Greater connectivity is evolving the forklift service call and changing how companies approach equipment maintenance. Today’s connected service technicians are using new technology to make service calls smarter and more proactive. Service providers are working closely with customers to create a connected maintenance experience that increases visibility into the process, reduces downtime, sets the stage for predictive maintenance and changes how organizations structure maintenance plans.
Global companies have an opportunity to use this connected maintenance platform to create consistency with maintenance plans, service metrics, parts delivery mechanisms and pricing structures across global operations. Following are five steps you can take to help ensure the benefits of service connectivity extend across your global organization.
1. Make the connection and collect the data
Connectivity is the infrastructure that supports your global maintenance experience. It is about connecting your assets/forklifts through a forklift fleet and operator management system to gather data on the status, performance and usage of forklifts. It is also about creating a channel and process through which this information is gathered, shared and analyzed within the maintenance program and across the global organization in a systematic way.
2. Know your assets
When properly managed, shared and utilized, the compiled operator performance and forklift health and utilization information can provide a deeper understanding of global fleet and maintenance issues. How often and in what ways are these forklifts being used? What are the most common maintenance issues? Are there regional/global differences or similarities?
3. Create consistency
Since different regions around the globe have their own set of unique challenges, issues and cultural norms, it would be difficult to have one overarching maintenance plan that meets the needs of each region. However, there are areas where consistency can exist (e.g., oil changes, trouble-shooting guidelines, planned maintenance checklists) while allowing flexibility for localization. Gathered data about your fleet and maintenance issues can help identify localization needs and create consistency where possible.
4. Identify goals
A good global service and maintenance plan should be guided by a mix of global and regional goals. For instance, a globalized goal could be to reduce unplanned forklift downtime or the mean time to repair (MTTR) across all locations; while a localized goal could be to decrease safety problems or improve call/fix ratios in regions where it might be an issue. Fleet and operational data can be used to identify goals and uncover problem areas and issues.
5. Pick the right partner
It is vital to have a partner with global capabilities (e.g., standardized processes, strong resource network, regional market and regulations knowledge) that can align with corporate initiatives and localized needs. They must have the infrastructure and local support to help create and maintain a consistent maintenance program while also assisting with analyzing gathered data so actionable information can be used to strengthen and expand efforts.
As greater connectivity evolves forklift service, it provides an opportunity for organizations to create and manage a standardized global maintenance experience. By following a few important steps now, companies will be better positioned to leverage connectivity and Big Data to provide consistent levels of service for their entire worldwide fleet, regardless of location.