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How mobile apps can improve your fleet workshop

By Ellen Sowerby
21 December 2022

Workshops face multiple complex challenges which impact commercial fleets, especially larger ones with their own maintenance facilities. These challenges are exacerbated by the global shortage of semiconductors. Certain ECU’s and components for vehicles are unavailable, which has created a backlog in vehicle orders, leading to a delay in replacement vehicles.

Fleets that have 3–5-year vehicle replacement programmes may need to keep vehicles longer than expected. This means maintenance becomes a key focus for fleet managers as they must ensure vehicles are well maintained, safe and legal.

This increased focus on maintenance means that a dedicated mobile app for your workshop technicians, that connects seamlessly to a central fleet management system, can be beneficial in a number of ways.

Vehicle Uptime

dedicated technician app that connects to a fleet management system allows anyone in the business to see the status of a vehicle in real time. Whether a vehicle is in the workshop or off the road and waiting for parts, you get the information you need to get the vehicle back on the road – improving vehicle uptime.

It is also common for technicians to forget to pick the phone up and tell you when a job is complete, leading to lost days of utilization for that vehicle. Using a technician app you automate the processes and save time, as it can instantly inform fleet managers and drivers when a vehicle is available. Using a mobile app will also give you the confidence that maintenance has been done properly.

 

Parts Inventory

A typical phrase heard in workshops is that ‘stock equals risk’. The more stock you have the more financial risk there is, as parts might go missing or they may not be booked out.

Using app integrations technicians can easily see what’s in stock and make parts requests, and the data is all updated instantly. As technicians are under pressure to get a vehicle fixed they can often use a part, but forget to book the part to the job. This can lead to issues with costing. Using a dedicated app makes it easier to book a part to a job.

Another risk that apps can resolve is stock obsolescence. Workshops may have new parts delivered that sit on the shelf for years, never being used. When your technicians go to fit the part, it’s already years old. By having accurate workshop data you can analyse slow and fast moving stock items so that unused parts are
able to be returned, reducing risk of warranty timeframes expiring.

 

Time Management

technician app can also improve time management and efficiency, with full timesheet analysis from start to end of shift, including breaks and additional duties. Some fleet workshops are massive, and using the technician data collected you may identify that moving the parts bay to the middle of a workshop for example could save you 10 minutes a day, which over the year leads to significant time savings.

Data may also identify that certain jobs take a long time, and identify issues that could be solved with technician training and development.

Check sheets

As a fleet manager you want to know that the right checks have been done on a vehicle. When you create a check sheet for a particular vehicle type and it generates automatically, you have that confidence.

Some mobile apps contain adaptable forms that you can assign to different vehicle types, makes and models. This means you can have a suite of check sheets and task lists for your technicians to follow quickly and seamlessly that can be generated into a PDF record.

This removes unnecessary paperwork while still maintaining regulatory compliance.

 

Reduce Administration

Technicians are an expensive commodity, so you don’t want them spending their time doing paperwork and administration.

Using a mobile app you can improve your technician’s utilization, so that they can spend more time doing what they’re good at – fixing vehicles.

Using a dedicated app, technicians are able to start recording the time on the job, carry out the repair and then fill in the check sheet through the app and submit once complete. They no longer have to go back to the office, fill in paper sheets and then create a job card.

 

Work Allocation

mobile app can reduce the idle time of your fleet technicians. Often technicians don’t know which jobs to prioritise, so using a mobile app you can assign specific jobs and tasks to different technicians so they can log in each day and know what work you want them to do.

And once they have completed their allocated tasks they can also be directed to a backlog of work that needs looking at, improving utilization.

Push Notifications

A mobile app can reduce the idle time of your fleet technicians. Often technicians don’t know which jobs to prioritise, so using a mobile app you can assign specific jobs and tasks to different technicians so they can log in each day and know what work you want them to do.

And once they have completed their allocated tasks they can also be directed to a backlog of work that needs looking at, improving utilization.

Apps can be used to automate workflows and push notifications, instantly notify your technicians when their vehicle has arrived, or if a part is in stock. When a technician begins or ends a repair it will update your central fleet software dashboards.

Push notifications can also be provided when fleet technicians attend a breakdown – you can track a device location using GPS and know how far away they are from the workshop.

There is also a health and safety element, as your technicians are visible so you know if they have made it to a location safely.

 

Third Party Workshops

Even fleets that don’t have in house workshops can benefit from a technician app. You can use the apps to control and assign work to a third party workshop, with the the data feeding directly into your fleet management system.

For example, you can provide your contractors with a login for a mobile app that displays only the information you want them to see, enabling you to get live tracking, know how long has been spent on a job and approve the repairs.

The FleetWave Technician App connects directly with our FleetWave system and at no extra cost, so you can see your workshop data immediately from anywhere.

If you think this would be useful to your business check out the new FleetWave Technician app, or get in touch: [email protected]

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