By: Shawna Laird, Business Manager & Business Services Team
In the last several years, Utilization Management and Shared Resources have been ‘in the news, on the horizon, and adopted in budget goals and fleet business plans. In 2012, we are challenged at looking deeper – into the small “stuff” and the specialty equipment.
We all recognize that every fleet has a substantial investment in vehicle and equipment assets that their customers need for the delivery of service; and we know the goal of a Utilization Management Program is to balance under and over utilized vehicles and equipment for a more efficient and cost effective use of the fleet assets. We have traditionally overlooked a large category of fleet assets, the small and specialty assets, and we all have plenty of them. Often times, we have one for every service center or for every crew throughout the agency jurisdiction.
We are targeting specialized and small equipment that may or may not have meters on them, but are included on your fleet asset list. Small and specialized equipment is often overlooked or put on the back burner for utilization management programs and planning. It is time to track the ‘use’ of this type of asset and record use patterns. Need vs. convenience?
Make it an objective in 2013 to begin accurate tracking of the use of these units throughout your agency. Look at alternative technologies for tracking use, such as Automated Vehicle Location (AVL), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Automated Pooling Systems (APS). These are available to track the actual use of the equipment. This technology tracks the number of times the equipment/vehicle is operated rather than the number of engine hours or miles driven or even days in use. In small and specialized equipment the number of times the unit is used is a better measure of the use than hours or miles driven.
Once you have data on the actual ‘use’ of the small assets divide them into three categories: Retain, Consider for Shared Resources, and Reduce Fleet.
Once you have identified units that could be better utilized in a shared environment between operating customers, consider consolidating these units into a central rental center where the equipment can be reserved when truly needed and shared between customers in the agency.
In many cases it may be more fiscally responsible to rent the types of equipment that have been identified as underutilized from commercial sources. Be sure to have contracts in place for commercial rentals. Utilization balancing reduces fleet costs by balancing usage of all units within a specified class and within an annual time frame across the entire agency. Be sure to update your Utilization Policy to include these assets.
By: The Business Services Team
In part 2 of this Teambuilding series, we discussed that team players are essential to the success of the team. In this portion of the series, the focus is on Team Ownership. The Team Ownership that we are discussing is not the person who has the legal right/title to the team. It is the opportunity for ‘individual’ ownership that each of the team players has. There must also be ownership by the team – not just the ownership of the team.
Kevin Eikenberry writes” Commitment, engagement or buy-in – whatever you want to call – it’s a good thing. One sure-fire way to increase all those things is for people to feel ownership of something. When people feel ownership for problem solving, ownership of the ideas created in a meeting or ownership in their personal or organizational goals they are working towards greater success will occur.“ When people take ownership of anything, they take pride in it, share it with others, and have a passion for it.
For a team to be successful in any endeavor, the players have to own their roles, their contributions, and their involvement on the team. Each of us takes individual ‘ownership’ of our job responsibilities. We take responsibility for the necessary tasks it involves, we do the best we can, engage in it, show its importance, and contributes to the success of the overall team/organization because of it. Each position is owned by someone and each team ‘owner’ contributes to the entire team goal. Taking ownership of our role, whether we write specifications for the new equipment, order repair parts, prepare the budget, repair and maintain the equipment, supply the parts, build the vehicles, develop new technologies, provide administration and business management, or conduct studies; moves the team up in the success rankings.
Think of your favorite sports team, each player has a role and a responsibility to own that role and to contribute to the success of the team, each and every day. Not just for the championship. These team players have and display team ownership. They work at it, are loyal to it, and are proud of it.
We each have ownership on many teams. Every organization that we belong to, work for, volunteer for, or participate in any away with needs team players that will own their piece of the team. Our families, our friends, our sports teams, our jobs, and our associations and organizations will succeed because of us taking “ownership”.
