By Michael Cowley
Facilities Management Article Use Policy
How can managers ensure technicians travel more efficiently? Begin tracking the percentage of one-person jobs compared to all jobs. This task might seem difficult or like a waste of time, but we are talking about a non-value-added function that might be using half of your maintenance budget.
The easiest way to track these jobs is to find an unused field in your CMMS and use it to note whether the job required one person or more than one. If that is not possible, you might have to do it manually each week by reviewing the hour charges attached to each work order.
Next, review your department's transportation equipment. How many trucks do you have available? Don't forget the loaded number — benefits, health care, insurance, training, retirement, etc. Remember that maintenance vehicles don't always have to be a van or truck. Depending on your company's regulations and culture, a maintenance vehicle may be a utility vehicle or golf cart, bicycle, or Segway.
If you work in a large geographical area, consider assigning work by consulting a map and creating routes. Even in one-building environments, routes can improve travel time. This simple technique can help managers minimize losses caused by travel time.
Another tactic is charting work requests on a facility map. What quickly emerges is a pattern of where most calls come from. It might help to assign technicians to those areas in the morning or at the start of the shift because, based on the history of work requests, you are certain to have calls in that area.
Maintenance on the Move: Controlling Transportation Costs
How to Find Efficiency in Transportation Methods
Steps to Streamlined Travel Planning, Scheduling