By now, you may already be aware of the enormous benefits a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) brings to the table. From planning maintenance and reducing downtime to meticulously tracking inventory, efficient use of data can have a big impact on your bottom line. Beyond manufacturing and plant maintenance, your CMMS platform can bring the same financial and productivity benefits to your vehicle fleet. As advanced features like GPS trackers and “smart” diagnostic sensors are increasingly integrated in today’s automobiles, it’s never been a more opportune time to make the most of the mountains of data your vehicles generate every single day.
Despite continuing advances in vehicle technology, or maybe because of them, repair costs are on the rise, exceeding the average rate of inflation for the last five years. Many of these expenses can be avoided through routine preventative maintenance. As we’ve previously discussed, smart planning using integrated data can reap big benefits to profits and productivity. Fleet management technology operates under the same principle.
Since each of your vehicles will be tallying up a lot of miles, inconsistently and over a long period of time, it can be difficult to stay on top of the scheduled maintenance needs of each individual automobile. Fleet management through your CMMS software will help you effortlessly track the performance of your fleet and notify you when a vehicle is in need of an oil change, tire rotation, or other essential upkeep. From taxis to tow trucks, fleet management can intelligently address the unique maintenance needs of every vehicle in your operation.
With a CMMS platform, you’ll know exactly how often certain parts tend to fail, allowing you to keep your inventory stocked with the only the replacements you need. You’ll not only minimize wasteful purchases of superfluous materials and overstocked, impossible to navigate storerooms, you’ll also be able to avoid expensive overnight shipping costs when you find yourself missing a desperately-needed transmission that’s only made in Germany. When the inevitable breakdown does occur, your fleet management software can keep expensive downtime to the bare minimum by ensuring you have the parts you need, when you need them.
The potential savings through fleet management extend outside of the repair shop. Last year’s remarkable and warmly-welcomed fall in fuel prices has apparently bottomed out, and we’re already seeing the cost of fuel begin to rebound. While there’s no cause for alarm yet, it’s never a bad time to start maximizing fuel efficiency using your CMMS platform’s fleet management capabilities.
Hopefully, you’re already using a fleet management system to effectively schedule preventative maintenance on your vehicles. In addition to costs you’ll save on downtime and repairs, a properly maintained vehicle is also a more fuel efficient one. Simple tuning and emissions compliance can boost efficiency by 4%, for example, while more serious problems such as faulty oxygen sensors can reduce fuel use by up to 40%. Fleet management software can make you aware of these problems and give you the chance to repair them before they start dragging on your bottom line.
If you’re using fleet management software to track the mileage of the vehicles in your fleet, you could also consider enforcing a maximum speed policy. Beyond ensuring the safety of your employees and others, and avoiding costly accidents and insurance premiums, studies have show that fuel efficiency significantly decreases at speeds above 50 miles per hour. Monitoring your vehicles’ maximum speeds through odometer and other fleet management data can result in huge long-term returns. For example, when office retailer Staples limited their drivers to 60 miles per hour in 2006 they saw a 30% increase in fuel efficiency, resulting in an annual savings of over one million gallons. While your operation may not be on quite the same scale as Staples, these small measures can add up to large savings down the line.
Fleet management benefits organizations of all sizes, from the small business owner to massive operations. Automotive Resources International, the largest privately held vehicle fleet manager in the world, uses fleet management technology to track 14,000 different metrics, allowing staff to cut decision-making time, save on parts, and focus their operations to better serve their clients. UPS, the world’s largest private shipper, uses their own proprietary fleet management technology to dramatically reduce their preventative maintenance inspections and increase the reliability of its vehicles. No matter how large the fleet, the fundamentals and benefits are the same.
Thanks to today’s technology we’re capable of generating an enormous amount of data with every inch our vehicles travel. Fleet management technology integrated into your existing CMMS solution, can parse every kilobyte and collect mountains of diverse information within one convenient interface. With tools like this at your disposal you can rest assured that your fleet is operating safely, effectively, and cost-efficiently.