10 Tips To Increase Productivity In Your Fleet Shop
By Mary Gerard, Content Marketing Manager
When budgets are tight, your fleet’s shop needs to be more productive than ever. You need to complete work orders as soon as possible, reduce labor costs, and minimize downtime by getting vehicles back on the roadways quickly.
Check out these tips from our fleet professionals on how to increase productivity in your shop.
Set your technicians up for success by creating an organized shop management program and establishing processes for techs to follow. Create processes for how jobs are assigned, how to open and update work orders, how to gather parts, how to perform the actual repairs, how to communicate with drivers, how to release the vehicle, and more. This will make your vehicle maintenance program more productive.
Analyze Your Technicians’ Workflows
Look for ways to simplify and streamline the ways your technicians work. One tip from our fleet experts is to watch how they perform vehicle inspections. Observe how they go through the checklist. Are they jumping around the form, or are they working the list from top to bottom? This can signal if you need to reorganize your checklist so it better correlates to how your techs perform inspections. You should also watch how they work their way around the vehicle. Do they keep walking around, checking the same places multiple times to complete the checklist? If so, teach them the Circle Method. This enables technicians to focus on a single area of the vehicle and check every component in that space, then move on to the next area. This way they are efficient and are not backtracking.
Organize the Workspace
Ensure that your shop is clean, well-organized, and clutter-free. Arrange tools, equipment, and supplies logically to minimize the time spent searching for items. You can evaluate how efficient your space is by watching your technicians work. How often are they leaving the vehicle to find an air hose? How far away is the parts room from vehicles? How much time is spent walking to and from the parts room? How far away is the handwashing station? Reorganizing the space to make these components more accessible can make your operation more productive.
Optimize Parts Inventory Management
Implement an efficient parts inventory management system to track stock levels, monitor usage, and ensure parts are in stock when needed. This can reduce the downtime for vehicles by ensuring the needed parts are available.
Invest in training your technicians to enhance their skills and knowledge. Making sure they are proficient at the needed skills and can perform repairs according to standard repair times can reduce the time spent on each job and improve the overall productivity of the shop.
Make sure there are clear lines of communication between the shop, management, and drivers. Establishing open lines of communication will help problems be identified, will alert management when there’s an issue with a repair, when tools are needed, and more.
Explore new technology that can automate or streamline repetitive tasks in your shop. This can include a fleet management software system that has a method to schedule preventative maintenance, track parts inventory, and more.
Create a PM Program
Keep your vehicles on the roads longer and reduce the number of unexpected repairs by performing regular preventative maintenance on vehicles.
Analyze Fleet Shop Data
Collect and analyze relevant data to identify areas of improvement. Measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as standard repair times, open and close rates on work orders, PM schedules, labor costs, and more. This will give you real-time data so you always know how your shop is performing.
Continuously Seek Feedback
Encourage feedback from your employees to determine what is going well and what needs to be improved. Rely on them to provide tips on what they need to perform their jobs better, and what training they need. Also, listen to any concerns they have.
This is a sample of steps you can take to improve productivity at your shop. There are many other processes you can follow and steps you can take to ensure your operation is performing well.
To see how RTA’s fleet management software solution can improve your shop’s productivity, schedule a free demo today.
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