The Finer Points Of Fleet Data

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Release date: 1/14/2019

The Finer Points Of Fleet Data

by Bill Romba

“Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” – Microsoft founder Bill Gates

The fleet management industry has seen an evolution in recent years centered on information technology (IT) and vehicle data. With the advent of telematics devices and vehicle tracking systems, fleet managers are utilizing IT more than ever.

The statistics provided by these tools can be used to reduce vehicle downtime, keep up with preventative maintenance, improve driver safety, make informed decisions when selecting new vehicles, and more.

How Can Data Be Used? - NAFA Regular Member William McCarty, Director, Office of Budget and Management for the City of Springfield, Ill., said that his team uses vehicle data for maintenance intervals and diagnostics, as well as the effective deployment of equipment and staff.

“Optimizing our preventative maintenance scheduling is obvious, and yet, prior to a relatively recent upgrade to our systems and data capturing capabilities, preventative maintenance scheduling was largely a manual process,” McCarty said.

“As for a service delivery example, we’ve been able to utilize telematics data to optimize the deployment of equipment for snow plowing. The result is vastly improved efficiency and performance, as well as increased citizen satisfaction.”

Responsible for some 10,000 vehicles, NAFA Regular Member Robert Martinez, Deputy Commissioner for Support Services for the New York Police Department (NYPD), said that he and his team utilize a proprietary process called FleetStat to
better manage their vehicles. This method employs the same model as CompStat, which was also developed by the NYPD to increase efficiency and maximize resources with regard to stopping crime.

“We have 13 different shops, and then there are three to four different shops per district,” Martinez explained. “We have FleetStat meetings where we look at the out-of-service rates of each of the commands. We also look at the number of vehicles that are waiting for parts, as well as our personnel records that show how much sick time people are taking.”

By utilizing this system, Martinez said that NYPD is also able to prioritize certain vehicles in the fleet. For example, he explained that the 1,800 units that comprise the fleet’s emergency response vehicles “are the most critical because they’re the first vehicles dispatched when someone calls 9-1-1. We’re able to make them a priority at the shop and look at their out-of-service numbers separate from the rest of the fleet.”

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