Downtime can have a serious impact on the overall efficiency of your fleet, which can ultimately lead to serious problems for your delivery business. In the worst cases, it can bring your whole fleet’s operations to a stop, which will not only cause you anxiety but also mean that some of your courier jobs could be delayed or even not done at all.
A proactive fleet management strategy is the way to prevent or tackle this issue when there is a threat of it occurring. There are several methods through which you can create this strategy, but one of the main things to bear in mind is to make sure you continue to communicate any changes or new policies to your drivers. A well-informed, organised courier network is the first step to tackling what can be a very costly problem.
A Preventative Maintenance Schedule
The first step to preventing debilitating issues is to ensure that your maintenance schedule and policy is proactive rather than reactive. Being fully aware of (and communicating) the maintenance tasks you have in the pipeline will also assist you in planning your budget and expenses in this area.
Fleet management software will allow you to keep track of certain metrics, such as hours of use and mileage, which will ensure you never lose track of your servicing schedule and when it needs updating.
Vehicle Replacement Strategy
The next thing that has proven to be an excellent way of making sure that your courier jobs continue even when the threat of downtime looms large, is putting a vehicle replacement strategy in place. As your vehicles age, this issue is more likely to occur due to faults that can be put down to natural wear and tear.
You need to guard against the complacency that comes with allowing vehicles to stay in operation past their appropriate use-by date. The last thing you want is an asset out on the roads that isn’t fit for purpose any longer, as this will only lead to problems being more likely.
Tackle Issues Straight Away with eDVIR
Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) offer you the chance to perform daily inspections on your vehicles, meaning you have the ability to once again be proactive rather than reactive in ensuring that your assets are safe, compliant and primed for effective use.
Using the electronic version of a DVIR is a highly efficient way of making sure that your courier jobs will run smoothly with downtime reduced to an absolute minimum. These eDVIRs allow you to view results in real-time rather than waiting for paper reports to be returned to you in the office, by which time the problem may have already had its impact.
The last thing you want when you’re operating a delivery network is for courier jobs to be hampered by unnecessary and preventable downtime. Using eDVIR real-time inspection reports, developing an effective vehicle replacement strategy and working on preventative maintenance are just a few solutions to tackling this scourge on the industry.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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