By: Steve Kibler, Fleet Manager, City of Loveland (Colorado Chapter)
Each fleet manager or any manager for that matter has a unique style of leading his/her team. It’s kind of like the three bear’s beds, there are three categories: one is too soft, one is too hard and one is j-u-u-u-st right. The one that avoids or ignores problems is too soft. The autocratic one or the “off with their heads” one is too hard (but this style must be in your ammo box). The manager who earns his teams trust and respect through fairness and integrity turns out to be the just right leader. Which one are you? We are motivated to lead in many ways; through frustration with current leaders; through a will to “fix things” or an inherent need to improve how a service is provided.
My personal motivation comes from witnessing colleagues do it right and wanting to emulate that example of leadership within my own team. Another subtle motivation may be a catch phrase or sage quote by some famous person. I have some favorites I would like to share.
“Worry is interest paid on trouble that hasn’t happened yet” ~David Petersen
“A successful man is one who can lay a solid foundation with all the bricks others have thrown at him” ~David Brinkley
“Being defeated is temporary, giving up makes it permanent.” ~Marilyn von Savant
And my personal favorite:
“Be who you are and say what you feel ‘cause people who mind don’t matter, and people who matter don’t mind.” ~Theodor Suess Geisel (You probably know this author by another name: Dr. Suess)
There are many ways to lead your organization to success but there are exponentially more ways to fail and go backwards. How can you avoid this pitfall; always follow through with a plan until it is completed to your satisfaction or until it fails (the plan, NOT you). If you never fail, how can you or your team know what your limits are? We’ve all heard the saying “two heads are better than one.” Think how much better the dozen or so heads on your team are if you have created a culture of trust. Don’t be afraid to ask suggestions from your team about a challenging project. An unknown author said: “He who does the job knows the job best; trust the people you hired to do the job.” Trust your team to suggest strategies and/or obstacles you may not have anticipated. Then you must lead by decisively picking the direction the team will take and you must define to the team the goals along the journey. Here’s where follow through is so important. Don’t let the project die on the vine. If I may quote RMFMA member Craig Croner, City of Boise “Regularly inspect what you expect from your team.”
Each of us must find our own style of leading. My advice would be to regularly network with your team every chance you can. Attend every industry related conference, meeting, and/or training you can and glean whatever motivation you can steal from your colleagues. ‘Cause those that mind – don’t matter and those that matter – don’t mind.
I even composed a motivational saying of my very own:
“You can’t go through life with one foot on the brake; release your fear of failure; of not achieving excellence; be excited about life and release the brake!” ~Steve Kibler
By: The Business Services Team
Whether we are discussing the RMFMA team, your work team, or any other team that you may participate in, team players are essential. Building a new team or adding to an existing one takes more thought than just an open invitation. Changes to the team will affect all the players whether you are the team captain, a seasoned player or a rookie. Good qualities are just as important as skills. Blending the team together takes growth on the part of all the team players. People may want to be on the team, but don’t know how to be a good team player. It is the role of the team leader to look for people with the good team player qualities and help the existing players accept and grow into these qualities as well. Since a team is made of more than one person, there needs to be clear communication and collaboration on the team. Collaboration is multiplication and extension of resources.
In his book, The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, John C. Maxwell has identified the qualities necessary to become the kind of person every team wants. Growing these qualities will help each of us be better team contributors and team participants.
Tenacious Never, Never, Never Quit
Enlarging Adding Value to Teammates is Invaluable
Adaptable If You Won’t Change for the Team, the Team may Change You
Mission Conscious The (Big) Picture is Coming in Loud and Clear
Solution Oriented Make a Resolution to Find and Implement the Solution
See (‘C’) the qualities of a good team player.
Collaborative Working Together Precedes Winning Together
Committed There Are No Halfhearted Champions
Communication A Team is Many Voices with a Single Heart
Competent If You Can’t, the Team Won’t
Team players can PRESS forward with good qualities.
Prepared Preparation Can Make the Difference Between Winning and Losing
Relational If You Get Along, Others Will Get Along
Enthusiastic Your Heart is the Source of Energy for the Team
Self-Improving To Improve the Team, Improve Yourself
Selfless There is no “I” in Team
The team players DID it – they used good qualities and succeeded.
