The next item to look at forensically is one that drivers will appreciate, as it places the
burden to act on the supervisor. GPS systems with OBD connectors can provide
tremendous amounts of data indicating if an engine is suffering, if a battery needs
replacement or maintenance needs to occur. OBD codes can indicate if a cylinder is
misfiring, the fuel/ oxygen mixture is wrong or the engine is overheating.
Managing the data: Supervisors must evaluate this information with the intent of
improving maintenance and stopping vehicle breakdowns. Talking to a vehicle
maintenance facility, determine what items are leading indicators of a pending issue and
focus on those OBD codes. The key is to then schedule the maintenance before the
breakdown. This is a shocking problem at first, as there are many vehicles that have
been in service for a long time and which might pose a lot of issues. Some of the
analysis will indicate that an operator is paying for these repairs already, but not
proactively. For example, scheduling the replacement for a low battery voltage issue
costs the same for the parts, but saves the costs of the vehicle breakdown in the field as
well as all of the hidden costs that go with it (i.e. stranded workforce, delay in meeting
schedule, second employee or supervisor taking another vehicle to the stranded
Baselining: As before, capturing the total volume of code problems and low battery
voltage events for a period of three months will allow for improvements to be identified.
Remember that the burden to improve and act upon the issues that are reported is on
The benefit in managing this information is subtle. At the time of launch, employees may
believe that the burden is on them to improve by spending countless hours receiving
“coaching" when a report indicates they are doing something wrong. By managing this
data and acting upon it, supervisors can communicate that they are working to improve
the work conditions of drivers in order to increase their success at providing service to
customers. This directly matches to item 1 of the 4 part dispatch vision.
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