The trick to making data work for your fleet, Rob Bradenham, senior vice president, commercial...

 The trick to making data work for your fleet, Rob Bradenham, senior vice president, commercial vehicles, Decisiv, told attendees at Heavy Duty Aftermarket in Grapevine, Texas, is to turn intelligence into action items.

Photo: PacLease

“There is a lot of change happening in the heavy-duty aftermarket — new equipment, connected vehicles, technology. Software is in everything,” said Rob Bradenham, senior vice president, commercial vehicles, Decisiv Inc., during a presentation at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Dallas, Texas.

Fleets are deluged with data. Bradenham cited statistics that global data use in 2001 was 1 billion gigabytes. This year that number will be 40 zettabytes – or 40,000 times more date.

He did offer audience members hope when it comes to dealing with data. “When you apply analytics, it becomes information, which is more valuable,” he added. “When you apply the information to your operation, you get insights – but the real value is when you turn insights into action."

In order to get the most out of data, fleets first need to make sure they have the right data, which comes from a wide array of sources: OEMs, suppliers, ERP systems, telematics devices, diagnostic equipment, call centers, OEM service provider networks, independent service providers, fleet managers, fleet management systems, and even drivers.

Unfortunately, according to Bradenham, today there is chaos when it comes to service event data. The phone, e-mail and even paper are still part of the service event management process and represent a lot opportunity for efficiency. Bradenham said there are still too many situations where a truck is down, but a shop is waiting for approval of a repair or a truck is repaired, and the customer is waiting for notification that it can be picked up.

The chaos shows up in higher warranty costs, increased administrative overhead, write-offs, technician inefficiency, increased downtime, great total cost of ownership and lower resale value. “Predictive solutions are lost without good data,” Bradenham said.

He told audience members that on a day-to-day basis, fleets are looking at what assets are down, for how long, where service is occurring, the status of the repairs, what trouble codes require action, what vehicles need PMI service, what parts are needed, and how urgently they are needed.

“Fleets are looking at TCO [total cost of ownership] on a per-truck basis,” Bradenham said. “They are trying to determine which assets are most profitable, which they need to get rid of, which shops and technicians are the most efficient in their own shops and in the shops of outside service providers. They also want to know which service providers are delivering the greatest value, which parts are lasting longer, what is the next expected failure point.”

Fleets and service providers need to become partners and to use the information from the data to improve the service experience and increase uptime, he said.

Bradenham also talked about the importance of parts in the uptime equation. “Today parts and consumables are tied to PMs [scheduled preventive maintenance services], but in the future parts and consumable will be used based on the condition of the vehicle.”

He said that in the future, the connected aftermarket ecosystem will become even more important as trucks become even more complex, as software becomes more important for knowing the health and performance of the trucks, and as the amount of data to service the truck increases.

“All parties will have to come together and share data.”

This is already happening in some situations, where fleets and service providers are using platforms that allow invoices to be approved without making phone calls, provide access to bay and technician availability, etc.

To successfully improve service operations, both fleets and service providers will need to make sure customer needs are well defined, and that the right data is available at the right place and the right time. “They will have to determine how to connect the entire service ecosystem and put processes in place that allow them to take action and capture value from all the available data.”

About the author
Denise Rondini

Denise Rondini

Aftermarket Contributing Editor

A respected freelance writer, Denise Rondini has covered the aftermarket and dealer parts and service issues for decades. She now writes regularly about those issues exclusively for Heavy Duty Trucking, with information and insight to help fleet managers make smart parts and service decisions, through a monthly column and maintenance features.

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