Maintenance: Different Viewpoints, Same Results
SaaS-based maintenance management software is the means to efficiency in both in-house and outside service operations.
It’s one of those questions fleets are continually asking themselves: Are asset maintenance needs best met in-house or outsourced to preferred providers, or by using a mix of the two approaches?
The decision to outsource or handle service internally can be influenced by different factors at different times. Included are the cost of building, operating and staffing shops compared to the expense of outsourced services. The decision can be driven by the investment that needs to be made in tools and training to effectively service increasingly complex vehicles. The ongoing technician shortage also has fleets rethinking which work to outsource.
Regardless of the decision you’ve made, best practices are only possible if you employ an approach that uses advanced maintenance management technology. The way that two service operations are doing that, one in-house and one an outside provider, illustrates those different but equally effective choices:
NW Fleet Saves $50,000 Annually with TMT Service Center
Sustaining the highest levels of customer service is imperative for NW Fleet Truck and Trailer Repair, Inc. The fleet maintenance provider operates along the I-5 corridor from Puget Sound to northwest Oregon with mobile and shop solutions and a staff of 38 technicians and five office personnel.
NW Fleet first deployed an on-premise version of TMT Service Center in 2004 and used a third-party service provider to host its software in a cloud environment. But accessing the TMT software and other applications, which required the use of a remote desktop connection tool, caused challenges. President and Owner Tom Manson estimated the cost of downtime from login problems was between $2,000 to $3,000 an hour and connectivity issues were even more common for mobile technicians who use laptops and wireless hotspots.
After six months of testing, in 2021 NW Fleet deployed a SaaS version of TMT Service Center. The resulting benefits include:
- High system availability and reliability, and the ability for technicians and office staff to connect with any device.
- Faster speed and a very user-friendly interface that directs users to information and tasks they need to complete.
- Data provisioning that simplifies each user’s role in managing labor, parts inventory and other areas.
With the SaaS version of TMT Service Center, which is integrated with NW Fleet’s accounting software and other administrative functions, the company immediately realized savings of $1,800 per month in recurring charges after it discontinued use of the third-party cloud service provider. Combined with additional savings from no longer having downtime and maintaining the previous system, Manson estimated the company will save $50,000 per year.
“Customer service for the program has been great,” Manson said. “The SaaS version of TMT Service Center has definitely given us labor savings and an opportunity to schedule work more fluently.”
Middlesboro Coca-Cola Generates Measurable Savings with TMT Fleet Maintenance
Middlesboro Coca-Cola Bottling, founded in 1904 and headquartered in Middlesboro, Kentucky, provides bottled beverages to retailers and distribution centers in 26 counties. The company fleet, which operates six days a week, includes 235 vehicles ranging from vans to trucks and Class 8 tractors and trailers.
A user of TMT Fleet Maintenance on a client-based server since 2015 to manage its daily service operations, Middlesboro Coca-Cola was not able to integrate the software with the company’s on-site fueling platform, requiring manual entry of vehicle mileage. The fleet service operation also required new tire and parts management capabilities and the ability to automatically generate repair orders from DVIRs. Additionally, with sales volume growth, there was the need to free up space on existing servers for expanding business processes.
Recently, Middlesboro Coca-Cola switched to the SaaS version of TMT Fleet Maintenance and is now realizing time and cost savings in several ways:
- Through an integration with the fleet’s fueling platform, the company’s lube technician is saving two hours per week of manual mileage data entry.
- The tire module that provides tread and casing life data is lowering costs through better maintenance and specification decisions.
- There are savings from transitioning to the SaaS version of TMT Fleet Maintenance by not having to invest in additional server capacity.
- Additional time savings and shop productivity improvements are expected from integrations that automate parts purchasing and repair order creation based on DVIRs.
“Transitioning to the SaaS version of TMT Fleet Maintenance has led to measurable savings by eliminating manual data entry tasks, lowering costs and not needing additional server capacity,” said Tim Goins, fleet manager.
There is no wrong answer to the question of whether to handle commercial vehicle service in-house or use outside providers. The only certainty is that the right choice involves having accurate and timely data at your disposal, information that can only come from leading edge fleet and service center management software.