By: Jon Gibson
Like a lot of you reading this, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age. I never paid much attention during computer studies at high school and couldn’t see how the Commodore 64 would ever evolve into a tool that I would use in my lifetime. After all, my mind was made up when I left school in 1990 – I was going to be a diesel mechanic just like my father. What a colossal waste of time it would be for me to clog up any of my (somewhat limited) mental capacity with such things as computers. “Never going to need it,” I thought to myself whenever I got near one. As I type these words into my Sony Vaio Notebook, I can’t help but think that maybe I might have been wrong about the computer. I’m willing to admit now, that maybe this fad is going to catch on and somewhere along the way, without really choosing to, I got onboard with it.
Now more than ever, amid a shift in global economics unlike any the world has ever seen, it is imperative you streamline your operation and maximize the return on your investment any way you can. The investment in our case is our plant and equipment fleet combined with labour cots and other overheads. To obtain the maximum available returns we need to manage every one of these expenses from the cradle to the grave. The fleet I manage comprises of about 110 machines and about 50 light vehicles, large by some standards, small by others. Either way, it is time consuming to manage any inaccuracy in records, schedules and entered data, and can result in lost revenue. To help manage my fleet maintenance program, I use a software program called FleetMEX from Brisbane-based company Maintenance Experts or “MEX” for short.
I have found FleetMEX to be a flexible and effective tool but most of all it is priced right. IT is so easy to use that I taught myself. I have been using it for four years now and in this time it has become vital to our maintenance operation. With FleetMEX we have been able to improve our equipment availability and in turn, overall profitability. With more accurate information available to us, we have been able to make informed decisions about equipment repairs as opposed to total asset replacement based on speculation.
Specifically designed to cater for fleets and vehicles and mobile equipment, FleetMEX combines comprehensive fleet maintenance and management – which has enabled us to gain control of our equipment. FleetMEX enables us to tract our equipment down to the precise amount of fuel and hours used, all while saving on time, paperwork and let’s not forget, money. I can monitor my tyre wear, schedule preventative maintenance and registration renewal, and keep hire records and other extensive fleet details. Costs and maintenance are easily monitored, ensuring reduced downtime and less costly repairs. With online and/or face-to-face training and support options, geographical issues are easily to overcome.
I caught up with MEX founder Stephen Ninnes who remains ‘hands on’ some 16 years since its inception. Steve sited the company’s philosophy as; “providing a software system that is cost-effective for the client, user-friendly, Microsoft compatible, and backed by a full and effective customer support service.” He explained all of their software has been designed by maintenance engineering with years of practical experience. This ensured peak system efficiency and functionality without compromising the flexibility to make your own reports, systems and most importantly, decisions. The company has expanded to the point where it now has users in several countries operating in varying industries from local government to cruise liners, rental cars, and mining contractors – just to name a few. I have spoken to some of my counterparts who also use MEX, all of whom were equally as impressed as I am.
FleetMEX isn’t the only product available capable of providing many of these functions, there are other programs out there that offer similar functions and varying levels of user support. I recommend you check them all out and form your own opinion before buying anything. Bear in mind FleetMEX is founded, designed and distributed in Australia, by Australians for Australians. The key points to consider when evaluating different software systems includes; how flexible is the software?; how does the technological support work?; what do you really want the software to do for you?; and what is it going to cost me?
It is time to work smarter, not harder. Get in touch with Maintenance Experts and let them demonstrate how this versatile tool can save you time and money.