When a commercial fleet is not functioning at 100% and performing as well as its competitors, it’s easy to focus on the technicians and their productivity level. However, it’s important to look past what appears to be the obvious and see what other potential elements may be involved. Every detail on this list may not seem like much on its own, but the elements combined make a powerful impact on fleet benchmarks.
1. Planning Metrics
A company needs to understand its limitations and how to design benchmarks around them. This foresight is overlooked by far too many, and results in companies not achieving any of their goals. Set realistic benchmarks that represent a company goal and also provide a way to recognize which factors may be preventing that goal from being achieved.
Overreaching will only prove to be detrimental to the fleet. Unrealistic benchmarks that cannot be attained will make fleet management and staff appear inept. Start off slowly and build up percentage increases as key performance factors are identified and weeded out.
2. Technician Performance
The lower the experience and knowledge, the less a technician will be able to produce. To improve performance, provide training and only assign tasks to technicians who are able to perform what is being asked.
3. Supervisor Performance
Supervisors working closely with staff are typically the difference makers. It’s important that supervisors have a superior technical knowledge to demonstrate authority to the employees they manage in order to establish order. Having supervisors that are fair to everyone and display professionalism produce a fair better work environment for employees.
4. Administration Performance
Proper leadership from management has department-wide implications. Management must be able to identify any benchmark issues, have the ability to evaluate and modify the process, and create a measure for changes in efficiency. Great fleet managers should possess analytical skills and leadership qualities.
5. Worker Morale
The impact of employee morale has varying degrees of intensity that are problematic to measure. A lack of recognition for good work or no opportunities to participate in departmental decisions adds to a feeling of insignificance that causes poor performance.
Employees concerned about factors like wage, job security, working conditions and future goals can lead to an overall lower morale in the work environment that can lead to equipment abuse.
6. Fleet Management Information System
Create a system to determine the accuracy of the reporting and the fleet’s ability to identify, analyze and correct inefficient processes. Incorrect operating hours, insufficient repair code structure, wrongly identified equipment classifications and improper equipment availability requirements all have a direct impact on availability reporting.
These issues all add up to an inability to assess problems and determine what appropriate course of action should be taken. If a company cannot establish which tasks are taking too long to complete, then it will be impossible to correct the deficiency.
7. Preventive Maintenance Platform
Having well-positioned preventive maintenance intervals will decrease the need for unscheduled repairs and reduce downtime. And as an ongoing quality control item, make sure that vehicles being brought in for unscheduled repairs are being logged and checked to see if the issue should have been caught during preventive maintenance. This will identify if the preventive maintenance program is performing as effectively as possible.
8. Parts Management
Beyond purchase, organization and inventory, parts managers determine work flow across the board. Significant delays can easily occur by not being properly stocked or by improperly handled administrative tasks. Having well-documented contact materials, manufacturer information, parts that are provided and a copy of the contract will eliminate delays and confusion.