Dependable Teams Go GO-TO Players
Intentional Make Every Action Count
Disciplined Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Putting together a team that works well together takes time, effort, communication, and a willingness to be more that a group of individuals. Organizations of all types accomplish more when people work together.
By: Shawna Laird, Business Manager
Predictive Maintenance is a flexible program designed to prolong vehicle life and predict failures. It is scheduled based on time, fuel consumption, or usage, costs associated with repairs, and breakdown analyses.
There is a distinction between predictive and preventive maintenance.
PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE is basing the repair activity on the condition of the equipment. Maintenance intervals are set to prevent a failure based on some form of historical data.
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE is based on a routine event or inspection. Regularly scheduled maintenance is at a pre-set interval; typically set by the equipment manufacturer or government regulations.
The prescription for predictive maintenance needs to be custom tailored to each fleet, each class of equipment, and each year, make, and model. It is best to start with recommended guidelines and enhance them based on variable factors, such as usage, age, and environment.
Symptoms of a fleet in need of a predictive maintenance program can include, but are not limited to, high volume of “come back” visits and the age of the equipment has exceeded its predicted life cycle.
In crafting an effective treatment plan, you need to determine intervals for component replacement. This requires good electronic record keeping and analytic trend analysis. Predictive maintenance involves replacing components shortly before they fail.
Oil sampling is an important element of predictive maintenance for engines, transmissions, hydraulics, and differentials. Oil analysis results show trends that indicate the appropriate intervals for oil changes. Diagnostic output files (such as those available through on-board computers) may present you the opportunity to take prompt action regarding maintenance problems that are not readily apparent. Equipment downtime should be prioritized, scheduled, and conveniently resolved around both technician availability and production.
The most available source of data for diagnosis is found in your own database. In mining the data, keep in mind that you are looking for failures. Some of your existing reports which can be used to begin the search are:
There is no known generic available.
CAUTION: THIS IS A LIFE SAVING MEDICATION. TAKE SEVERAL TIMES DAILY!
Acts like an antioxidant. Used in combating high costs, answering inquiries from upper management, creating billing documents, providing an immediate means for tracking and retrieving maintenance and service histories, helps avoid infectious problems, and is easily tolerated.
This can be used to create a detailed plan for fighting specific ailments. This prescription can be applied at any time. It has been known to make things easier and smoother.
Real time information can extend the life of the vehicle and handles scheduling of checkups in a timely manner.
CAUTION: DO NOT STOP TAKING THIS MEDICINE. Stopping this medicine suddenly may cause serious side effects, such as: higher costs, longer recovery time, road calls, missed performance measures, and unhappy customers.
HOW TO USE THIS MEDICINE: You may schedule the dosage in any combination of the following or choose the one that works best for you, based on the history of previous complaints and ailments.
Dosage: (Usage) Every XXX Miles or every XXX Hours
Dosage: (Consumption) Fuel quantity
Dosage: Predetermine the tasks necessary based on failure statistics
ADDITIONAL DOSAGE INFORMATION:
Dosage: Performance Measures
Dosage: Shop work flow for PM scheduling and repairs found during the PM services
Dosage: Schedule the vehicle during it’s off peak hours and have quality “Dr.s” available to perform the service
As problems are resolved, the number of major failures decreases, turning your maintenance program from reactive to proactive. Predictive (proactive) maintenance creates more reliable equipment requiring fewer personnel to maintain it. You will be able to identify equipment problems, diminish large scale repairs, and create economical scheduling of maintenance. Results also include increased operational uptime, improved equipment reliability, and a reduction in operational and labor costs.
Fleets that take a proactive approach to predictive maintenance recognize that addressing smaller events often prevent larger and more costly events from occurring in the future. Equipment and critical asset life is preserved, maintenance costs are reduced and reliability programs improve.
The FleetPros Blog is written and moderated by the Business Manager with contributions from the membership and Business Services Team.