Fleet Maintenance - 8
How you can make the most
out of your shop's ROs
Standardization in the repair order process can
make data collection more efficient and consistent
Fleets today are faced with the challenge
of figuring out what to do with all the data they
collect. It's certainly not the lack of data, but
more so what to do with it.
Start the process by keeping it simple: look
at the overall productivity picture of the shop.
A maintenance shop's productivity is
measured in hours worked. Is your shop
making the most out of these hours? An evaluation of your current repair processes can help
assess current performance to set a benchmark
and can help improve shop efficiency.
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA)
recently held a forum to provide fleet maintenance personnel insight into best practices
for maintenance workflow through a seminar
titled Maintenance Workflow Best Practices,
which is part of the TCA Profitability Program
(TPP). TPP events are designed to provide best
practices for fleets in any number of departments within the fleet operation, such as maintenance, safety, finance, and more.
TCA Managing Director Jack Porter led this
particular program for attendees, sharing
insights from his time as a consultant for both
dealers and independent fleets.
He suggested a review of the current repair
order process and a method for creating and
monitoring consistent standard repairs.
Best practices for the
repair order process
Productivity is measured by the number of
hours paid, compared to the number of hours
put into a job. To do this, compare shop hours
versus repair order (RO) hours. Porter shared
insights on how fleets can improve and optimize the RO order process in the shop.
Start at the front desk
The RO should be started on the
system at the front desk, Porter says.
He also stressed the importance of capturing a
signature at the time the RO is created - either
digitally or manually. If something happens to
that truck and you don't have a signature, you
could face a lawsuit, Porter advises.
Use standard coding
The only way to review
historical data and benchmark your operations is through standardization. Be sure that
jobs are coded to standard repair times (SRTs)
8 Fleet Maintenance | July 2019
and with the vehicle maintenance recording
standards (VMRS) established by the American
Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology &
Maintenance Council (TMC).
Nearly all attendees at the seminar recorded VMRS codes in some form, though it was
up for debate how detailed each operation
went. Recording only the three-digit code will
provide a more high-level view. This represents
the vehicle system. Many shops will record
the six-digit code, which includes both the
vehicle system and the component. The most
detailed fleets record the full nine-digit code,
which includes the vehicle system, component,
and area of the component. It is important to
note that you can always get less detailed, but
if you're not recording the data in the first place,
you cannot get more granular.
Include PM details
When recording information
on the RO, be sure to also
include preventive maintenance (PM) inspection details. This process can be expedited
with electronic recording systems, versus
pen and paper. One reason is, job codes can
also be pre-loaded with the parts necessary
for that job depending on your maintenance
Appoint a service
Another important aspect to
consider is communication
between the driver and the maintenance
department, to gather additional information
about the truck's performance and potential
issues. For consistency, have one point-person -
such as a service coordinator - code every job.
Another suggestion that came from this
discussion was issuing internal service bulletins on chronic repairs, especially when there
are similar issues showing up in the same
trucks. Alert your entire team about these
issues, providing a workflow and parts necessary to fix the issue. This can also help your
fleet watch for trends, and what parts are needed, helping to prepare for an influx of issues
with similar truck models.
Figure out the top
As it relates to standardization, consider build-
With any change,
ing your standard repair times (SRTs) internally. Porter detailed that dealers often have
a number of SRTs in place to quickly record the
length of time a repair will take.
Creating SRTs benefit shops in two primary
Ü SRTs give technicians an estimated amount
of time for how long a job will take. Keep in
mind, newer technicians will take longer.
Seasoned technicians may be more efficient
and take less time. Some shops also incentivize technicians for having a completed labor
time under the SRTs they've completed.
Ü SRTs let operations know how long you'll
need that vehicle to be out of service to
complete the work.
To establish a list of SRTs, start with the top
jobs completed by your technicians on a regular basis. Porter suggested the top 30 repairs
to start. You can create a baseline by asking
technicians how long they believe it takes
to complete certain jobs. Examples include
the time it takes to complete PMs, wheel seal
installs, brake jobs, etc.
Expanding on the SRTs, consider building out a standardized repair that not only
includes the estimated time it should take a
technician to complete the service, but also a
parts list for that repair. This can help the technician no longer search for each part and plan
ahead before getting into the service.
Communication and transparency with
technicians are important. Be sure to get their
feedback to ensure the SRTs make sense. If
you change the SRTs, be sure to communicate
changes with the technicians.
With any change, always consider employee
buy-in. Change must come from the top down
in order for the implementation of new processes to be successful.
Does your shop track top standard repairs?
What tips can you offer others when it comes
to improving the RO process? I welcome your
insights. Feel free to share your thoughts at erica@
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - 34
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 56
Fleet Maintenance - 57
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 59
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 63
Fleet Maintenance - 64