Fleet downtime is one of the significant issues concerning fleet managers. The period during which a vehicle is not available to run safely on the road is termed as downtime.
Fleet downtime will affect the business, its operations, and the bottom line in various ways. Some industry research indicates that the expenses from vehicle downtime can be as much as eight times than anticipated.
The major reasons for downtime can be vehicle repair, services, accidents, etc.
Downtime of even one or two vehicles will make entire operations suffer.
For instance, fleet downtime can lead to higher costs for:
- Emergency repairs
- Rent vehicles
- Extra workforce, etc
The failure of services or delivery can affect the revenue and can create a dissatisfied customer experience. Preventive measures and on-time services can help fleet managers to reduce downtime of vehicles.
In this blog, we will look at how an effective fleet management system can manage the downtime of vehicles.
How to reduce downtime with fleet management software?
Fleet management software provides you the best way to effectively manage the entire fleet operations and even automate repetitive tasks. The fleet management software can be customized according to your business requirements. This software helps fleet managers to address issues in the early stages and reduce downtime.
1.Preventive maintenance program
Regular maintenance and services should be done from time to time without any fail. This regular service and check-ups are essential to maintain the health of the vehicles. It also sends notifications to remind fleet managers of regular maintenance and services.
This fleet management software can be configured to send notifications once the vehicles have traveled certain kilometers. Thus, fleet managers can send the vehicle for service at this stage and reduce unexpected downtime.
2.Get the right metrics for your assets
Fleet management software helps you record all data associated with fleets such as mileage, vehicle age, frequency of services, actual downtime, etc. This data help fleet managers be aware of when each vehicle needs services and take actions when needed.
3.Detect chronic failures
Suppose a specific vehicle is facing the same type of servicing or constantly facing a particular issue. In that case, you must consider this issue when you are out to purchase a new vehicle of the same kind or identify alternative measures to avoid repeating the same problems. (Sometimes, it may be connected to driver behavior).
4.Evaluate how much is spent
Keep track of the money spent on every vehicle. It will help fleet managers to identify whether a vehicle has been used productively and has reached the end of its useful life. Decision-making can be done quickly using this data.
5.Comparing service costs
It is also good to compare the maintenance rate between the service providers. This can be done if you have the record of money spent during each service, types of service, date of service, etc. It can be easy for you to make comparisons and find out which one is suitable for your fleet operations.
6.Address serious vehicle issues immediately
Fleet managers should initiate to rectify the minor defects in the earlier stage itself. It is like the saying, “a stitch in time saves nine,” minor defects should be treated before letting it give a chance to evolve to a major one. A lot of money can be tackled if minor flaws are adequately maintained.
Using fleet management software, you can create forms with questions relating to the vehicle health and collect data from your drivers. You can detect issues based on these forms and can resolve them as early as possible.
For instance, if brakes need to be checked or wheel alignment should be done, drivers should coordinate with the fleet managers to get this rectified earlier. This will only take few hours; if left unchecked, this can lead to extended downtime or accidents.
To get better productivity, you must always keep your fleet in good condition. Thus, it is better to ‘retire’ a vehicle after a few years or after running a certain lakh kilometers. As the vehicle gets old, it won’t meet the growing demands of your business. Moreover, they will need service more often.
Fleet managers can access the vehicle age, number of FCs done, etc., from the fleet management software and make decisions accordingly.
8.Check replacement parts
Replacing parts often needs a considerable sum of money. As fleet managers, you should keep an eye to check if they are genuine. Make sure the spare parts you are buying are always of good quality. Poor spare parts not only drain your money but also lead to vehicle problems in the future.
You should also monitor the details of replacement from the fleet management software. Details like vehicle purchased date, spare parts you bought, which vehicle it was used, guarantee/ warranty details, etc., can be identified from fleet management software.
This will give you an overall idea of the money spent on replacement.
9.Track driver behavior
One of the significant reasons behind vehicle downtime is driver behavior.
Using the fleet management software, driver’s driving behavior can be easily identified by analyzing the vehicle repairs, the number of accidents, drive time, driver reports, etc.
10.Surprise filed inspections
Apart from regular inspections and services, fleet managers can take steps to conduct surprise field inspections. It will help you to spot reasons for unexpected downtime and clear them in the earlier stage itself.
Though it is impossible to avoid vehicle downtime completely, it is possible to reduce the issues and expenses due to vehicle downtime using fleet management software. This software helps you effectively manage your fleet operations by taking care of every minute fleet detail.
Increase vehicle uptime with AutoMax Fleet Management Module.