Whether a company might uncover thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, fleet managers are finding that disciplined maintenance programs work to replace reactive processes with predictive capabilities.
As a discipline, lift truck maintenance has developed at an impressive rate in recent years. Telematics and data collection technologies, enhanced equipment reliability, and an economic recession aided this swift transition and brought the industry’s chronic waste into sharp focus. Skimping on repairs and rotation is a great way to increase costs, not curb them.
Of course, plenty of fleets are still treated as mere costs of doing business. In those cases, the emphasis on execution rather than excellence results in organizations pouring virtually unlimited funds into equipment.
At the other end of the spectrum, leading fleet managers boast right-sized fleets, controlled costs, and technology that moves them from reactive to proactive maintenance methodologies. However, as with all process improvement initiatives, there is no finish line and even those at the top of their game continue to hunt for every scrap of efficiency.
“A few years ago, plenty of our customers told us they knew everything about their fleets and wondered why they would ever invest in fleet management technologies and learn to manage a new system,” says John Rosenberger, manager of iWarehouse Gateway and global telematics for The Raymond Corp. “Now, they come to us at trade shows, dealerships, or to Raymond directly and tell us their margins are so thin that removing 1 percent or 2 percent of inefficiencies can keep them competitive.”