To effectively operate a fleet services department, it is necessary to understand the customer’s needs and concerns. Has consideration been given to establishing a Service Level Agreement which outlines services provides and the expectations of you and your customer? A formal business relationship ensures each party is operating on the same understanding to help lessen assumptions.
Purposes of a Service Agreement
- Create a formal partnership to professionally maintain fleet
- Conduct fleet maintenance in the most efficient and economical manner as possible
- Perform fleet maintenance within set standards, goals, schedules, and deadlines
- Define roles of the vendor and customer
- Achieve customer satisfaction
Partners agree to hold staff accountable for performance duties, understand and enforce the document, agree to common sense changes and updates as needed.
Areas of Responsibility
The service provider (vendor) sets policies and procedures to provide an end-to-end fleet maintenance and management service. Assists with determining replacement schedules, new product acquisitions, and disposal of surplus equipment. The vendor oversees fluids and parts inventories and reordering levels, warranty renewals, equipment registrations, inspections, and sets common service levels and guidelines for all partners.
The fleet maintenance staff establishes preventive maintenance schedules and responds to all maintenance and repair needs. This area also oversees parts inventories and risk management.
The customer ensures equipment operators are trained and have appropriate licenses. Equipment must be operated in a safe manner and not misused. Inspections pre- and post-trip are conducted and any issues reported to the service provider.
Contact Information/Hours of Service
It’s important to have readily available the repair office’s contact information and ensure each equipment operator has access to this vital data. Not only is the routine contact information necessary, but after-hours emergencies and remote repair location information is a must-have.
Preventive maintenance services and goals need to be stated and outlined for the customer. For the unplanned services, a reasonable response time needs to be negotiated as does a projected time of completion.
The fleet maintenance shop should manage and maintain all fleet records and be able to provide the customer with detailed reporting upon request. The shop should also maintain an accurate inventory of parts – having the right parts on hand and available when needed. When utilizing a fleet management software solution, a proper parts inventory and management program and process is already in place.
The fleet maintenance department maintains the facilities for not only the benefit of themselves, but for their customer in order to meet service demands and the customer’s programs. Having a service agreement in place ensures better and accurate communication for everyone involved and assists management with departmental operations. Communicating with the customer in detail and having the ability to provide information when needed goes a long way in keeping customers satisfied and returning.