Fleet data is key to every aspect of fleet operations, including monitoring, and measuring efficiency, safety, and maintenance. Every bit of fleet maintenance data is particularly valuable because it touches so many aspects of your operation.
Maintenance data can be used to:
- Develop cost and warranty controls
- Manage lifecycles
- Improve preventative maintenance
- Maximize vehicle uptime
- Control Repair Quality
How can you convert fleet data into actionable information? It starts with your technicians.
TECHNICIANS AS DATA GATHERERS
While fleet data is captured in a number of ways, via telematics and automated systems, the most useful and powerful maintenance data is actually gathered by the technicians working on the vehicles.
Unlike other areas of fleet operations, the collection of maintenance data is fundamentally a human-centered process. Some fleets may rely on administrative assistance or fleet personnel, but the most effective method of capturing data is having your technicians gather data in real time while the maintenance work is being performed.
Technicians are the best personnel to entrust with the task of entering fleet data. Why? Because of their expertise. They’re able to answer the 3 C’s: complaint, cause and correction for each failure and subsequent repair.
Technician-generated data creates the foundation of the maintenance data stream, allowing your fleet to manage uptime and route schedules, effectively measure total cost of ownership (TCO), and to better cycle vehicles at the correct time. Today’s technician is more than just an expert in repairs. They must also be computer literate, and understand why it’s important to capture fleet data for you.
What kind of data should technicians be capturing?
From a maintenance data perspective, technicians should provide information critical to operations and the lifecycles of your vehicles. Ideally, technicians capture data in your FMS:
- Repair reasons
- Task codes
- OBD trouble codes
- Component codes
- Vehicle number
- Customer number
- Shop number
- Technician ID
- Time of day
Your fleet has unique needs, and your operations team will depend on different data to support your assets depending on your industry, location, and other factors.
TELEMATICS AS A SUPPORTING TOOL
Telematics have grown rapidly in the last decade, but when it comes to maintenance operations, telematics are still relatively limited. From a maintenance perspective, telematics can’t provide the kind of details that a technician working on a vehicle can provide through first-hand observation.
Telematics is limited in it’s capacity to determine:
- Preventative vs. corrective maintenance
- Driver-induced vs. accident damage
- Some information about warrantable failures.
As a maintenance support tool, telematics can provide insight to the vehicle operation, which can help pinpoint causes of an event, but not share the direct details or consequences of that event. For deeper insight into the maintenance consequences of an event, it’s still dependent on the technician to evaluate the vehicle and determine what happened.
For example, an abrupt stop captured by a telematics device will indicate an event occurred, but not the specifics. It will take a technician to evaluate the vehicle and determine whether a repair was the result of normal wear damage or a result of something the driver did.
INTEGRATING THE DATA STREAM
The amount of fleet data available can be overwhelming, which is why it’s critical you know what data can be used for useful, actionable intelligence.
We believe you can manage and integrate maintenance data, along with other data to improve operations by:
- Setting up Preventative Maintenance (PM) Schedules: Combining maintenance data captured by a technician with operational data, such as mileage from a fuel card or telematics, can be used to set up regular PM schedules. Maintenance data can be used to monitor demand repairs – seeing how closely these repairs are done after a regular PM, and providing a clear picture about maintenance quality.
- Monitoring Workforce Quality: Systems can be used to track technician’s productivity and efficiencies. For example, are repairs taking too long? Are there to many callbacks? Etc.
- Identifying the Best Prices, Quality Suppliers, and Warranties: Integrating maintenance data with an FMS parts module can help monitor parts failure frequency and inform parts purchasing decisions as it relates to quality – helping procurement identify the best prices and quality suppliers. An FMS can also help track vehicle manufacturer and aftermarket warranty, providing data that monitors that the claim is being captured.
When it comes to gathering fleet data, we believe technicians are essential. To learn how our technicians can help you gather the right information, contact our sales team and discuss your fleet maintenance needs here: please fill out this form. Looking to connect? Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook.