Ideas for Fleet Improvement Part 3

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Saving time and money is a priority for everyone. This time of year is a great time to evaluate your fleet and implement some new programs that will benefit the fleet, build community and loyalty throughout the year.

  1. Increasing Training with ASE Certifications Incentives

There is a genuine need for continuing education and certifications so it makes sense to have mandatory ASE certification requirements for technicians. In the case of a lawsuit, a judge will ask who the mechanic was that last did the brakes and if they were certified. The cost of one lawsuit and its ramifications would outweigh and downside financially or otherwise of implementing a new program.

 

Implementation  

  • Communication is key.
  • Speak your team about the benefits of having customers know that techs are certified and can be trusted with vehicles just as any repair site, public or private.
  • Incentive plan for each ASE certification that is gained (ex. $10 per certification).
  • Testing fees are reimbursed.
  • Begin a system where certifications are required for promotions.
  • Give new hires a time limit to get certifications.
  • Highlight that certifications will benefit technicians going forward wherever they are employed.
  • Emphasize benefit to the technician if a legal situation arises.
  • Helps to build loyalty among staff to the company, because they feel appreciated and cared for.

 

  1. Eliminate Downtime by Keeping Parts Shop Stocked

Expanding the preventative maintenance program will extend the fleet life cycles and service tires in-house as opposed to using a vendor. If you spend a lot of down time waiting for a part you are going to use 50 times in a year, it makes sense to keep several on hand at all times.

 

Implementation

  • Begin bulk ordering commonly needed and replaced parts such as brakes and filters.
  • Utilize volume incentive rebates.
  • Purchase tire changer, wheel balancer, alignment machine and rack to handle tires in-house.
  • Keep tires stocked on wheels with sensors and nitrogen pre-filled giving technicians the ability to change four tires in the same amount of time it takes to remove and tighten 20 lug nuts.

 

  1. Consider your Fleet’s Needs and Buy the Right Equipment

Purchasing equipment that your fleet does not actually need is not helpful to your employees or your bottom line. Develop a system with the fleet’s planning to determine exactly what new machinery and parts are needed in order to have the correct equipment and parts to handle the business most efficiently for everyone. Involving employees in the process creates a community atmosphere, give you valuable insight from day to day usage and build loyalty.

 

Implementation

  • Prepare for the long haul.
  • Research trucks and equipment that will make labor easier.
  • Create a plan to begin purchasing upgraded equipment.
  • Get the input of employees and equipment requests they would like to see.

 

  1. Reorganize Shop Space to Work More Efficiently

In a situation where you are not able to get more space or new technicians, it is important to utilize the space as efficiently as possible. The result will give your techs more space to work and allow them to fit more equipment in each bay.

 

Implementation

  • Communicate with employees and give them an overview of the benefit of changes taking place.
  • Get their input on how best to organize bays, they are working in the environment and have valuable ideas.
  • Consider organizing items vertically in order to give techs more shop floor space.
  • Awnings can be placed around entryways to create more space.
  • Print work orders on different colored paper each month for a quick visual clue as to orders that are running behind.

 

Working together with your technicians will help you build a valuable team that works well together, feels a loyalty to your fleet and pride in a job well done.

 

For more ideas for fleet improvement, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2!

 

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