By Laura Flowers
Like most industries, restoration is rapidly evolving, and meeting demand is more challenging than ever. To meet customer demand, restoration companies must ensure their vehicle fleet is safe and reliable. Fleet management often takes a back seat to other aspects of the business, but without an operating group of assets, you can’t ensure productivity on the whole. In this technology-rich society, it’s easier than ever to track every aspect of your restoration fleet.
While many associate technology upgrades with massive investments and arduous implementations, that isn’t the case with fleet management technology. Cloud-based software is not only cost effective, but it also only requires an internet connection to quickly activate all computers and mobile devices.
Digitizing data onto a single platform ensures your team is synchronized in its management efforts and that stakeholders can easily track and analyze fleet performance to lower costs and prevent downtime.
An uphill battle
With so many moving parts and operations to oversee, managing a variety of assets is difficult. This seemingly daunting task usually falls to one person or a small team, stretching management thin.
Adding to that, many restoration companies are still using outdated systems like spreadsheets to manage fleet processes. This not only proves inefficient, it also prohibits you from efficiently tracking operations, causing needless errors and unnecessary downtime.
To scale your business and keep up with competitors, leveraging software to manage fleet operations is key. Fleet management software enables mobility, automates processes, maximizes efficiencies, and controls costs by allowing managers to easily track drivers and assets.
Mobile solutions for preventive maintenance
Restoration fleets are constantly on the move. Time and communication are critical to begin recovery initiatives. Without properly functioning assets and the ability to troubleshoot and manage repairs on the go, downtime can have a detrimental effect on your fleet.
Mobile fleet management software ensures you receive important updates regarding vehicle status. It also allows you to improve preventive maintenance processes.
The first step to preventive maintenance is regular vehicle inspections. Mobile inspections enable drivers to quickly assess vehicle status on the go through a series of clicks and swipes. Eliminating paper processes ensures employees don’t lose reports and fleet managers are alerted of any critical issues.
Cloud-based technology further improves preventive maintenance by following an automated schedule to ensure you don’t miss routine service tasks like oil changes. A preventive maintenance schedule sends mobile reminders based on meter readings and creates work orders for you to assign, monitor, and review.
The ability to track inspections and service tasks from start to finish also helps you forecast future maintenance and view repair patterns across assets, giving you the best understanding of fleet health.
Automating maintenance processes and data collection
Spending hours attempting to manage vehicle repairs and manually keying in data takes managers away from other aspects of the business. Technology creates efficiencies in fleet management by automating processes. This not only eliminates human error, but it also boosts productivity across your team.
There is no time to waste in the restoration industry, and fleet automation offers a way to optimize processes for time efficiency. All information is regularly gathered and stored in a centralized software, allowing you to improve maintenance processes and analyze everything from asset performance to fuel costs.
Maintenance workflows within fleet management software operate based on data collection. With data from meter readings and updates from your team, workflows are triggered based on individual vehicle needs. Instead of determining a course of action when a vehicle breaks down, you can develop maintenance strategies to automatically begin based on data. With real-time insight into fleet operations, you can take a proactive stance on fleet maintenance and prevent downtime.
While fleet management software compiles data from inspections and service, integrating data from fuel cards, telematics, and other applications centralize all fleet operations, giving you a comprehensive look at maintenance, performance, and costs.
Calculating total cost of ownership
Your bottom line is the basis of all business decisions. Determining your fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) can be challenging when you’re trying to sort through spreadsheets and manually crunching numbers.
The two largest ongoing expenses for restoration fleets are fuel and maintenance, but because fleet managers have a difficult time manually tracking TCO, these expenses can be unnecessarily high. Leveraging data through fleet management software automatically calculates fleet TCO into an easy-to-read report, allowing you to make data-driven decisions to better manage your fleet.
With insight into fleet expenses, managers can develop strategies to lower expenses and best allocate funds—all while preventing unnecessary downtime of your vehicles.
Instead of combing through spreadsheets and crunching numbers, using fleet technology to track and control expenses ensures your fleet operations are sustainable. Though managing fleet costs is an ongoing challenge, knowing your TCO helps ensure a strong return on investment and positively impacts your company’s bottom line.
Laura Flowers is the content marketing specialist for Fleetio, a fleet management software that helps fleets of all sizes track, analyze, and improve fleet operations.