If you are looking for a good reason to have a great Preventive Maintenance (PM) program, look no further than your financial bottom-line. Sound PM programs save money. Period. As a fleet manager, you should be prepared to defend your budgets relative to staffing, parts, and even the fleet management information system needed to efficiently manage your efforts. Understanding the cost-savings and the components of a great preventive maintenance program are key.
In this modern era of fleet management information systems, there is no excuse for not reducing costs through an effective PM program. The savings are very dramatic. While the extent of cost-savings varies from fleet to fleet, consider the following:
- The life of a vehicle is reduced when scheduled maintenance is not performed. This requires vehicles to be replaced more frequently or it requires significantly higher repair costs to keep that equipment on the road.
- Planning for fleet staff is unpredictable when a large percentage of vehicles suddenly appear for repairs rather than when they come in for regularly scheduled maintenance. Your costs increase due to a) vehicles being out of service longer because of work queues, b) the need to pay overtime to address the sudden increase in work, or c) the loss of fleet staff that leave because of required overtime or the chaos of an unpredictable workload.
- Less scheduled maintenance results in more vehicles out of service. The fact is, properly maintained vehicles do not break down as often as other vehicles. What is the cost of this? Having vehicles out of service unexpectedly has a far-reaching impact. From a staffing perspective, staff are often unprepared for the breakdown and may be left on the side of the road or unable to perform work assigned to them. Yet they must still be paid. From a vehicle perspective, more breakdowns mean more maintenance costs.
- When vehicles are not consistently available, due to unscheduled maintenance, organizations or individual departments tend to keep ‘spares’ or maintain motor pools with additional vehicles to fill the need for vehicles that are being repaired. More vehicles result in more fleet costs.
- Maintaining the right level of inventory is difficult when maintenance schedules are not predictable. The cost will be either a) more inventory than required, or b) wait times for parts to arrive. With a sound PM program, forecasting parts budgets and having the right number of parts on the shelf is much easier.
Your FMIS should do quite a bit of the work for you through automation. FleetCommander maintenance tools, for instance, manage all work orders, automate PM reminders, and provide simple interfaces for technicians and shop managers. FleetCommander will ask if related past-due or near-due tasks should be added to a work order. You can easily track general work order information, PM tasks, repairs, parts, labor, and other maintenance information. The FleetCommander technician dashboard offers a detailed way for technicians to view work priorities and current tasks, record indirect time, and initiate time on work orders. The FleetCommander shop manager dashboard helps shop managers have visibility over the activities in a shop.
Successful PM programs don’t just happen. Make sure your program protects your fleet without sacrificing safety or costs. Whether you have a PM program in place or are just getting started, read our newest e-book: Agile Fleet's Expert Guide to a Successful PM Program.