Less than 44 percent of fleets maintain their vehicles using software designed for that specific purpose, according to a survey of fleets conducted by Arsenault Associates, makers of Dossier fleet maintenance management solutions. More than 16 percent use generic off-the-shelf software such as Word, Excel or Access, while 6 percent use a module of their company’s accounting, purchasing or payroll systems. According to the survey, almost 34 percent reported that they still use either paper and pencil – or nothing at all – to keep fleet maintenance records.
The survey on the Arsenault Website, www.arsenault.com, comprises a series of multiple-choice questions designed to gauge the efficiency of fleet maintenance management in the United States. Arsenault has conducted similar studies for more than 20 years.
According to Charles Arsenault, chief executive officer of Arsenault Associates, more than 100 fleets so far have taken the current survey, enough to provide an informal sketch of maintenance methods across various fleets and industries. Of fleets represented in the survey, 20 percent operate over the road, while 58 percent are domiciled fleets that return each day, Arsenault said. More than 22 percent operate in such offroad environments as construction sites, landfills and other venues.
“You would think that in 2011, fleet-specific maintenance management technology is used everywhere, wouldn’t you?” Arsenault asked rhetorically. “Well, you’d be wrong.”
Arsenault pointed out that accounting, sales and other corporate departments expect software specifically for their function as a normal management tool.
“But with more than 55 percent of the fleets reported using either a make-do system or nothing at all to help manage valuable company assets begs the question – what are they thinking?” Arsenault said. “This is equivalent to allowing mechanics to use the back end of a wrench as a hammer. It might work, but not very well and not for long.”