In the fast paced, and sometimes chaotic, environment of today’s first response and public safety industry, a well maintained fleet is mission critical. Agencies cannot afford the loss of productivity that accompanies a unit being out of service for repair. The need to minimize maintenance timelines brings many to consider the possibility of a fleet maintenance software.
However, some fear that the automation of fleet management may lead to more headaches than solutions, especially as it relates to the learning curve and crew buy-in for the tool. Therefore, the question arises if a fleet maintenance software is worth the risk, or if it is better to maintain the status quo with spreadsheets and whiteboards? As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it,” right?
Well, while the current system may not be broken, per say, it does offer limitations on fleet visibility and internal communication. Furthermore, the administrative tasks of fleet maintenance can also lead to a drain on workforce hours which can limit team productivity. As we examine the case for if a fleet maintenance software is worth the effort, this article will lay out some of the top uses for automation of fleet management.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
One of the main benefits of a fleet maintenance software is the ability to schedule routine maintenance. Oil change, tire rotation, engine service, regardless of the work type, be able to know when maintenance is due well in advance and create a plan of action for how to account for the unit being out of service before it heads to the shop. With a software, you can establish maintenance triggers based on your unit type and what makes the most sense for it whether it be time, mileage or amount of trips. As the crew performs their daily unit checks, the information they input into the check sheet app will feed into the software back end and add to the information accumulation needed to prompt a trigger.
While a spreadsheet may help you track certain maintenance costs, a fleet maintenance software can help you establish full cost of ownership views. By tracking the parts and labor costs tied to each maintenance by unit, a software can create a complete view of how much a unit costs overtime. This aids in budget optimization and trend tracking, especially when looking to buy a new unit in the future.
Spot Maintenance Trends
Speaking of analyzing trends, this aspect can expand beyond cost trend analysis to include maintenance and repair frequency also. If a vehicle make or model continues to require maintenance or often visits the shop for a recurring problem, the fleet manager can spot this trend through the reporting function of a fleet maintenance software and better forecast when a unit will be down or plan a new course of action for repair. It can also be useful when planning future vehicle purchases or use cases for vehicle types.
Better than a radio, email or text message, Operative IQ’s fleet maintenance software expands upon most solutions through providing two-way, documented communication between field crews and fleet managers.
If crews notice a vehicle issue during their daily unit inspections, they can document repair requests in their check sheet app. This will then alert the fleet manager to the issue and automatically create a work order for the repair. Upon review of the repair request, fleet managers can communicate back to the crews through the fleet maintenance software and request more information. The fleet manager can also provide updates to the crew on the repair status and when the maintenance is complete. Another positive to this is the conversations regarding the vehicle will be logged and tied to the work order and unit for a comprehensive report on the vehicle.
A fleet maintenance software can streamline operations management procedures while also providing complete visibility across your fleet.