– By Caroline Falls –
The Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia’s fleet management unit has always been good for advice. IPWEA run workshops around the country and have a well-thumbed fleet management manual available to purchase. Lately, though they have increased the number of products that are useful to the fleet management community.
“Fleet managers need as much assistance as possible, we get that,” said Rob Fuller, IPWEA CEO.
In the last few months, IPWEA has introduced: a Whole of Life Cost calculator; a Maintenance Planning Tool; a Fleet Management Health Check tool; and, an idle-time guide.
One of my favourites is their work with the industry to classify words and terms used by fleet operators to record faults and maintenance activity. This sort of data classification system can be widely adopted by service providers and fleet practitioners to streamline processes and ensure faults and their remediation are recorded simply and consistently. For example, a utility may be variously recorded by fleets as a utility, a ute, or a pick-up. Or an organisation may call a piece of equipment a backhoe, a hoe, or a backhoe loader. “We’ve come up with a system that lists asset classification,” said Robert Wilson, manager IPWEA Fleet, adding, this enables meaningful analysis and the elimination of recurring problems.
The classification system is embedded in the Maintenance Planning Tool, developed by IPWEA with technology partner Connected Asset Management. This allows smaller organisations to move to an electronic maintenance system. It is designed for fleets with less than 250 assets.
The MPT provides an asset register and enables the electronic generation of work requests, work orders, workshop scheduling, workshop management and reporting.
“This results in maximum asset availability with minimal disruption to operational activities,” IPWEA says in its marketing material.
Access to the MPT is provided as an application subscription service, with access via desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
“We’re busy and getting busier that’s a truism and IPWEA have new resources for people in the fleet industry,” said, Wilson.
Other tools also recently released by IPWEA include: an idle-time guide; and, a fleet management health check service. This latter tool was developed by IPWEA to help fleet managers understand how their fleet practices are tracking and identify areas for improvement. You can use the health check to self-audit, or IPWEA Fleet will provide an independent review. The third party review covers 12 areas and 63 attributes.
IPWEA’s so-called Fleet Management Health Check service gives fleet owners a way to review their fleet management processes and activities to identify what is being done well — but more importantly where improvement can be made.
The idle-time guide lists the causes — including culture and bad practice, and, provides strategies to eliminate it.
Also in the realm of chain-of-responsibility obligations, IPWEA are working with industry to develop frameworks, policies, guidance templates, training and certification to assist fleet operators meet their obligations.
www.ipwea.org/fleet to find out more