Each district’s fleet maintenance requirements are unique — with their own mix of student population, fleet and parts inventory, rules, regulations, and more. Managing these aspects can be unnecessarily time-consuming for your operations if the proper systems are not in place.
To support these unique fleet management processes, a system that allows for both customization and automation is crucial. If your transportation department is empowered with the tools to manage inspections, work orders, and reports in the most efficient way for you, not only will daily processes meet your standards, they’ll also be completed with new efficiency and accuracy.
Keep reading for the top five benefits transportation departments can realize with automated fleet management processes.
1. Streamlined Inventory and Work Order Management
Automating your routine maintenance checks reduces both stress and time spent on recreating the wheel. When your vehicles need certain parts replaced or scheduled maintenance, it’s most efficient to be automatically notified. Additionally, the ability to schedule custom notifications to alert you to pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections, odometer thresholds, and more can help you prioritize necessary tasks.
Advanced customization of routine inspections and maintenance orders allows for notifications to be automated, helping to keep your operations running smoothly. With the right software and processes in place, transportation departments can create templates for future use that streamline recurring maintenance checks, work orders, vehicle types, parts, and fuel types, empowering them to confidently manage their operations.
2. Intuitive Systems That Connect Your Department
Paper-based inspections and work orders present multiple roadblocks in our digital world. By providing more mobile-friendly solutions, such as tablet-based software or centralized workstations, mechanics and drivers can access and share relevant information in a fraction of the time. These digital work orders are made even more efficient when automatically synced to your routing and transportation management software — removing the manual, duplicate entries that come with paper-based processes.
In our current digital age, providing intuitive, user-friendly hardware for your drivers and mechanics can not only improve results, but improve the relationships within the department.
3. A Complete Historical Record of Activities and Parts
Your district may require several — or dozens of — work orders daily for vehicle maintenance alone. Your fleet’s work orders should be set up to automatically communicate with your inventory management to streamline workflows. When parts are included in work orders and maintenance requests, automatically adjusting your inventory can save significant time in your routine inventory checks.
As with all transportation functions, work orders should be logged for historical reference and accurate reporting. With connected technologies, district and transportation leaders can avoid accessing disparate systems and manually combining data to create reports.
4. Integrated Reporting With Other Transportation Functions
Of course, fleet maintenance plays a singular part in the growing world of your transportation operations. Your systems must constantly communicate with one another in real time. When your transportation operations are fully integrated, the chance of duplicate entries and data inconsistencies between departments is greatly reduced. As a result, reporting on key performance indicators becomes more concise and reliable, a major benefit for your financial and procurement teams.
Kim Martin, industry engagement consultant at Tyler Technologies, weighed in on an example of how fleet integration can benefit financial analysis: “Most districts do a fuel bid each year. Being able to bring information in as the buses are being fueled means that the transportation director can also see the current odometer and always answer the question: How much does it cost us to transport per child at any given moment? In addition, this information can go straight to financial software.”
Finding an integrated software solution that can manage everything on your checklist ensures there’s no data left behind. Fleet management orders that connect directly with routing to remove disabled vehicles from future routes, training management and tablets to assist sub-drivers, dispatch solutions that connect with parent communication apps to make information sharing a breeze — all of these connected services streamline operations.
5. Improved Safety for Students and Drivers
Most importantly, a comprehensive fleet maintenance system helps ensure the safety of your students and drivers. Weston Bartlett, sales manager at Tyler Technologies and former transportation director in Texas, weighed in on this safety aspect: “Above all else, we are charged to provide a safe environment for our students. We do this by ensuring that the vehicle is well-maintained, equipped with all the appropriate safety equipment, and prepared to complete the trip. We want to limit situations where student risk is increased. A good fleet maintenance solution helps us mitigate that risk.” Setting up your fleet hardware for success is crucial in ensuring a smooth ride for everyone.
The fully digital age of student transportation offers many benefits including automation and customization, and districts can reap the benefits. Fleet management systems can now be set up to cater to your district’s unique needs and provide automation with templates for future use.
To learn more about fleet maintenance software solutions from Tyler Technologies, visit tylertech.com/stn.