Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 136
There are two ways to approach vehicle downtime when you
are responsible for a company fleet. Traditionally, a fleet manager had to guess how long repairs were going to take based
on arbitrary milestones, like when a vehicle entered the shop,
when the repair is finished and when it was returned to the driver - if they could even determine when these things happened.
It's a long-accepted standard practice, but it's less than ideal. What this
guesstimate doesn't do is account for
the amount of time a vehicle may sit
on the lot waiting to be serviced or
waiting for pickup after the repair is
complete. Fortunately, technology has
created a better - and more cost-effective - way to manage downtime.
New solutions can serve as a fleet
manager's eyes and ears in the field
to eliminate this unaccounted time in
their downtime projections.
GPS technology has revolutionized
downtime tracking. It gives companies more information and greater
visibility into where their vehicles
are, which in turn gives them the capability to move vehicles from the
shop back into service quickly.
A fleet manager can be notified the
instant a vehicle enters a repair shop
thanks to geo-fencing technology.
With geo-fencing, the shop is surrounded by a virtual boundary that
triggers a notification when the vehicle crosses it.
This real-time notification that a vehicle is not on the road allows a fleet
manager to pick up the phone and get
the repairs going as soon as possible,
instead of waiting for the repair shop
Geo-fencing can also be helpful
in ensuring a vehicle is back on the
road ASAP. In some instances, drivers may be lax in returning a newer
model rental vehicle and let their everyday vehicle sit in the shop for an
extra day or two.
That only means rental costs are
higher than they should be. But with
geo-fencing, a fleet manager can
know if a repair has been completed
but the vehicle has not been picked
up and take action to get that vehicle
back on the road.
In addition to the rental costs, the
expense of towing it to the shop and
the repairs, it's important to consider the cost of your employees being
on the sidelines and not performing
their job duties, which puts a pause
on their profitability. As an example,
consider a sales representative with
an annual salary of $50,000 (plus
$15,000 in benefits), who is responsible for $100,000 in profits each year.
Assuming this person works 260 days
per year and eight hours a day, it is
costing the company $79.32 (in hard
and soft costs) for every hour this
employee sits idle without access to
a vehicle. There could be additional
downtime costs on top of this if the
employee is generating revenue for
the company by performing a service
or making a delivery.
>> A strict preventative maintenance schedule is the first step in reducing the cost associated with downtime.
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
What's the easiest way to start reducing the costs associated with downtime? A strict preventative mainte-