Government and municipal fleets have experienced many challenges in the last few years in relation to the economic crises and other trending issues, including greening fleets, reducing costs, and improving performance and safety records. With shrinking budgets and the expectation that organizations must do more with less, government fleets are also expected to make significant changes that ensure vehicles adhere to new emissions guidelines while also training drivers to be safe and reliable with their driving.
The increased scrutiny, combined with depleted resources, has left government fleets to struggle on the best approach to managing their vehicles, drivers, and overall operations. This requires the ability to make informed short-term and long-term decisions about how to address these issues and meet strategic objectives whether the fleet has to be downsized or increased, depending on the economic cycle.
Other issues are also on the rise for government fleets related to the economic volatility. This includes a rise in theft of gasoline, vehicle parts, and even vehicles, which puts more cost pressure on a government fleet. In addition, these fleets have to be reliable and safe as well as retain their value for future re-sale.
With so many critical issues on a government fleet's plate, it is hard to imagine how all these issues could be addressed within one solution.
Using Vehicle Maintenance Reports for Government Fleets
In considering all of the above issues, the idea of tracking and reporting data related to the fleet becomes critical as it serves as a way to understand where a fleet could be doing better in addressing such problems. Comprehensive reporting can help to ensure that all information is update in regards to:
- Gas consumption and other expenses
- Basic maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations
- Repair work
- Recall notices
- Regulatory standards
The problem is that reports or logs may not get filled out completely or at all, which means it is difficult to know which vehicle has undergone maintenance and when as well as which vehicle may be costing the organization more money then it should. Human error or the lack of time to maintain these logs could lead to cost and liability issues that a government fleet does not want to face.
Government Fleets Moving to the Cloud
While it may seem difficult to accomplish all of the above and respond to the numerous challenges facing a government fleet, it is possible thanks to cloud-based technology for fleet vehicle maintenance. This is a new approach to looking at, managing, and sharing data that moves farther away from manual and automated processes.
Not only does cloud-based technology help automate the very time-consuming process when done manually or with other types of software, but it also helps to reduce human error, costs, loss and liability while enhancing performance, safety, reliability and vehicle value. Specifically, having vehicle maintenance management solutions for your government fleet can achieve the following:
- Reduce downtime
- Increase speed
- Provide efficient dispatch of vehicles
- Identify fuel fraud and other losses, including vehicle parts and vehicles, and reduce theft
- Optimize routing for enhanced reliability
- Reduce human error
- Help staff focus on service and core business
- Identify areas for performance improvement
- Gauge driver performance in terms of safety
- Track costs
- Maintain vehicles at their peak performance to deliver increased return on investment when fleet vehicles are sold
- Monitor vehicle performance in relation to emissions and other environmental concerns
Having these benefits in place can help your organization to do more with fewer resources and a tighter budget while addressing new regulations and ongoing economic changes that influence the state of your government fleet.
How Vehicle Maintenance Management Solutions Work
A government fleet can utilize this type of technology in headquarters as well as on the go through tablets, mobile devices, and GPS chips in the vehicles. This solution helps by helping to automate the process of monitoring each vehicle in the fleet. This can increase efficiency for an otherwise challenging process where it is difficult to track each vehicle in a large fleet where the vehicles were introduced into the fleet at various times and therefore have different maintenance schedules to follow.
Those solutions that offer GPS capability can help by automating odometer readings for mileage tracking, delivering vehicle service reminders, and logging work completed on each vehicle in real time for better decision making and enhanced oversight related to each vehicle in the government fleet.
How to Pick Vehicle Maintenance Management Technology
In determining which vehicle maintenance management solution might be best for your government fleet, asking the following questions can help narrow your selection:
- Is it user friendly?
- How much training is required, if any?
- What type of functionality does it offer? Is this what my government fleet needs to address problems that are specific to my organization?
- What type of data analysis can I perform?
- Will it scale as the fleet size grows or more metrics are required for analysis or will I have to purchase other technology in the future?
- Is GPS tracking for routing, cost management, and loss prevention critical to my organization?
- Do you use other software for certain types of data where it would be beneficial if the vehicle maintenance management technology integrates so that the data can be shared across platforms for multiple types of decisions?
- How much time and resources will it take to install the vehicle maintenance management system?
Once you ask these questions and then determine what technology works for your government fleet, then it is up to you to add this solution to your strategy and start seeing the quantitative results from leveraging a vehicle maintenance management solution.