What makes for reliable fleet services? We believe reliable fleet services can be achieved with thorough planning, high standards, and quality of work.
Planning for Preventative Maintenance
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This adage is a tried-and-true concept in fleet maintenance and repairs. A thorough, thoughtful fleet maintenance plan will ensure your fleet is maintained regularly, fully compliant with federal regulations, and your costs are minimal.
Reliable fleet services begin with a thorough preventative maintenance (PM) plan. At Amerit, we document all PMs in complete detail within our FMS and a backup paper file. These redundancies and thoroughness protect our clients from DOT fines and other risks if an FMS outage or unplanned incident occurs.
In addition to our PMs being thoroughly documented, our PMs are comprehensive. We cover over 51 individual items, inspecting and recording the condition of every operating system on the asset, as well as identifying corrective actions and repairs. This bumper-to-bumper, top-to-bottom PM also encompasses a safety check before returning the vehicle to service. This enables us to provide reliable fleet services because we can guarantee the asset is in optimal condition to perform its job.
Planning for Corrective Maintenance
Reliable fleet services cannot be offered without a thorough plan for corrective maintenance. Many fleets suffer from a high percentage of out-of-service vehicles from significant failures, long wait times for service, or budgetary constraints. Whatever the reason – downed vehicles can quickly drain the life and profitability out of fleet operations.
Developing a corrective maintenance plan means collaboratively creating a plan to keep your current fleet operating in prime condition while surging additional effort to bring downed vehicles back online or assessing lifecycle data to build a case to replace older, troublesome units.
“Set standards and live by them.” It’s well recognized in all industries that setting standards is essential to success; fleet maintenance is no exception. Fleet maintenance standards fall into two areas – Regulatory Standards and Quality Standards.
Regulatory standards are required by law. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are all responsible for enforcing DOT rules and regulations. If your fleet is in violation, there may be written warnings, stiff fines and penalties, and suspension of a company’s ability to operate.
Quality standards, unlike regulatory standards, reflect your expectation of excellence from your technicians and/or suppliers. These standards offer powerful insight and control over maintenance spending and suppliers’ performance.
Quality standards that we track at Amerit include:
- Performance to Standard Repair Times (SRTs) – this is an indicator of the efficiency and performance of our technicians to either industry standards or client-specific standards.
- Task Repeats – this is an indicator of the quality of our workmanship.
- Component Repeats – this measures the quality of parts of the workmanship of a corrective repair.
- Vehicle Repeats – this standard provides essential insight into potential vehicle lifecycle issues. (For example, aging vehicles will be in the shop more often as they require frequent maintenance to perform well. Knowing this, a Fleet Manager (FM) can make informed decisions on when the units need to be replaced.)
We’re committed to seeing vehicles when the PM is due. We disagree that 95% is acceptable; we strive for 100% on all regulatory standards. We create work schedules that focus on routine downtimes, even at night or on weekends, so the impact of services on your uptime is minimal. And when the program is further supported by strong leadership and client enforcement, reaching 100% PM Currency is routinely achieved.
QUALITY OF WORK
The saying goes, “Inspect what you expect.” If you are not inspecting, how can you expect it? This is key to providing reliable fleet services. Here are two critical areas to consider in helping measure and track quality.
The Power of Post Work Inspections (PWIs)
A good quality assurance program relies on random, unannounced, and regular post-work inspections. PWIs are the backbone of any QA program because they ensure vendors or staff deliver consistent quality vehicle maintenance. PWIs can also reduce costs by identifying training needs and promoting quality workmanship.
When performing PWIs, it’s always a good idea to go through it with the technician present. While inspection items may seem obvious to most FMs, others may not have the overall experience to identify areas of failure. If certain things are found unsatisfactory in the inspection, you will profit from using this moment as training and ensure that your expectations and standards are clear and communicated.
Turning Data Into Actionable Insights
Technology today has provided endless opportunities to collect data. However, collecting and turning data into actionable insights are two different things. Now more than ever, FMs need to distill data into actionable insights. We have an entire Account Management team at Amerit dedicated to helping our clients identify KPIs critical to their objectives and goals and monitoring them.
Some standard dashboards our clients use:
- Overall Maintenance Spend
- Labor Hours
- Expense by Repair Class
- Cost Per Unit
- PM Currency
- PM Currency Trend
- PMs Due
- Task Repeats
Our Account Managers (AMs) also proactively provide summary reports and spot areas of potential savings, trends, and potential problems. By digesting and providing maintenance data in this form, our clients have the macro and micro views necessary to track trends and make informed decisions about their fleet.
We believe reliable fleet services can be achieved with thorough planning, high standards, and quality of work. If you’re looking for a new reliable fleet maintenance provider, we encourage you to Talk To An Expert from Amerit Fleet Solutions today.