Magazine Article | February 28, 2012

Government Benefits From Fleet Management

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Field Technologies magazine

Government fleets face similar challenges to their private sector counterparts. In the current economy, tax revenue needed to maintain vehicles is down. At the same time, the demand for services is up, which means cutting costs is more important than ever.

For 13 years the state of Georgia has used a maintenance management program from ARI, and it recently added a roadside assistance program, ARI insights, a Web-based fleet management and reporting system.

“Data drives the fleet. ARI’s maintenance program provides the tools to gather data, categorize it, and push it back out to our agencies. This saves money and increases safety,” says Ed Finnegan, director, office of fleet management, state of Georgia.

Roger Kennedy, motor transport specialist, notes, “ARI saves the state money. Every week the Technical Call Center helps find cost savings. Just recently a vehicle was taken to an independent repair vendor for work. The call center moved the vehicle to a local dealer so repairs would be covered under the vehicle warranty, resulting in a savings of $2,800.”

Making Fleet Management Easy
With ARI’s maintenance program, drivers use a coupon book to redeem preventative maintenance services. Drivers take the vehicles to a participating vendor to perform the maintenance. Using the maintenance program in conjunction with breakdown and accident services offers several advantages: no out-of-pocket expenses for drivers, 24-hour service, phone consultation with ASEcertified mechanics, and priority service from vendors.

Finnegan and Kennedy say ARI also assists with streamlining other areas of fleet management. ARI has taken on the state of Georgia’s asset management for more than 21,000 vehicles. While it was a large undertaking, Kennedy says the execution was flawless. “Our changeover was seamless,” he says. “ARI trained hundreds of state employees on the system within 90 days.”

Finnegan points to ARI insights as an innovation. “We are always looking to improve fleet operations,” he says. “With the rollout of ARI insights, we will be able to isolate and address utilization issues and eventually decrease the size of our fleet.”

Field Service Software Speeds Work Orders
For more than 20 years, McDonough Sewer Service, Inc. has provided drainage and septic services for commercial, residential, and industrial clients. With 14 employees, McDonough provides services to the greater Minnesota and upper Midwest areas.

A challenge for McDonough was handwritten work orders. Barb Deetz, McDonough’s office manager, and her coworkers would try to decipher the handwriting, which resulted in wasted time. They struggled not only with reading the written work orders, but also receiving the papers. Their office was in a different location than the shop. “Sometimes it would be several days before I’d receive paperwork,” says Deetz. These delays required McDonough to limit the number of service calls made in one day. If it took on too many, then the paperwork would become overwhelming.

McDonough Sewer Service needed an office management solution, it found HindSite while searching online and has never looked back.

HindSite offered McDonough a way to ensure legible paperwork. With work order management features, all information is readily available. Technicians fill in inventory, estimates, time records, site notes, etc. on their computers, which sync back to the computers in the office.

The Benefit Of Real-Time Visibility
By having synchronization with the office, Deetz never has to wait days for work orders. She states, “I’m not waiting until the end of the day and can answer customers’ questions right away.”

HindSite has allowed McDonough Sewer Service to become extremely efficient. Instead of spending many hours in the day sorting through and figuring out paperwork, the company has been able to get more done in each work day.

This increase in office efficiency has allowed McDonough to focus on its customers instead of focusing on paperwork. Profits have risen, which can be tied directly to better customer service, better communication, and a dramatic decrease in office chaos.