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Surfacing key service metrics for stakeholders

Oct. 4, 2022
With the right data, fleet maintenance managers can confidently demonstrate the need to retire costly assets, procure new vehicles, equipment, and tools, and even hire additional technicians to improve service workload distribution for increased uptime.

Capturing and reporting on asset service data is a major component in understanding how a fleet is performing, and where additional resources are needed. However, stakeholders have different needs when it comes to what fleet reports matter most in terms of decision-making. Putting the right data in the right hands can help fleet maintenance managers successfully advocate for needed resources, reduce breakdown and repair instances, and improve uptime fleet-wide.

Communicating fleet needs through data

Part of fleet management is helping stakeholders understand that you can’t keep older pieces of fleet going forever. Using assets beyond their optimal replacement window can cause increased service costs and downtime, and tank ROI. Additionally, holding onto assets past their replacement date can negatively impact driver and operator engagement. Collecting data around performance metrics, such as maintenance versus repair costs, downtime, service times, fuel consumption, and recurring mechanical issues, gives maintenance managers insights into which assets’ costs outweigh their value and how those assets are affecting productivity.

Asset acquisitions are costly, and you’ll likely need to prove the need for asset recycling and procurement to stakeholders. Additionally, without data to back up the need, it can be difficult to advocate for additional labor hours and employees to help balance service workloads for improved time to service. To clearly present these needs to stakeholders, it’s important to understand your fleet data and be able to speak to the cost and productivity benefits of new pieces of fleet. Showing your expertise of the fleet and backing up that expertise with data can help you satisfy stakeholder questions and concerns.

“If you can demonstrate that you’ve got control of your fleet, it’s been my experience [stakeholders are] way more inclined to let you have some money, because now they feel like you’re going to control that money as well as you’re controlling your fleet,” said Bob Polka, director of fleet operations, Treeways.

While it may be tricky to analyze siloed fleet data, fleets across all industries are seeing the benefits in adopting an integrated fleet management software (FMS) to consolidate disparate data for maximum fleet insights. FMS automatically collects service-related data from such sources as inspections, digital work orders, third-party service providers, and telematics devices.

Tailoring reports to stakeholder interests

Although you can extend asset lifecycles through proactive and preventive maintenance (PM), there comes a point in time when assets become money pits. Having benchmarks to compare service-related data and technician productivity against allows you to see which assets are causing increased downtime and whether shop efficiency can be increased by hiring more technicians. This data helps lend credence to the need for asset recycling and procurement and increasing labor hours. When it comes to tailoring key metrics reports to decision-makers, it pays to understand your audience in addition to your data. This will help you determine what metrics specific individuals need to see when you’re advocating for needed resources. Some key fleet metrics for specific stakeholders include:

  • CEO: CEOs typically want to see more high-level metrics relating to ROI. They’re more likely to want to know if the fleet needs to spend the money, and why? What is the benefit from spending the money? When running reports for CEOs or lobbying for resources, you can use such data as total cost of ownership (TCO) reports to show how much older vehicles are costing the fleet compared to newer vehicles.
  • COO: The COO may need to be convinced as to how new purchases will increase productivity. When discussing fleet purchases with the COO, talk productivity influencers such as start-of-day impact, reliability, and safety. Use vehicle status and utilization summary reports to show the amount of downtime that could be reduced with newer, more reliable assets.
  • CFO: The CFO will mostly be concerned with cost-related metrics, including projected ROI for new assets. In addition to TCO, you can use fuel and maintenance reports to show how much specific vehicles are running up those budgets.
  • Safety Manager: Your safety manager will likely be most interested in data related to driver behavior as well as documentation like background checks, inspections, and hours of service logs. Maintenance-related data such as inspection failure and DTC fault reports can go a long way in proving newer assets might be safer on the road.
  • Lead Technician: Your lead technician is probably already going to be knowledgeable about the state of the fleet, and if you’ve got a few vehicles that have outlived their usefulness, they’re likely the first to know. Using vehicle status and service summary reports, you and your lead technician can determine which vehicles are in most need of replacement to make a data-driven procurement plan.

Using FMS for service reporting

Procuring needed fleet resources can be a large upfront expense.

“If you can change that mindset to say ‘Hey, everything we do in this company needs fleet to do what they do, to make sure everything happens.’ Nothing really happens in any company that has vehicles without those vehicles running and doing what they need to do,” Polka said.

With this mindset and the right data, fleet maintenance managers can confidently demonstrate the need to retire costly assets, procure new vehicles, equipment, tools, and other needed assets, and even hire additional technicians to improve service workload distribution for increased uptime.

FMS automates fleet-wide data collection and integrates with other fleet and business solutions to consolidate data for maximum visibility. FMS aggregates collected data and automatically generates key fleet management reports that you can have sent to specific stakeholders at customizable intervals. FMS further helps improve fleet efficiency, productivity, and uptime by automating maintenance workflows.

Rachael Plant is a content marketing specialist for Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations.

About the Author

Rachael Plant | Content Marketing Specialist | Fleetio

Rachael Plant is a Content Marketing Specialist for Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations.

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