When you do it right, adding digital fleet maintenance capabilities to your workflow can help your shop save time and money.
Of course, the operative phrase here is “when you do it right.”
It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that not all digital fleet solutions are equal. And if you choose the wrong tool for the job, it can hurt your quality of service more than help.
This can be alarming to think about, but it doesn’t need to be your shop’s inevitable outcome! By focusing on solutions that can supercharge your operation’s efficiency and quality, you’ll be sure to find a program that’s a great fit for you.
Read on for the five tools your digital fleet maintenance solution needs to offer.
1. Service Order Management
If you’ve been working in fleet management for more than a day or two, you already know service orders don’t all come from a single place. You’ll receive requests over the phone, through text messages, and via email. Some will be from regular customers for scheduled PMs, while others will be emergency maintenance requests.
In short, it can be a real mess.
Your digital fleet tool should let you manage these service requests in one convenient spot—no matter where, how, or when the service order came through. Ideally, your digital fleet solution of choice will make it easy to set up things like preventive maintenance updates and DOT inspection reminders, too.
Keeping your customers in the loop with service updates and messages is another can’t-miss element of service order management, but we’ll get into that more later.
2. Service Order Workflows
When it comes to fleet inspections, your shop shouldn’t leave anything to chance. But even the most dedicated, hard-working technician can miss the occasional inspection item.
That’s where service order workflows come in. This feature works like a digital checklist and leads your techs through every step of an inspection, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. It helps your technicians offer top-notch service every single time.
Checklists can help your shop level up in terms of efficiency, give you and your customers extra peace of mind, and even create new revenue sources. The thing is, paper checklists can’t help you enjoy these benefits to their fullest. Instead, keep an eye out for a digital fleet solution with guided checklists and other workflow-related features.
3. Inventory and Asset Management
Inventory management can get tricky when you’re trying to handle it by yourself. Naturally, this task only gets more complex if you’re in charge of multiple locations. Make sure your fleet solution can help you:
- Track your inventory across one or more shops
- Generate new purchase orders
- Order new parts
- Set parts margins/markup percentages
Of course, if you’re a fleet manager, your inventory management strategy can (and should!) go beyond keeping track of individual parts. These days, a full-fledged digital fleet solution needs to include fleet tracking capabilities, letting you know where each truck in your fleet is at a glance. To benefit from this incredibly convenient feature, look for a solution that integrates with the digital fleet GPS service you or your customer is already using.
4. Customer Communication
When customers choose your independent repair shop to maintain their fleet, they’re putting a great deal of trust in you. That means it’s in your shop’s best interest to keep that trust—and an excellent place to start is by giving clients reliable updates on the status of their repairs.
Things are obviously different if you’re managing fleet repairs internally, but keeping the people you’re working with in the loop is still crucial. Communication, as they say, is the key to any relationship.
As part of your customer communication efforts, your shop should be able to use text and email to send:
- Repair updates
- Images and notes
- Authorization requests
Still, your efforts in this space can go far beyond that. For example, it’s wise to give your customers a chance to check their own repair status.
(Plus, that way, they won’t have to constantly call your shop for updates!)
Since getting a good look at your operations is a critical part of making the right decisions for your future, it pays to find something that can give you the data and reporting you need.
So, what reporting features should your fleet maintenance solution deliver? The exact answer will depend on your specific needs. Start by looking for features related to business operations (like labor hours, invoice status, and revenues), inventory reports, and fleet maintenance reports (including info on cost of ownership and upcoming maintenance/inspections).
How Fullbay Can Help
Now that you’ve had a chance to learn more about what your digital fleet solution should deliver, choosing a product in this category might sound more daunting than ever. After all, finding a tool that can help you with everything from fleet tracking to digital checklists and more is a tall order.
The good news is that one product in this category can do it all. At this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear us say we’re talking about Fullbay.
When you pick Fullbay as your shop’s digital fleet maintenance solution, you’ll be able to onboard new customers and manage service orders with ease no matter where they come from, then quickly let those customers know how their repairs are going. Track and manage shop operations like inspections and part inventory at a glance, then dive into the nitty-gritty details or take a step back for high-level reporting.
Set up a demo today to learn even more about what Fullbay can do for you!