Nobody likes fleet audits. Sometimes they provide valuable information such as discrepancy in data, but most of the time the recommendations feel like blame is attributed to the wrong thing. They are typically done by city, state or sometimes federal auditors who are purposely brought in as third party observers. Is that such a bad thing? As a matter of fact, it can be a good thing.
Audits can be a great excuse to rally your organization for change with support from senior management.
Audits can be a great excuse to rally your organization and make some small, incremental changes that might have a big impact. Fleet managers might have a tough time convincing others to change behavior. However, the time after a fleet audit has been published, can be a great opportunity to leverage your authority as an expert and propose new ideas that will be very welcome by senior management.
Across the United States, audits target similar recurring issues: high idling times, low utilization on both light and heavy equipment, fleet size, and data integrity issues. To address low utilization, most of the audits recommend selling vehicles that are underutilized as a practice better known as 'right-sizing' the fleet.
Let's focus on the heavy equipment utilization issue. After suggesting right-sizing of the fleet, some crews might be concerned they won't have the equipment available when they need it to complete a job. This is a valid concern and one that needs to be addressed. Crews need to be able to easily access a list of equipment that other crews "own" and reserve it directly from them. Crews should be given tools to make it super easy and improve sharing.
It's important to highlight the concept of "easily accessible" tools. Most modern fleet management software was designed with the fleet manager in mind. With all its features, it might be overly complicated as a simple reservation tool. A low tech alternative is to use whiteboards to keep track of equipment for each yard location. The limitation is that fleet managers are kept in the dark about where the equipment is located when it is "borrowed".
The option we recommend our customers is to use MuniRent Patriot Plan. MuniRent is a simple internal website that lets crew members search for equipment and make reservations easily. No training required and people can start using it immediately after it goes live since it was designed for crews.
Crew members can also simply browse for equipment owned by other crews:
This is an innovative, low cost tool that can be deployed with your data in less than a week. You will become an innovator and thought leader within your organization with minimal effort.
About Alan and MuniRent
Alan has always been passionate about the sharing economy. From Superhost on Airbnb to co-founding MuniRent, he's always been excited to foster more collaboration between people and now governments.
Schedule a demo of MuniRent and see why 25 public agencies are already on board. MuniRent is the only web-based reservation tool for heavy equipment that is specifically designed for crews. Increase fleet utilization inside your organization with a proven and simple solution.
Follow Alan on LinkedIn and Twitter: @mondalan
Follow MuniRent on its Linkedin Company Page and Twitter: @munirent