We’re featured in this month’s Transport Operator magazine…grab a copy today!
Our full article is below:
TRACE feature on Workshop and Stores Management
Over the last six months we have received calls from a variety of organisations with problems. Some have no recognisable fleet and garage management software in place, whilst others have packages with shortcomings. Others, still, are looking for an element without realising what a plethora of truly integrated software is available to them. I am going to provide a few real examples. However for reasons that will become obvious, I am unable to name the companies involved at this time.
Company one rang us because they needed better control over their tyres. They had lost sixty seven big commercial vehicle tyres from their stock. They subsequently recovered forty seven leaving in excess of £6,000 of tyres missing. Their first call was to their current software supplier. They were told several things. First that they did not have a tyre control facility, and secondly, they do not carry out bespoke work for clients. If the greater part of their customers all want the same thing they would consider adding it to the main system.
Based on the tyre management system that TRACE offers, a full demonstration was arranged. During this demonstration many other short comings were identified, including, amazingly, the fact that none-stocked or direct purchases were not handled. If a non-stock item was required then a stock record had to be created, the part ordered and then when it was delivered to stock it could be issued. Apart from all the extra steps required this means that the stock file grows and grows. There are other issue with this as well, but not to dwell. The point is that when buying a system the purchaser should check that the system is future proof. They should check on the willingness of the supplier to work with them to achieve their ams not just now but for years to come.
A second but similar example was where a company had an in-house fleet and garage system but managed their hire fleet manually. As their business grew they turned to their software supplier for a system but to no avail. They called in TRACE and we showed them our integrated contract (long term) hire and our spot (short/undefined) hire modules. They also saw other features of the TRACE system including real-time time recording, This meant that they would not need a clocking in/out clock and all time could be recorded, including non-vehicle time, giving them detailed time analysis, something they did not, and could not have with their incumbent supplier. We discussed more and introduced them to tyre control. This is something TRACE users consider vital but most hire companies close their eyes to as being too time consuming. Imagine hiring out a three axle trailer with new tyres and then back it comes a few weeks later with a completely worn set. How much have you just lost? Use the extended tyre module in TRACE as part of the stores and maintenance system and you will have whole-life tyre control.
We are talking to a company who wants all these integrated features and we want our system to be the best solution it can be. We’re working with this company to ensure the extended tyre reporting system meets all the legal reporting and management control for tyres. The TRACE way is that this company will only pay the module price whilst receiving a complete bespoke solution to their requirement. From then on future TRACE users of the tyre module will get the best solution available at a sensible price.
The next and current module wanted by many users and future users of garage systems is inspection systems. There are a number of stand-alone systems available and they serve a purpose. The main short
coming is the auditable link between defects identified and the correction of those defects within the garage management system. The TRACE inspection system is fully integrated within the TRACE Garage Management system. A job is created which has one line (normally speaking) this is “Carryout an Inspection”. Inspections are linked in TRACE to the Vehicle and the type of Inspection required based on the schedules in TRACE. This Job is sent using GPRS to the portable (possibly remote) unit. The inspection is completed and defects can either be corrected in situ or they can be deferred for later. The Inspection is then sent back to the main system, via GPRS, and the job updated. This also updates the vehicle history showing the Inspection and defects and the actions taken – a full audit trail. TRACE also produces an electronic inspection sheet correctly completed, with signature. This is saved against the Job/vehicle and can then be printed or emailed as required.
The main point about these stories is that some fleet and garage management systems have wide scope and are fully integrated. Be sure you choose the right system.