Use Technology To Track Preventative Maintenance Costs and Decrease Overall Operating Costs
Your dealership’s philosophy is reflected in everything you do. It tells long-time and prospective customers you’re doing everything you can (or not) to help them manage their fleets and operations as productively and cost-effectively as possible. Embracing the latest technologies that help reduce preventive maintenance costs is an important way you can put your customer-focused philosophy into action.
Thanks to a growing preponderance of telematics, mobile devices and software designed specifically to aid in tracking and managing operating costs, customers now have broad capability to monitor maintenance requirements and combine that data over time for all their equipment.
But industry watchers are quick to point out that an amazing percentage of fleet managers are not actually using the technology available to them, wasting both time and investment dollars.
They may be purchasing the latest equipment or trucks, but they are still using archaic manual methods to track preventive maintenance scheduling, work and costs. That’s no way to decrease overall operating numbers.
Managing overall operating costs is essential for your customers. And for your dealership, too. What is good for you is good for them. While they can – at least ostensibly – use the telematics data they collect to plot maintenance and repair trends over time, it could take years to amass enough information to be truly useful, even with a large fleet.
Your dealership, on the other hand, services far more vehicles, so you are able to collect far more data, faster. By sharing the insight you develop about trends in maintenance, you can help customers decrease overall operating costs and downtime. That’s more money in their pocket, just as using what you learn puts more money in your own pocket.
What can you learn and share?
The value of telematics-triggered alerts is that they give you advance warning something is going wrong. You have time to look into it, evaluate the severity of the problem and take action if necessary before your vehicle breaks down somewhere out on the job where it’s most expensive to effect repairs.
The downside to this is that telematics report an overwhelming amount of data, so it’s tough to know what constitutes a potential problem and what is really extraneous, routine information.
This is where human intervention comes in. It takes a highly trained, experienced technician to step into the picture and take diagnostics through the next steps – discovering exactly is wrong and determining what to do about it. Technology can’t do that, at least not yet. But your tech crew can.
And when it comes to all that routine data your system is collecting, its automated nature eliminates the human error factor inherent with manual labor. Every time a driver or technician fills out a form by hand, they are spending time they could be using more productivity (as in generating revenue). Worse, the twin risks of poor handwriting and transposed digits lead to misinformation that simply leads you astray. You can’t learn anything useful from collecting inaccurate data.
Because your dealership is business-smart and up to date, you have the technology in place and the technicians to use it fully. You can serve as a “data sifter,” using key information to reduce your own preventive maintenance costs.
You can pass those savings along to customers, too. And you can pass along vitally important advice regarding which alerts are top priority and which do not require instant action. By helping them interpret and manage their data, you’re saving them money.