First Vehicle Services Cincinnati
Harry L. Siddall, VP Operations and Chief Safety Officer
One of four fleet support companies that make up First Group America, First Vehicle Services (FVS) provides contract maintenance for 46,000 vehicles operated out of 130 locations. For the most part, customers are municipal government fleets.
“We provide full asset management for police cars, fire equipment and every kind of vehicle imaginable,” says Harry Siddall. Services include maintaining specifications records, location assignments, repair histories and fuel consumption for each vehicle in a fleet, as well as forecasting and scheduling PM services, managing parts inventories, and training technicians.
Most of the shops brought under FVS control used standalone maintenance systems, and the company had to rely on weekly reports submitted to a centralized data group by region managers and their individual shop operations. Only after the data was compiled by the group was it available to region mangers and FVS executives in Cincinnati.
That meant management reports were at least a week behind actual activity, making it difficult to manage to fiscal and operational key performance indicators, says Siddall. “Information is power,” he says, “and we needed better information to make better decisions.”
With such a widespread and diverse maintenance network, it was clear that the best solution for FVS' data needs was a web-hosted application that would be easy to deploy at all 130 locations and also offer real-time access to information.
Many web-based systems, however, are geared to smaller operations that don't have the information technology infrastructure to support their own hosted system. “We needed a very robust system, not an off-the-shelf one, that could be modified to fit our varied customer base,” says Siddall. “We wanted a system that would give each customer every opportunity to get what they wanted out of it.”
After looking at the web-based options open to them, FVS chose the Infor Enterprise Asset Management solution as the one best suited to its data needs and its customers.
With the new system in place, “information is available to everyone who needs it,” says Siddall. The company's executives can “see what's going on anywhere at any time,” he says. “That means we can effectively manage through key performance indicators and set our goals higher than our customers' expectations.”
It also means that region managers now have direct access to the same information without having to wait for reports to be compiled, and they can drill as far down into the details as they need to address problems exposed by that data.
At the shop level, “each has the ability to see their own benchmarks or key performance indicators and how they're measuring up to them,” says Siddall.
While fast data access is important, the most satisfying aspect of the new system has been its ability to meet individual customer requirements, he adds. “We now have the ability to track different things at different operations depending on what our customers need and want. The only limit is our imagination.”