Too many companies overlook the importance of a service maintenance and repair (SMR) strategy, at a 'huge detrimental effect on fleet performance', according to BT Fleet.
Gary Harrison, head of engineering at BT Fleet, suggests that "all too often an SMR strategy is overlooked and cut down into very basic elements". This not only has an impact on fleet performance but on "wider business activities".
He will be presenting a free-to-attend best practice workshop on SMR strategies at Fleet News's major new event, Fleet Management Live, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on October 6 and 7.
He said: "Any fleet operator that wants to improve cost efficiency, performance and driver satisfaction as well as gain that all-important competitive edge, should begin by establishing an effective SMR regime."
The main aim of an effective SMR strategy is to maximise vehicle availability and Harrison suggests that it is possible to achieve 97-98% availability, even during periods of sustained operational activity where a business may have a narrow window to achieve targets.
Fleet operators can typically expect savings of 5-10%, although some experienced SMR providers will be able to achieve greater savings and release capita back into a business.
An SMR strategy should be based on a service plan that is optimised to the specifics of the fleet rather than manufacturers' service schedules, he said.
"Every fleet has a unique usage profile and therefore it makes sense to service vehicles in a manner that is tailored to suit that profile, one which best matches the company's particular operational needs," he said.
Another aspect of best practice SMR is traceability and accountability. Regardless of who carries out the SMR work, legislation means that the company and, subsequently the fleet manager, are accountable for any work carried out on their vehicles.
"With so much at stake it is essential that, in order to avoid both reputational damage and legal penalties, SMR ensures the highest levels of legal and regulatory compliance," Harrison said.
Fleet operators must also ensure that their SMR operating model is "sustainable and agile", as well as being "future-proof".
"Any successful business model must be able to adapt to future improvement opportunities in a timely fashion, and focusing on your SMR will support this by generating and supporting strategies for profitable growth," Harrison said.
In his presentation he will show companies how to ensure their SMR strategy is fit-for-purpose and future-proof.
He will also explain how BT Fleet has helped keep many of the UK's mission critical fleets running efficiently and compliantly, and showcase best practice in SMR strategies for operational fleets to maximise availability.
To find out more or to register for your free ticket, visit www.fleetmanagementlive.co.uk.