In the old days of fleet maintenance management, service events required a hurricane of phone calls and an avalanche of paperwork.
This system was unproductive and aggravating for everyone concerned, with people missing connections and operating at cross purposes. Repairs took longer and were more costly than necessary. Most importantly, many of the issues could have been avoided with effective inspections and appropriate preventive maintenance (PM) schedules in place beforehand.
Developing such a PM schedule was harder in the phone-and-paper and Excel spreadsheets days as well because it was nearly impossible to get a complete and accurate big-picture view of a fleet’s complete assets. Information may or may not have been entered into the appropriate forms, which may or may not have been filed in a place where they could be retrieved. In general, fleet maintenance management used to take place in a system in which the data was partial and disconnected.
Time for a Change
Unfortunately, reactive fleet maintenance is still all too common, and many fleets don’t realize what it’s costing them. By taking a reactive rather than a preventive or even proactive approach, managers are missing opportunities to lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) that results from breakdowns and downtime.
A better fleet maintenance management strategy is to take a functioning asset out of service for scheduled preventive maintenance (PM) rather than wait for it to fail or break down. A planned service event should involve less overall time out of service because you’ll waste less time waiting for parts and having the asset sit in the lot with no one knowing it’s ready to return to service. Also, having visibility to service history, OEM campaigns and recalls in addition to PM schedules allows you to proactively schedule or bundle service opportunities and reduce overall downtime.
Planned PM lowers the costs, both direct and indirect, that come with breakdowns. Other benefits are harder to quantify in dollars and cents but are no less valuable: Examples include fewer breakdowns, which often leads to improved driver satisfaction, and enhanced customer service.
Making the switch from a reactive to a proactive model is possible thanks to an array of new technology. For instance, by using the data that emerges from the use of VMRS codes during service events, managers can identify patterns or issues that might not be apparent when they’re looking at one truck at a time. Other data from telematics or individual service histories can also provide perspective that enables a proactive approach to fleet maintenance management.
To make the most of all of this data, you need a platform such as Service Relationship Management (SRM) that will allow you to access and share information in real time, add customized and mobile inspections to identify recurring problems, improve PM currency and more.
Fleet Managers, Join the Conversation
Do you feel that your fleet maintenance management system is still too reactive? What changes have you made to move to a more proactive, PM-oriented system? Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below.
Take the Next Step
Move beyond the old-fashioned reactive model and improve your fleet maintenance management system with Service Relationship Management (SRM).