Targeting the Right Data

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Managers must focus on a specific selection of indicators if they want to improve the performance of their fleet. PHOTO Casper Folsing\Unsplash

In a webinar on June 10, a group of fleet managers discussed the importance of targeting only those metrics that are important to the business.

This virtual meeting, organized as part of the Sustainable Fleet Technology conferences, brought together U.S. fleet managers who focused on the implementation of an effective system for tracking fleet statistics.

As Steve Slaltzgiver, Director of Strategic Innovation points out, managers can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that accumulates in their tracking tables.

“Set a goal, build a list of realistic priorities with all the stakeholders involved, and target the data you need to drive change,” he quotes tracking preventive maintenance as an example.

If 20 vehicles are to be serviced each month, the manager must be able to see that one vehicle is removed from the fleet for this maintenance each day. If not, he must have the information and take the necessary measures.

As a starting point, Mr. Slaltzgiver recommends separating the departments and looking at areas for improvement.

This can mean reducing the cost per kilometre, maintenance costs, overhead costs per vehicle or the total value of each delivery.

He explains, for example, that when he was at Coca-Cola, the directors wanted to know how much each delivery of a case of soft drink to customers cost.

Targeting the objectives

“Give yourself a specific goal with a timeline and pick three important cues to achieve them. Avoid going in all directions. This can be done by setting a target of a 10 percent reduction in trouble calls over a three-month period.”

It is also important to involve all teams and show them how their contribution makes a difference in the park’s operations.

This is also the view of Jeffrey Hawthorne who manages the Palm Beach Police Department’s vehicles.

“Analyzing the data, in our case, allowed us to see that delays in our preventive maintenance program could be largely corrected by training technicians in the shop. The idea is not to make changes for the sake of making changes. You need a target to hit.”

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brian Franklin oversees the city’s fleet of 2,500 vehicles. The basis of its analysis is the availability of vehicles. “Are the fire trucks there when we need them,” he illustrates.

“Are our vehicles too old, are replacement parts available, and should we outsource some of the maintenance ?”

Viser 95 % availability

From this starting point, a strategy was developed, involving all department managers, with the objective of establishing the availability level at 95%.

Another interesting testimony during this discussion was from Keith Leech, who manages the park for Sacramento County, California.

In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, the manager is implementing a plan to convert the fleet to electric power.

California has ruled that the sale of internal combustion vehicles will be banned from 2035.

“We need to measure the costs of acquiring and procuring these electric cars and trucks now,” he explains.

“At the moment, the data analysis is aimed at establishing the usage of the current fleet. We are using information from telematics and GPS in our vehicles to do this.

“To make the turn into the future, we need to know exactly where we stand. Especially since finding the electric equivalent of the vehicles we own is going to prove to be a headache in itself.”

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