By: Shawna Laird, Business Manager
Knowledge is power. To remain competitive, fleets must capitalize on their efficiencies and maintain full visibility into their operations. Fleet managers who have access to performance information when and where they need it have the power to make decisions that maximize their resources and effectively cut costs. In order to optimize productivity, management needs control over what information they receive, when they get it, and how it is delivered.
Instead of scrutinizing reams of reports and spreadsheets, fleet managers and analysts might consider using custom dashboards. Just like the dashboard in your vehicle gives you key information on your RPMs, oil pressure, and those blinking lights that tell you are running low on fuel or the engine needs to serviced, business dashboards can give managers a quick and informative look into how their maintenance operations are running. Demand for dashboard applications continues to grow as fleets increase the information available about their operations and look to provide their personnel with tools to conquer that volume of data.
Most dashboard applications fall into the category of business intelligence. They process and condense data into summary values and key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide an overview of your operations. Graphical displays are a distinct advantage and a valued alternative to traditional reports. Couple that quick view with the ability to “drill down” to get the details and you have all the information you need in a matter of seconds.
Dashboard applications aren’t just useful for the Fleet Manager, but also for shop supervisors, parts clerks, and even technicians. If technicians had access to customized dashboards (i.e. their direct vs. indirect labor), would they become more productive?
Dashboards that have flexibility in their reporting periods are an advantage because extended time periods enable trend analysis for spotting serious problem areas early. Automating the dashboards is convenient and practical. Information that is current and always available from any computer is the goal. Talk to the Information Technology Department about placing dashboards on the inter- or intranet.
For more information on Dashboard Applications, talk to your fleet software provider or contact a fleet consulting firm.
The FleetPros Blog is written and moderated by the Business Manager with contributions from the membership and Business Services Team.