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Technology Makes Real-Time Fleet Management a Real Possibility

What happened to that repair order? How many gallons of fuel did you put in today? When did we take that oil sample and where did we send it? Has anybody entered the fleet location reports yet? Fleet management used to be the “chase the details” job—but not anymore. Technology has converged to make information available to fleet managers in just a few minutes, with just a few clicks from just about any location.

New telematics standard will eliminate multiple reports for mixed fleets
Many owners have equipment from different manufacturers. In the past, if fleet managers wanted to look at the data, they had to use different dashboards for each brand and switch back and forth between reports to get a complete fleet picture. With the new telematics standard, fleet managers will be able to see all their equipment, regardless of manufacturer, and view their entire fleet on a single dashboard.

Technology takes down maintenance costs
Fleet managers have long talked about their struggle to control maintenance costs. In a recent Equipment Manager Magazine article, a fleet manager described his company’s oil sampling program before computers and technology:

Sometimes technicians pulled oil samples using tools that had been laying around collecting dust on top of the toolbox. That contaminated the sample before it was ever pulled. Then, the samples were collected on a shelf until they filled a box and then they were shipped off. By that time, the information was too late for management to react to a bad sample. With today’s technology, I can save a world of money.

Technicians equipped with tablets or smartphones can provide machine-specific data in seconds, plus have ready access to service records or parts ordering. Fleet managers can spend less time chasing details and more time increasing efficiency.

Tips for Getting the Most Value from Technology

  1. Start by closing efficiency gaps. Most fleets have areas that can be improved in terms of timeliness or accuracy. Identify some of those and use technology and data to make them better. For most fleet managers, this is an easy first step because the data being used is very focused, not a flood, and there is little process change involved—just using technology to be faster and more precise.
  2. Share the savings. As you improve, chart the savings in time and money and communicate progress. You can post it in the shop, send out an email or create your own video report. The critical point is to engage everyone in seeing the results that can be achieved.
  3. Build processes that include technology. Once the benefits are proven, you can begin to change existing processes and include technology. There is no prescribed set of processes—successful change will depend on your company and its culture. Choose technologies that will work for your staff and modify processes in ways that will get the least resistance.
  4. Talk to your Cat®  dealer. Cat dealers have a wide range of options to help you identify areas where you could save time and money. Cat Equipment Management Solutions combines technology and expertise to deliver more value to your business—ask about it.

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