Servicing another company’s fleet can be beneficial in that a volume of maintenance work can earned from one client. The retail adage that a small profit margin spread over a large volume of sales results in a large profit holds true in this situation. From the client’s perspective having another company service its fleet equates to outsourcing. Most likely the expectation is that the fleet service provider will handle all aspects of managing maintenance and repair of the fleet. Providing fleet services requires effective scheduling, administrative functions and operational procedures. Following are keys to providing quality fleet service management:
- Examine Repair Incidents – The purpose of fleet services management is to minimize repair requirements. Different vehicles will be prone to failures in different areas. Preventive maintenance schedules may need to be revised to eliminate failures.
- Minimize the Number of Times a Vehicle is Serviced – It’s more cost effective to have a vehicle serviced fewer times with more services performed. The goal should be to service the vehicle no more often than the most frequently performed preventive maintenance service.
- Incorporate Predictive Maintenance into Schedules – Analyzing part failures on certain types of vehicles can indicate average service life. Then part replacements can be incorporated into preventive maintenance schedules so the failure is avoided.
- Include Vehicle Checks – Maintaining a fleet for another company presents a challenge in that the vehicles are not physically accessible. Usage can be inconsistent and average mileage or calendar time between service intervals may not be a reliable source for maintenance scheduling. Odometer checks can help determine whether maintenance is required sooner than scheduled.
- Project Vehicle Maintenance Costs – Planning for operational expenditures is important for the fleet owner. Projecting maintenance costs based on service schedules is important. Also comparing maintenance costs to the value of the vehicle can support decisions on obsolescence and replacement.
- Minimize Indirect Costs to the Fleet Owner – Any activity involving the fleet that is not directly involved in delivery of goods and services for the fleet owner is an indirect cost. From the shop perspective, when managing a fleet for a client company all activities that don’t involve actual maintenance of vehicles are indirect costs. Minimizing these activities via automation and process streamlining will contain costs to the fleet owner.