters that you can define in the software, we will alert you that this brake adjustment you are about to do might be the sixth time we have done it in the last 180 days on this piece of equipment.
“It alerts everybody that there is something unique about this repair you are about to do, so pay some special attention,” Walters adds.
Technician productivity reports
CMMS providers can provide details on the efficiency of technicians conducting common services, such as an oil change or slack adjuster replacement. The system allows fleets to track standard repair times (SRTs), which can then be compared to the actual times logged by the technician completing that service.
Information for standard repair times can be set up for individual fleets or imported from a known source such as the MOTOR Labor Standard Guide, notes Trimble’s Walters. Even after a known source is integrated, fleets also have the option to adjust SRTs for their individual needs.
“They aren’t always specific to a particular fleet in the way their vehicles are configured, but it is a starting point,” Walters adds.
These reports can highlight technicians that are working efficiently, but could also help determine if services were not completed properly or thoroughly. This feature also allows fleets the opportunity to measure and incentivize technicians completing the work accurately and efficiently.
“Which technicians might need some training because their standard repair times are running high? Or, are the other techs getting done faster because they are cutting corners?” suggests Bob Hausler, vice president, marketing and technology for Dossier Systems.
Predictive parts failures
With continual advancements in data collection, extending beyond reports after-the-fact to analytics in real-time, or even capabilities to assess historic information in order to predict future issues, CMMS providers are continuing to develop functionality that provides fleets the ability to predict parts failure before it occurs. This functionality can help fleets identify when components are failing under certain conditions to help address those potential failures and schedule service before such failures occur.
Tire cost management tools
CMMS providers can provide the means for fleets to track the full lifecycle cost of tires. For example, with the Dossier Tire Management system, fleets can track all tires from purchase to disposal, as well as helping to identify and report tires with severe operational issues.
Lifecycle cost reports
Lifecycle cost reports look at groups of vehicles with similar specifications to track vehicle service trends. These reports also allow for comparison of different vehicles in the fleet, which can serve to be particularly valuable for mixed fleets.
“We can run lifecycle cost reports on Freightliner trucks and compare them to Paccar vehicles that are in our fleet and begin to do comparisons,” notes Trimble’s Walters. “Should I be buying one or the other?”
VMRS coding for warranty
For CMMS providers who are VMRS licensed, the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has code keys that allow for the standard categorization of warranty conditions, including things like claim type and claim response.
“People used to call this cause, complaint, correction – the three Cs,” notes Dossier’s Hausler. “TMC actually has code keys for types and response reasons and status, and if your system uses those and reporting standard terms, you have a much better chance of getting the refund from your OEM.”
Fleets who use Dossier’s software are able to utilize this functionality, and also require certain fields be completed on a work order to ensure all valid information is provided for a warranty claim.
Parts inventory management
Hagey Coach & Transportation Services utilizes the Dossier CMMS for parts inventory management, which allows for a more streamlined approach in tracking parts availability and use of parts for different services and repairs.
Bob Nolan, fleet and facility manager for Hagey, confirms his fleet diligently tracks parts inventory by placing a barcode on every part when reviewing the purchase order and stocking on the shelf. Personnel can use a tablet to conduct spot inventory checks.
“Each barcode label tells us the location of that part so you can give it to anybody to put away,” Nolan adds.
The audit is a key tool to know the overall status and provide the analysis, the assessment, the advice, the suggestions and the actions to take in order to cut costs and increase the efficiency and efficacy of the fleet. We propose the following fleet management audit.