Davis says a plan is essential to reach the goal of doing more for less. State program goals, design a plan, and recruit support before beginning, he advises. Davis lays out the following guidelines for each category: 1. Credibility
Fleet staff must be credible, honest, and reliable. Sound decisions must be made throughout, supported with industry benchmarks. Proposals for change and/or improvements must be backed by documentation. Certifications are mandatory for all levels, including the facility. 2. Accountability
Costs must be identified, with the justification for those costs. A computerized fleet management system is necessary, particularly to track such areas as:
Remain current with industry trends, both good and bad ones. Learn how to implement good trends and then do it. Learn how to defend fleet facility from the bad trends and then prepare for them. Train and educate customers and management about fleet’s future goals and plans. Understand what services fleet can do well and outsource the rest, up to 15 percent. Recruit, hire, and retain quality technicians, certified in all applicable areas. 4. Support
You cannot do it alone. Solicit and accept support from:
The CATS system provides fleet managers several benefits, allowing them to: 1. Use internal re-issuing to assist underfunded departments.
One capital purchase can improve several departments by passing units down. Underfunded departments tend to “wear out” vehicles. Completely worn-out units burden fleet maintenance costs. Units with 50 percent of life left are well received by underfunded departments. A worn-out unit is eliminated and a new unit with warranty replaces it. 2. Take advantage of new vehicle warranties.
A new-vehicle purchase can displace and eliminate a high maintenance-cost unit. A new vehicle can defer major repair costs for an operation for years. In tracking warranty periods, “goodwill” adjustments can be arranged for a vehicle just beyond the warranty period. 3. Obtain a higher trade-in value, if the vehicle cannot be re-issued.
Trade-ins can be used to lower capital expenditures. Monies from higher resale values can be used to build special programs. Recapitalization and accident programs can be funded. 4. Take advantage of new fuel injection technologies, which offer:
The specification/procurement process can be used to standardize fleet vehicles. Standardizing vehicles also standardizes parts needs, and parts inventory can be reduced. Buying power improves when dealing with multiples of the same unit. Technician training budget can be minimized. 7. Take advantage of new emissions technologies.
Older units may not run on new alternative fuels without costly modifications. New low-emissions units help maintain an area’s clean air attainment status. 8. Improve customer satisfaction.
Operators appreciate a unit that stays on the job, not in the shop. Allowing operator input on new purchases promotes ownership. Operators satisfied with the shop’s performance won’t avoid it. Operators who avoid bringing units in for work wear out those units. 9. Reduce abuse occurrences.
Abuse is more easily identified on a unit in like-new condition. Identifying abuse helps reduce it. Operators are more likely to abuse an old, poorly maintained unit. The operator mindset “If they don’t care, why should we?” can be diminished. 10. Seize fleet reduction opportunities.
Younger, well-maintained fleets require fewer backup units. Worn-out and unused back-up units can be eliminated. A fewer number of multi-purpose units can replace several individual units. Evaluating vehicle use can lead to developing sharing or “pool” programs. 11. Reduce staffing levels.
A younger fleet experiences fewer maintenance problems. A reduced workload can cut staffing requirements. Cutting positions frees up money to pay for certified technicians. Higher quality, well-paid technicians can improve productivity. 12. Reduce downtime.
Newer vehicles have fewer major repairs, reducing downtime. Fewer parts need to be ordered. 13. Incorporate new safety technologies, including: