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 Almost 34 percent reported that they still use either paper and pencil or nothing at all to keep fleet maintenance records.
Those findings emerged from a survey of fleets recently conducted by Arsenault Associates, makers Dossier fleet maintenance management solutions. The survey on the Arsenault website comprises a series of multiple-choice questions designed to gauge the efficiency of fleet maintenance management in the U.S. Arsenault has conducted similar studies for more than 20 years.
According to Arsenault CEO Charles Arsenault, more than 100 fleets have so far 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 were domiciled fleets that returned each day, he said. More than 22 percent operate in such off-road 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?" he 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."