Cloud-Based Maintenance Management Solutions
To respond to these issues, cloud-based maintenance management solutions are providing a way to stay updated on the road and from company headquarters. The term, cloud, was devised as a way to describe a new computing environment in which hardware, software, and data could be stored and accessed over the Internet as well as that could serve as an on-demand information depository. Don't think of it as an actual place; cloud computing actually is a method of retrieving and managing data that increases accessibility, integrity, reliability and functionality.
Since all information is current and always accessible, a cloud-based management system provides a way to make more effective decisions about fleet maintenance that then leads to greater productivity and profitability. Here's what these solutions can do:
- Identify maintenance cycles and generate vehicle service reminders.
- Maintain expense logs.
- Keep a history of accident incidents and repairs.
- Monitor warranty information and provide alerts on any vehicle recall notices.
- Gauge fuel use and mileage.
Having an automated way of tracking performance in each of these areas means that your painting crew can focus on their core work of producing high-quality painting that satisfies clients and provides a way to enhance the company's reputation and generate additional revenue. At the same time, the efficiency gained by automating vehicle maintenance management through a cloud-based system helps to lower the overall cost structure for your business.
While there are other many types of on-site tools that can be used, including dedicated software and Excel spreadsheets to name a few examples, the cloud-based vehicle maintenance management solution can do so much more:
- Anytime, Anywhere: Because the records and information are stored "in the cloud," you can access the information anytime, anywhere, and on any device. This means the information can be updated on the spot so that your team in the field can immediately input their mileage, fuel costs, or anything else they need to update regularly. This is because many of these vehicle maintenance management solutions offer mobile apps so there is no reason for records or logs with missing data. The other benefit is that records can be pulled up at a repair shop to verify warranty or previous work done on a particular vehicle.
- Data Integrity: There is no concern that data will be lost. With software and paper record keeping, there is the risk of lost data due to computer crashes, power failure, human error or unforeseen events like fires, flooding, or other types of damage. The cloud-based systems have all information that is entered or scanned on their servers to ensure data integrity.
- Scalability: As you add or change vehicles in your fleet, a cloud-based vehicle management system makes it easier to update and has the scalability to handle the additional vehicles. The scalability feature also can provide a way to add other information channels to the overall system, including partners and suppliers, including service providers like leasing, insurance, and fuel management companies.
- Vehicle Tracking: Because the solution does not rely on software in the home office, there are options to add a GPS chip to each vehicle. This allows you to track driver performance, update customers on technician's arrival time, or monitor if a vehicle may be delayed due to traffic or an accident. Additionally, some of these with GPS tools can help with creating routes or re-routing drivers to speed their arrival time.
When and if you do decide to make the switch to this type of vehicle management solution, you can be assured of the fact that it will not disrupt your business. The information and records can be added over time rather than requiring one intrusive changeover that often stops your business in its tracks. The integration process is easy, convenient, and practically seamless.
Matching the Cloud-Based Vehicle Management Solution to Your Needs
As the cloud-based solution has caught on across all industries with fleets, more options have become available, making it difficult to know which one would be the best option. The key to picking the right vehicle management solution is to identify what features are the most important for your business and then match those needs to a solution that responds. Ask yourself the following:
- Is the solution user-friendly or easy to learn?
- Does the solution provide the ability to conduct data analysis?
- Will it scale as my company grows in fleet size or there is a need to add more types of information to the data analysis process?
- Can the solution import and export data in case there is a need to integrate it into other programs?
With this overview of what a cloud-based vehicle maintenance management solution could potentially do for your business, it may be the right time to make a strategic shift in how you operate your fleet of vehicles. With more efficient vehicles, you and your team will have a greater opportunity to take on more projects, furthering your overall strategic objectives.