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Adding service value with technology and software

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maintenance-genericWhether maintenance is performed at company shops or by outside service providers, the key question is whether your maintenance choices are resulting in lower costs and reducing downtime.

“Effective service programs turn maintenance into a competitive advantage,” says Dick Hyatt, president and chief executive officer of Decisiv. “The most important consideration is that fleets and their service providers communicate and collaborate to collectively improve the management of service events for commercial vehicles.

“The key is to have access to real-time, in-context vehicle specifications and service histories, OEM data, warranty coverage, and recall and campaign information,” Hyatt continues. “Closed-loop systems can meet those information needs and deliver more effective service management resulting in proactive, consistent and cost-effective operations.”

Decisiv offers a Service Relationship Management (SRM) software platform that unifies service event management for commercial vehicles by enabling real-time communication and collaboration, and by improving visibility and consistency no matter where trucks and trailers are serviced. The SRM framework acts as a bridge between multiple, separate systems of information to bring together all parties in a service supply chain, resulting in improvements in asset performance and utilization.

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Decisiv says the platform addresses the 4 C’s of effective service event management:

❶ Connectivity that facilitates seamless data flow between assets, service points, OEMs and fleets;
❷ Communication that enables contextual information sharing and collaboration at the point of service;
❸ Controls that provide tools to reduce risk, increase efficiency and improve decision-making;
❹ Consistency across service networks and repair processes, including shared service histories, for real-time decision support and post-event reporting that drives accountability and process improvement.

SRM is already the choice of vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo, Mack, Hino, Peterbilt and Kenworth, as well as their dealers and call centers, and service networks, managed maintenance providers, and a growing number of fleets, Decisiv notes.

The advantages of technology

“The need to maintain and support aftermarket on-board technologies is often underestimated,” says Deryk Powell, president of Velociti. “If a system is not working properly or at all, fleets cannot realize the benefits they anticipated when making a technology investment.

“Fleets deploy a range of technologies for a variety of reasons, including fuel savings, safety and operations management, but the benefits of those systems quickly erode if they aren’t maintained and supported,” Powell continues. “A reactive approach to technology support leads to increased downtime while a proactive, preventative approach can assure that savings, benefits and ROI are realized.”

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Velociti, a provider of technology deployment services, also offers its VelociCare program for post-deployment support of aftermarket on-board technologies. The subscription-based program can be customized based on service categories, length of term, fleet size, response times, geography, predicted needs and other parameters. The program’s offerings include:

✓ Program and project management
✓ Proactive system health monitoring
✓ System troubleshooting by Velociti’s Tech Support Call Center
✓ Hardware repair and replacement
✓ System upgrades
✓ Hardware installations, removals and transfers
✓ Inventory processing, shipping and staging
✓ User training
✓ Extended warranties

“VelociCare makes it easier to budget and plan for technology support, maintenance and repairs, leading to lower costs, risk mitigation and ROI integrity,” Powell says. “Turnkey support for aftermarket on-board technologies addresses problems before they become even more costly.”

Software solutions

“Overall, it is about being comfortable with an aftermarket service provider’s ability and commitment to integrate with a fleet’s information management technology and drive real data integration that will help improve operations,” says Greg Peck, AMS product manager at TMW Systems. “Optimizing all aspects of outsourced maintenance is impacted by how well the fleet and the service provider are able to integrate systems.”

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TMT Service Center maintenance software from TMW is designed to manage fleet records, including unit information, pending repairs, repair histories, and more, in a single database that is accessible to fleets. The truck repair shop software, through secure, online access, enables fleet managers to view reports, schedule maintenance or request repair quotes, and to have real-time visibility into work orders.

Since 2006, Master Fleet has used the TMT Service Center solution to manage all maintenance and repairs for customers at its facilities in Green Bay, Neenah and Milwaukee, Wisc., and it implemented the software at a new service center in Fort Worth, Texas. The company also uses the software to manage road calls for fleets through a nationwide network of vendors.

“With the reporting capabilities and key performance indicators that are established and tracked with the TMT Service Center software, we can make improvements in maintenance costs and equipment and driver utilization, and reduce breakdowns,” says Tom Anderson, president of Master Fleet. “Depending on their operations and how many best practices are implemented, the cost savings for customers ranges from 5% to 30%.”

A key feature of the software’s integration capabilities is data analytics. For Master Fleet customers, TMT Service Center provides performance metrics, including detailed cost reports and vehicle lifecycle data, and has drill-down capabilities that enable customized reporting. The analyses of trends in specifications and maintenance practices lead to more informed and effective budget, operations and equipment choices.

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“Database and reporting capabilities are what lead to keeping costs as low as possible and asset utilization as high as possible for our customers,” Anderson says.

Click here to read our full story on aftermarket service and support innovations.

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