You’ve finally chosen a fleet maintenance management software system, and now you’re eager to get started.
Implementing any new technology can be challenging, but proper planning and good communication makes it much easier.
Here are a few tips for a smooth and painless rollout.
How to ensure fleet maintenance management software success
1. Set a realistic implementation timeline
Whenever technology is introduced into an existing work process, there’s bound to be an adjustment period. How long it takes to embrace new fleet maintenance management software depends on the size of your company, your culture, and your particular challenges.
First, your fleet management software needs to be integrated into your organization’s preventive maintenance processes. A good provider will speed up the integration by assisting with data entry, like uploading fleet asset information or parts inventory, to get the whole system online faster. They should designate a project manager who can walk you through deployment and past any bumps along the road. Look for a provider who offers support in a variety of ways, such as by phone, email, online portal, or chat.
2. Organize all your fleet data
One of the great advantages of fleet maintenance management software is how it combines data into a centralized platform. Integration makes it easy for team members to pull up the asset management and inventory management info they need. This instant access saves time and can also reduce costly errors—but only if the data is entered correctly.
If you’re transitioning from another system, it’s a good idea to first vet all your fleet asset information to ensure accuracy. That includes VINs, asset descriptions, and maintenance records. Consider this effort an investment. Using accurate, up-to-date data will save a lot of time and money in the future.
3. Get buy-in for your fleet maintenance management software
There’s a good chance your leadership team understands why upgrading to a new fleet management solution is necessary. However, if drivers, operators, and other team members don’t feel they need a change, you can count on push-back. Communicating with them early and often makes all the difference.
Talk to fleet technicians to help them understand why their processes are changing. Let them in on the goals for the software and how you’re going to measure its success. Consider sharing another company’s experience to boost motivation. For example, this transportation company used fleet maintenance management software to save $250k just from oil changes.
Talk to your team about the problems they encounter in their day-to-day tasks. Seek out their opinions on the changes they’d like to see and share how a new fleet maintenance solution will help.
4. Communicate the importance of accountability
The success of a new platform depends on the people using it. Your team must understand their role—what they’re responsible for, how to do their tasks correctly, and what the consequences are if they don’t. Fleet maintenance management software strengthens accountability by tracking tasks, highlighting who’s assigned, flagging the completion status, and reporting any follow-up actions.
Emphasize the impact of each team member’s work on the overall organization to keep the entire team engaged and working toward the same goal.
5. Offer your team members guidance and training
To prepare team members to use the new system, you’ll want to provide training before, during and after implementation.
Not everyone absorbs information in the same way. Some are visual learners, while others prefer to listen to a webinar or participate in more interactive training. Make sure you offer training for different learning styles and provide resources in various formats, including printed tip sheets, videos, and demos.
There are always opportunities to learn new, more efficient ways to use fleet maintenance management software, so training should be ongoing. Consider scheduling short, quarterly sessions, and focus on additional skill development for key users.
6. Measure your progress against KPIs
Reviewing key performance indicators (KPIs) is one of the best ways to measure the success of your fleet maintenance software implementation.
Focus on KPIs that are meaningful to your company’s goals. Here are three to consider:
- Training sessions completed per employee
- Thoroughness of documentation in the system
- Scheduled task completion versus actual completion time
When it comes to measuring new KPIs, it’s a good idea to allow a month or two to establish a baseline before making changes. Here’s a case study of how Metro Group improved its business insights across several KPIs using fleet maintenance management software.
7. Adjust your maintenance schedule and operations
When your fleet software is up and running, you’ll be gathering a wealth of asset information. Use it to make improvements and define short-term and long-term goals. Then, identify the steps needed to turn them into reality.
If you’re ready to adjust your fleet maintenance program, start with incremental steps rather than widespread changes. This will give you better insight into how different issues relate to each other and to the bigger picture.
Lean on your fleet maintenance software vendor
As your business and your assets grow, fleet maintenance management software becomes even more essential. The more assets you have, the more savings you can achieve from improving processes and reducing repair costs.
The best fleet maintenance software vendors offer more than just a system; they offer solutions that evolve with your needs.
They should provide ongoing training and support long after your implementation.
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