Managing fleet maintenance becomes more complex the more assets you have. Fleet maintenance software and CMMS software were originally conceived in the 1960s to help manage maintenance operations. The software has evolved considerably since the 1960s with the advent of each new technology. Today more than ever it is an indispensable tool for transport managers. This article outlines the 9 benefits of fleet maintenance software.
First, what is fleet maintenance software?
Fleet maintenance software is used to track, manage, plan and schedule maintenance on fleet assets such as trucks, buses, waste vehicles, and commercial vans. Whereas CMMS is ideally suited to the manufacturing vertical; fleet maintenance software is tailored for the transport industry. Just like CMMS, fleet maintenance software includes standard functionality like work orders, work requests, time or meter-based preventive maintenance, parts management, and asset lifecycle tracking. In addition to that, fleet maintenance software includes more industry-specific features such as workshop repair bay planning and loading, service billing, vehicle assignments, and telematics integration.
1. Eliminate paper & associated duplication of effort
Fleet maintenance is already mobile so why not complete inspections on a mobile device?. A fleet maintenance mobile app enables drivers and technicians to complete and record inspections in the field in real-time; eliminating the need hand in the defect slip later. Real-time means defects can be highlighted by the driver immediately and addressed quickly by the maintenance technician before the issue turns into something more serious and costly. In addition, users also have access to vehicle history in the palm of their hands so they can quickly identify known or repeat issues. Logging inspections in a mobile app eliminates duplication of effort and reduces human errors when transcribing those defect slips from paper to excel.
2. Gain greater visibility on operations
Fleet maintenance software gives transport managers greater visibility across their maintenance operations. For example, they can quickly identify which technicians require further training, which technicians are unproductive, which assets are experiencing repeat issues, which drivers are not reporting defects, which parts are regularly failing in production, and which vendors perform the best. Getting greater insights like these helps transport managers make informed decisions, and implement the changes to make their operation more efficient.
3. Schedule the maintenance
Unplanned maintenance costs 3-9 times more than planned maintenance, so to limit maintenance costs, it makes sense to do more planned than unplanned maintenance. Best in class maintenance operations is ~85% planned maintenance. Above 85%, you start to experience diminishing returns where more scheduled maintenance makes no impact on reducing unplanned emergency breakdowns. Fleet maintenance software allows transport managers to better plan and schedule work, ensuring nothing is missed, and small issues are addressed before they turn into big issues.
4. Simplify purchasing
Many of the more robust fleet maintenance applications include both inventory and purchasing modules. Stock can be purchased within the application directly from the vendor and billed directly to the repair when consumed from stock. This helps limit the amount of manual paperwork when creating paper orders or billing customers.
5. Reduce parts stockouts
Parts stockouts can be expensive. Vendors tend to increase prices when parts are needed last minute, or during out of hours. When parts are consumed on assets in fleet maintenance software, stock levels are depleted in real-time. Purchasing managers can run reports to quickly identify which low stock parts need to be reordered.
6. Standardise your operations
It’s no secret that humans tend to forget things. Checklists are used in various different industries from healthcare to air travel to remove some of the human element. Checklists and procedures can be added to fleet maintenance software which ensures everyone is doing the work in the same way. That leads to more repeatable and predictable outcomes. You are less likely to see a vehicle come back to the shop as the technician forgot to refill the oil!
7. Make Compliance & Regulatory Audits a breeze
Organisations with commercial fleet must comply with national or European regulatory standards. For example, in Ireland fleet must be CVRT compliant, in the UK fleet must be DVSA compliant. When faced with an audit, folks using paper and pen must troll through files and folders to pull the required documentation. Sounds like a pain in the ass, doesn’t it! Organisations using fleet maintenance software can pull the required data in seconds from their fleet maintenance solution using standard reports or filtering.
8. Reduce safety incidents and accidents
Technicians tend to take more risks when completing unplanned maintenance. When the work is planned, technicians have time to prepare for the work such as tools, procedures, testing equipment etc. The time pressures associated with unplanned work leads to technicians jumping in unprepared and taking chances. More technicians die each year in the line of duty than fire, police and army combined.
Correctly configured fleet maintenance software is a database of safety procedures, documents, and checklists. Fleet maintenance software can help an organisation reduce environmental health and safety (EH&S) incidents considerably. Here are 3 such ways:
- By regularly performing safety checks on their fleets within the fleet maintenance app, operators can highlight issues early, and get them addresses by the workshop before they turn into something more serious.
- Fleet maintenance software helps organisations better plan and execute preventive maintenance on time.
- Outlining the correct PPE and procedures to complete the task at their fingertips in the fleet maintenance app means technicians have all the safety information they need to complete the work safely.
For more information on how maintenance software will improve health and safety, read our 7 ways fleet maintenance software improves health & safety blog.
9. Keep your maintenance budget under control
When your fleet maintenance operations are more repeatable and predictable, costs become repeatable and predictable and easier to control. The costs savings from implementing CMMS or fleet maintenance software are well documented. David Berger of Plant Services cites productivity gains of up to 30%, the total cost of ownership reduction of 20%, and a 15% reduction in rush orders.
The Bottom Line
Fleet maintenance software will help an organisation better track, manage and schedule planned and unplanned maintenance on their commercial fleet. Over time, it becomes the digital database of record for fleet maintenance operations. As a side effect of implementing a fleet maintenance solution, it will make everyone’s life easier, as demonstrated above. Remember, when making the digital transition to fleet maintenance software, it is critical to choose the solution with the required features and functionality, and with the right experience to ensure the project is a success.