Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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Page 22 of 73

and safety," according to Dan Shive, VP, risk management services for LeasePlan USA. Increasingly, f eets are looking at enhanc- ing driver productivity. "As we continue to squeeze dollars out of vehicles through rightsizing, optimal re- placement cycles, and increased safety ef orts, managing uptime will be the next big area to deliver incremental savings," said Steve Jas- trow, strategic consulting services manager for GE Capital Fleet Services. In the end, all ef orts made by f eet man- agers to improve driver productivity are aimed at one thing: protecting the compa- ny's bottom line. "While driver productivity is important for service and delivery f eets, the asset up- time is what's paramount," said Tom Keilty, SVP, customer and vehicle services & COO for PHH Arval. "It's crucial to business and the total cost of operation to have services that keep the vehicle on the road." Ensuring Proper Vehicle Maintenance One of the items within a driver's con- trol includes proper maintenance, the lack of which results in increased downtime for the driver and vehicle. "T e trick to having an ef cient f eet when it comes to your drivers is to have them un- derstand that, although, in the short term, the preventive maintenance practices may seem unproductive, the long-term benef ts for the vehicles and f eet outweigh the short- term inconvenience," Emkay's Vliek said. Going hand-in-hand with preventive main- tenance is the concept of predictive analyt- ics, or programs to help f eet managers f x a potential problem before it occurs. "T e introduction of predictive analyt- ics can help schedule repairs before a failure, which can have a big impact on driver pro- ductivity," said Jastrow of GE Capital Fleet Services. "Doing a repair on a part that has not failed will be a big shif in the f eet man- ager paradigm." Today, technology has stepped in to assist f eet managers, and drivers, ensure proper vehicle maintenance is performed. From a service perspective, driver produc- tivity is increased by building systems and programs to minimize the ef ect on drivers and maximize f eet gains. A proactive main- tenance program is one technological key. "A program that not only reminds drivers of upcoming maintenance through e-mails and text alerts, but also makes it easy for them to f nd the nearest service location and even make an appointment are tools that can save a f eet time and money," said Vliek of Emkay. Other technology initiatives enhancing driver productivity are being utilized by tech- savvy repair providers. "Besides driver amenities, such as the In- ternet and dedicated customer work areas, some repair providers have introduced tab- lets for their service writers to expedite the check-in process. Online repair appointment capabilities are becoming more common, in addition to text messages to inform drivers of a vehicle's repair status," said Eric Strom, safety and maintenance product manager for GE Capital Fleet Services. Strom continued to note that calls to re- pair providers by drivers for status updates are also being enhanced at some shops using RFID technology. T is technology tracks the vehicle location on the repair shop's property as well as the repair status, providing the abil- ity to quickly respond to a driver's inquiries. Fleets are also utilizing "mobile mainte- nance" services to help reduce downtime, and, in turn, keep drivers more productive. "Mobile maintenance can be tailored to a f eet's schedule, allowing preventive mainte- nance and routine repairs to be conducted during of -hours, such as nights and week- ends," said Greg Wilson, truck product man- ager for GE Capital Fleet Services. Wilson continued that this approach benef ts the f eet in two key areas. "First, when maintenance services are tailored to the schedule of a business, the f eet is more likely to maintain the proper PM schedule, which reduces the frequency of unscheduled repairs. Second, the of -hours service reduc- es the need to remove a vehicle from circula- tion for routine service, keeping drivers on the road," he said. Technology to the Rescue? Fleets are seeking enhanced driver produc- tivity and convenient technology linked to cost savings, according to Strom of GE Cap- ital Fleet Services. "For example, low-price fuel and maintenance network provider lo- cators can deliver enhanced savings with just a few clicks," Strom said. Technology is the key theme behind many actions f eet managers can take to increase driver productivity. "When it comes to driv- er productivity, the entire industry is focused on mobile technology," commented Vliek of Emkay. "T ere are thousands of apps and computer programs available to help maxi- mize a drivers' time, when it comes to sched- uling, reporting, or even f nding maintenance or fuel. T e world is at the driver's f ngertips." However, Vliek warned that the wealth FEBRUARY 2014 I AUTOMOTIVE FLEET 19 R PRODUCTIVITY TO E GIES A F 0 2 1 4 s t r a t e g i e s . i n d d 1 9 AF0214strategies.indd 19 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 1 2 A M 1/24/14 6:12 AM

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