AutoZone, a national automotive supply retailer, runs about 360 trucks and 800 trailers in its private fleet. With over 450 drivers traveling approximately 45-47 million miles annually, the AutoZone fleet services over 5,000 stores in North America with 10 distribution centers in its network.
Eight of these distribution centers operate a fleet maintenance facility, each with their own shops, inventories and equipment.
AutoZone was previously using a solution that was designed for building maintenance to track their fleet maintenance work orders and track costs, but because the solution was not tailored to the transportation industry, it was difficult to use, and lacked much of the detail and trucking- specific processes needed to accurately track repairs and streamline operations.
“It was very poor for recordkeeping,” said Kevin Park, AutoZone’s fleet maintenance manager. “We didn’t have reporting features, and it didn’t factor inventory correctly.”
These issues were making it hard for the fleet to accurately gauge what repairs were taking place, associate repair costs to specific units and manage inventory.
“We wanted to make the process more user-friendly and streamlined without having to manually key in so much information, which was leading to errors,” Park added.
AutoZone turned to Trimble’s web-based TMT Fleet Maintenance platform, as it was designed specifically for the trucking industry and could track and report the level of detail the fleet needed to gain insights into their costs and forecast into the future. Since AutoZone chose the web-based version of TMT, they could also leverage a faster implementation process to start realizing these benefits sooner.
One of the top features of the TMT solution that drew them in was the Interactive Workstation (IWS), a feature specific to the web-based version of TMT that technicians use to add part information to repair orders and scan information directly into the platform – eliminating the need for handwritten repair orders or manually typing in lengthy part numbers.
“We needed to make a change in order to better track our spend, not only in the shop, but more importantly, our cost per unit. TMT brings the interactive workstation, along with the shop planner, to the table,” said David Fontana, AutoZone’s national fleet manager.
As an existing Trimble customer, the ability to integrate the TMT platform with another Trimble platform was another draw.
“The integration between Trimble’s PeopleNet [in-cab solution] and TMT automated the preventive maintenance (PM) intervals, and we were able to set thresholds on the units and use the Shop Planner module to help our maintenance team manage upcoming PM workloads,” Fontana added.
What’s more, since the TMT platform is SaaS-based, AutoZone was able to leverage the system’s comprehensive tech support and automatic updates, eliminating the need to worry about providing on-premise IT support.
Since implementing the TMT platform, AutoZone has seen improvements in overall shop efficiency and accuracy, as well as increased uptime for individual trucks.
“The biggest win we’ve seen is the ability for technicians to see the repair history on a certain truck or trailer, to see if there are any recurring repairs that might indicate the need for a larger repair, rather than just a quick fix,” Park said. “We want to keep our equipment out on the road and not in the shop, so that’s a big benefit.”
TMT’s robust reporting features are also improving the fleet’s operations by providing a clearer picture of repair cost history and cost per mile of individual units.
“We’ve started to track the operating cost of our fleet based on model years as part of our forward-thinking asset replacement program,” Fontana said.
Additionally, the fleet has seen improvements to its preventive maintenance program – Fontana says that prior to implementing TMT, their PM schedule accuracy was around 90 percent, and since rollout has been at about 95 percent.
“We’re near perfect, and that’s a huge peace of mind for us given the capital investments we are making into these assets,” he said. “Whether you’re a small company or a larger fleet, you should be tracking your maintenance history, costs and parts inventory. Truly knowing what you’re putting into an asset and utilizing preventive maintenance schedules rather than waiting for a part to fail is a huge benefit,” Park added.
“We’re always looking for ways to do our jobs more efficiently and easily, with less of the paperwork and data entry. Simply put, you cannot afford not to have an interactive maintenance system like TMT that will help you manage tasks and provide statistical reporting.”
- David Fontana, national fleet manager