Is your business still going through the fleet maintenance process manually? Entering a work order, scheduling the job, getting the truck in the shop, searching for parts in the warehouse, writing the bill out by hand and entering the information into a database? Or, is your current maintenance solution just not getting the job done? It’s time for you to consider your options. One option is to upgrade to a well-rounded maintenance solution that operates on the latest technology. But just how exactly does that process begin, and how does it work up until the point of go-live?
Here are 9 tips for how to select a fleet maintenance solution that works best for your business:
- Research. This is critical, especially if your company has never used an automated fleet maintenance solution. While it’s often a missed first step, this stage builds the groundwork for the rest of your research and decisions. A good place to start is to analyze best practices within the industry. Good sources for this research are other fleets in your space, fleet management consultants, potential vendors and online sources.
- Listen to your stakeholders. Talk to stakeholders to identify what they need to know and what is important to them. Key people to keep in the loop include management, end-users and anyone else who may be affected by the change. Once you have that, look for similarities and pull out the concepts – integration, cost of service, reporting and work time.
- Plan for a long-term change. Moving to best practices in fleet management often means process and even cultural changes. Prepare your team for this level of change and get their buy-in from the beginning. Also, having champions for the cause will help gain the trust of employees throughout your organization. Finally, change is an ongoing process that involves evolving even after the new system is live. Think about what you can do to improve success in the months and years following the go-live date.
- Look for a partner who will support you along the way. Your maintenance software needs to help keep your equipment running and your team efficient. It will sit at the heart of your organization. When you pick a software vendor, look for one that will be your partner for the long run – not just for the sale. Trust and capabilities are key.
- What are your needs? A good partner will help you understand best practices and find the software that not only meets your needs today, but your needs of the future as well. Also, make sure to focus on your business needs and not the names and technical terms. Other things to consider include:
- What types of equipment and how many pieces will you need to monitor?
- Do you outsource some maintenance or all of your maintenance?
- Do you use outside providers for breakdowns?
- Do you do service on equipment that is not owned by your company?
- Do you need to invoice for your services?
- What integrations will you need?
- Do you maintain a fleet parts inventory?
- Do you need to monitor and report warranty?
- What are your business and intelligence needs?
- Do you want to manage your own servers or have someone do that for you?
Remember, not every company is the same and no two implementations work the same. A good vendor will be honest and realistic about what they can offer you and what it will cost. These 9 tips cover what you must know before choosing a fleet maintenance solution. So, make sure that you are getting answers, in advance, to the questions that apply to your business.
Change isn’t always easy. Old habits are hard to break, especially when employees have been doing something the same way for years. You are making a software change for a reason. It’s important to teach employees the value of the new system. Help your team understand the end goals so that you and your entire team can make a successful move.
To learn more about what TMW has to offer and hear real stories from customers, watch the webinar “Five Critical Milestones for a Successful Fleet Maintenance Program.”Contact us today for a deeper conversation on what your business needs from a robust, scalable fleet maintenance solution for your continued success.