Data is the binary representation of work. Truck in, truck out; fault code triggered, fault code cleared; parts inventory purchased, parts inventory used. It’s all trackable and measurable, but the trick is seeing how it all comes together. What has typically been seen on balance sheets now extends to other productivity key performance indicators (KPIs) like average truck dwell time, technician efficiency and inventory management. Bring all those KPIs together and now you see how you stack up against other service operations, as long as you’re talking data apples to apples.
“In order to improve, you have to have objective data and then you have to know where you are in relation to the baseline—am I doing better or am I doing worse?” said Jason Skoog, PACCAR vice president and Peterbilt Motors Co. general manager.
Peterbilt is nearing the end of its the PACCAR Solutions Service Management rollout. It’s a tool that is now live at more than 90% of Peterbilt’s dealer locations and will soon be integrated into every Peterbilt service location. It collects, aggregates and analyzes data to provide its servicing dealers with a benchmark, giving them the ability to see how they stack up against other Peterbilt dealers when it comes to KPIs such as average truck dwell time at the location.
“I truly believe that unless you have the objective data that truly tells you what your average dwell time is, what your outliers are, you can’t improve your metrics. Now that our dealers have that, we feel like there’s going to be a strong improvement,” Skoog said. “In knowing it we are able to have the conversation: ‘Look, last month your dwell time was X number of days and it’s trending up or it’s trending down. If it’s trending up, what are you going to do differently? If it’s trending down, what did you do differently? How can we take what you did and share it with somebody else to improve things across the network?’”
I can see that worried look on your face—it’s the same one worn by drivers several years ago before the ELD mandate was put into place. I can already hear the calls of “Big Brother!” as you feel your fleet manager digitally looking over your service management shoulder. But the fact of the matter is that as a heavy-duty service manager, you’re already on the chopping block when it comes to service profitability and productivity, and that’s true for fleet-owned, independent and dealer service locations alike. Wouldn’t you like to do better?
Then you have to start tracking what you’re already doing and improve upon it. That’s a reality that even the Peterbilt dealerships on the new PACCAR platform have to contend with.
“We’ve made a dashboard available to our dealers that shows what their average dwell time is, what their average triage time is and what percentage of the trucks that are serviced actually go through the triage process. Then, it shows them how effectively they’re actually using the system,” Skoog explains. “Say you had a hundred RO’s, but you only used the system on 80 of those. We’re driving adoption and utilization by providing that dashboard at the dealer principal level, so they can look and make sure that all the statistics that they need to be paying attention to are being paid attention to. So we have these new objective metrics that they can compare themselves across the network and understand how they can be better.”
You can get started by taking stock of what data you are generating and into which platforms it flows. From there you can reach out to other service partners—independent and OEM alike—to find out how you stack up compared with their operations and find the operations with whom you’d want to partner via service contracts, and perhaps even shared data.