Asset Management: Spreadsheets vs. Cloud-Based Management Systems
Small equipment and power tools can be as critical on the jobsite as company vehicles. Many fleets rely on a variety of small pieces of equipment to serve their customers. While some fleet managers only think about vehicle tracking, managing tools and equipment can be just as important to your fleet’s efficiency and bottom line. An equipment management system helps ensure tools are in good working order to avoid downtime, accidents and costly replacement purchases.
Using a spreadsheet to track tools, small equipment, and usage helps identify problems and take action before equipment breaks down. In addition to helping ensure proper maintenance, you can log asset assignments to help hold teams accountable. A robust asset management spreadsheet can help track inventory and operational status, historical usage details, and purchase and warranty information.
Spreadsheets may not work for everyone, especially if you have a growing list of tools and equipment, as it can often be difficult to monitor assets in real time. It’s also difficult to visualize real-time metrics, and manual data entry often results in miscalculations. Even paper inspection forms lack efficiency. In addition to slowing down your team’s workday, issues cannot be communicated instantly, often leading to escalated issues and costly repairs.
Cloud-based asset management systems track critical assets in centralized software, automating the manual tracking process to free you up for more important tasks. With information stored on a single platform, you can monitor usage, performance, maintenance, and expenses to improve operations.
Improve accountability with remote collaboration
Since teams are often dispersed, leveraging an asset management system is a great tool for maximizing asset visibility and improving fleet-wide collaboration. Using cloud-based equipment management software with a native mobile app allows operations to be tracked and managed remotely.
Fleet managers can assign equipment to certain operators to ensure the equipment is properly maintained. Equipment assignments create an audit trail and hold team members accountable. When issues arise, teams can communicate effectively on a mobile device to resolve those issues and stay productive. Team members can alert managers of any security or maintenance needs.
Detect problems quickly with mobile inspections
Monitoring equipment health is the best way to maximize productivity and avoid downtime. Having operators perform routine equipment inspections allows you to closely monitor the equipment, ensure safe operating conditions and identify any maintenance issues.
Mobile inspections offered by equipment management systems keep you informed of equipment issues in real time. A configurable equipment management system can customize inspection forms for all specialized tools and equipment. Managers are immediately notified of any failed inspections and can begin scheduling maintenance. This automated process speeds up the maintenance workflow and helps prevent potential issues from slipping through the cracks.
Increase equipment visibility to ensure safety
Some fleets use dangerous tools and small equipment on a daily basis, so anything you can do to mitigate risk and ensure safety should be a priority. Implementing security procedures and maximizing asset visibility are the best ways to stay informed of issues and maintain security.
Equipment management systems provide increased visibility into your operations and allow you to communicate issues with your team in real time. Managers can view and update equipment status in cloud-based software to notify others of potential security issues.
Whether problems are identified immediately during inspections or on the job site, managers need to communicate issues quickly. Marking a piece of equipment “out of service” in an equipment management system keeps all team members informed. Since broken equipment may need to remain in the vehicle until it can be repaired, consider creating a sticker to label the equipment as unsafe.
Monitor maintenance from start to finish
Maintenance issues must be identified and resolved quickly to maximize uptime. Two of the biggest hurdles for managers are tracking maintenance progress and communicating needs with their team.
The use of an equipment management system allows collaboration on maintenance. Managers can assign mobile work orders to technicians and track repair progress from start to finish.
Managers can approach equipment maintenance with preventive maintenance (PM) planning. Managers can automate maintenance reminders based on usage or schedule intervals, ensuring all equipment is regularly serviced to resolve issues and extend asset life.
Track usage to determine lifecycle trends and supply needs
Although tools and small equipment may seem inexpensive compared to larger assets, acquisition and replacement costs add up over time. Routine maintenance and usage monitoring help you get the most out of your equipment.
Tracking usage in an asset management system provides insight into how your tools are being used. This data can track PM, develop strategies to extend equipment life, and estimate when equipment needs to be replaced.
By analyzing your software’s usage reports, you may notice that you are overusing certain equipment, causing it to wear out quickly. From there, you can determine whether to add new gear or possibly find underutilized gear in your current stock.
Monitor expenses to ensure profitability
Controlling expenses across the operation is a balancing act. When it comes to small equipment, some fleets are constantly replacing equipment instead of repairing it. This strategy often has a negative impact on the bottom line. Expense tracking in a cloud-based asset management system allows for comprehensive expense monitoring. With configurable expense reports, you can break out expenses down to a line item level or view high-level metrics like total cost of ownership.
Asset management in cloud-based software automatically tracks real-time costs. Managers and stakeholders can easily perform cost analysis with configurable reports. Using real-time data allows you to make decisions with confidence to improve operations and maximize profitability. MRO
Rachael Plant is a Content Marketing Specialist for Fleetio.