Many fleets spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement a vehicle maintenance management system. They pay recurring license fees to use that software to handle crucial maintenance related areas such as parts, maintenance plans, vehicle recalls, and work orders. However many of those companies then turn around and act as though all the time and money they spent putting those maintenance systems in place was just burning a hole through their pockets!
I am exaggerating, of course, but the point behind it is true. Organizations often go through the pain of installing maintenance management software, but then rely on employees to manually input the data that software uses as fuel. Engine data such as mileage and operating hours are crucial in tracking usage and advancing preventive maintenance plans. Relying on people to input that data presents a few problems.
Firstly, people are often not as diligent as they should be when it comes to maintaining their own vehicles. Worrying about a company vehicle is even further from their top priority than is the maintenance of their own car.
Also, even when employees do take the time to input data when they should, they are only human, prone to human error. Important recalls can be missed and potentially considerable amounts of time are wasted chasing down the correct values.
There are some great maintenance management systems out there, but without accurate and timely data to drive them, companies using them fall prey to the “junk in, junk out” problem. Wherever there is a fleet using maintenance software, there also needs to be equipment in place to automatically capture engine data.
However this best practice doesn’t need to break the bank. These days, when people think on-board equipment to track anything vehicle related, they often think of automatic vehicle location (AVL) modules which typically involve monthly recurring fees. AVL is not the only way to go. There are systems out there that use RF technology to capture engine data when vehicles come within a certain radius of a receiver. This type of hardware usually costs less and does not involve any kind of recurring communication costs.
So yes, properly maintaining fleet vehicles is absolutely crucial, but using a maintenance system reliant on human data entry is doing the job halfway. After all, people are only human!