How to Choose the Best Fleet Maintenance Software

by ManagerPlus on July 23, 2020

If you want to keep your vehicles running smoothly and comply with DOT regulations, fleet maintenance software is essential. But how do you know which solution is right for you? At first glance, many solutions appear to have very similar features and benefits. Considering your organization’s goals and asking the right questions will help you narrow down your options.

Find the best fleet maintenance software with these 8 questions

1. Will the software support our growing needs?

As your organization scales and grows, your fleet maintenance software needs to be robust enough to grow with you.

Make sure the solution you choose is designed to track a growing number of vehicles and support multiple users. It should also help you manage a variety of activities, including:

  • Logging hours of operation, miles, fuel tracking, and fluid levels
  • Work order management
  • Maintenance scheduling
  • Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs)
  • Compliance reporting and records management
  • Inventory management

You’ll also want to consider how easy it is to add functionality as you need it. You don’t want to pay for more than you need, but you also don’t want to have to pay for additional upgrades each time you want to add a feature that should be standard.

2. Which fleet maintenance processes do we want to automate?

Switching to a fleet management software platform that automates manual tasks will save significant time and effort. Consider which tasks are the most time-consuming to help you determine your priorities.

For instance:

  • Do you want to receive alerts when it’s time for preventive maintenance activities?
  • Do you want to be able to generate work orders automatically when vehicles reach a trigger, such as mileage or hours of service?
  • Do you need your software to keep track of vehicle parts and notify you when your inventory is low?
  • Do you want to monitor employee certifications?

Before choosing the best fleet management software for your needs, talk to your team members about which tasks to automate. The right solution should significantly reduce paperwork and manual errors while ensuring accountability.

3. What features do managers need to make strategic decisions?

Maintenance managers do a lot more than simply ensure work orders are complete. Proper fleet maintenance management includes scheduling, budgeting, compliance, monitoring KPIs, and ensuring data integrity. Combine all this information, and that’s what goes into the decisions a manager makes every day.

A centralized software solution with a strategic dashboard helps with these decisions. When a manager can track fleet assets and KPIs over time, they’re able to identify trends and correct issues before they become serious problems. And with automatic notifications when work orders are late, changed, or escalated, managers can address concerns before they impact fleet performance.

Another feature of fleet maintenance software that managers will appreciate is integration with parts and inventory. The integration allows them to view current inventory levels, as well as predictive models, to optimize ordering.

4. What features will operators and technicians use?

Underpinning any preventive maintenance (PM) program are the operators, technicians, and drivers who interact with the fleet every day. If your team completes their work flawlessly but struggles to fill out the proper asset records, fleet maintenance software can help.

The ideal software has your entire team in mind. Intuitive user interfaces for data entry lets maintenance staff enter asset information quickly and easily. Customizable templates make for a streamlined workflow. You can specify which fields are needed and leave out those that aren’t. And convenient mobile capabilities give your crew access to the platform from anywhere.

Consider the information your team needs to do their jobs, such as asset history or parts inventory levels, and look for a fleet maintenance software platform that makes all this available.

5. What KPIs should our fleet maintenance software track?

Without metrics to help determine whether you’re headed in the right direction, it’s hard to gauge if decisions help or hinder your fleet maintenance program.

For example, metrics such as miles per gallon and cost per mile help you make informed decisions about fleet assets. Additional KPIs such as PM compliance, preventive to reactive maintenance, or depreciation are more challenging to track but offer even more insight into the effectiveness of your maintenance program.

The right fleet maintenance software makes it easy to track these KPIs. Look for a solution with powerful analytics and customized reporting, which puts valuable metrics front and center.

6. What technology integrations do we need?

When team members can’t access the information they need or find themselves frequently switching back and forth between platforms, fleet maintenance becomes more difficult. A more connected workflow can help solve this.

With an integrated fleet maintenance software platform, it’s easy to find information anytime anywhere. Consider what technology your team is already using and make sure your new system will integrate with it.

For instance, if you use Geotab for vehicle GPS tracking, look for fleet maintenance software that includes this integration so you can see all your vehicle data in one place. Additionally, if you use another software for accounting or budgeting, make sure you can easily share data between that system and your fleet software.

Connecting asset records, parts inventory, and PM scheduling allows your team to quickly pull the information they need and respond to requests. The more connected your maintenance solutions are, the more streamlined your workflow will be.

7. How will our team use our fleet maintenance software?

Everyone on your team, from maintenance technicians to operators to drivers, will likely need to use fleet management software for their day-to-day tasks. To select the most functional software for your organization, determine how — and where — team members are going to use it.

Not everyone works in an office or near a laptop, but they may still need access to inventory levels, maintenance reports, and asset history. Features such as web-based portals and mobile apps with offline syncing capabilities give team members access to centralized data no matter where they are.

Get feedback from your team members before you decide on a solution. Once you know what to look for, it’s easier to select the fleet maintenance software that gives everyone the features they need most.

8. What technical support will we need?

The hardest part about adopting a new fleet maintenance software isn’t necessarily implementation; it’s getting everyone on the team to use it properly. That’s why it’s crucial you choose a platform provider who offers ongoing support.

Support should include onboarding during implementation, along with training sessions, webinars and tutorials for different user levels. If your provider offers an online learning center, users will be able to refresh their knowledge anytime, anywhere.

Take the guesswork out of choosing fleet maintenance software

Many fleet maintenance software vendors might seem very similar on the surface.

To gain a better understanding of what sets them apart, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.

Asking these questions is a good place to start. You’ll also want to see the software for yourself and consider the user interface, as well as the ease of reporting on important fleet management metrics.

Discover why fleet managers trust ManagerPlus to keep more than 200,000 vehicles on the road. Request a live demo today.

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