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6 Things to Consider Before Buying Equipment Management Software

May 16, 2016

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If you’re trying to decide whether using fleet management software is the right move, you’re not alone. Buying equipment management software can mean spending a nice chunk of change and asking your team to change the way they work. On the other hand, managing your fleet digitally can help increase productivity and make your employers happier.

HCSS has implemented our fleet management system, Equipment360, with more than 180 companies in the past six years. Through our experience, we’ve learned to recognize from the get-go companies who do not need equipment software. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you should invest in equipment management software.

1. Is your fleet big enough to need equipment software?

There’s no magic number to meet when it comes to figuring this one out. It’s all about finding the right software for the size of your fleet. If you’re a mom-and-pop shop that only wants to track preventative maintenance (PM) and completed work orders, try free solutions like Certified Labs or Mantek.

Mid-sized fleets that need cost-tracking in addition to PM alerts and other basic tracking might consider turning on their accounting systems’ equipment modules or buying a comprehensive fleet management software.

Complex fleets with bigger needs may want dedicated equipment solutions with shop management tools and the capacity to manage shops in multiple locations.

2. Are you ready to make some big changes to the way you currently manage your fleet?

Most software implementations fail not because of the software, but because people don’t want to change. In order to use software successfully, you and your team need to be open to revising  your processes, from high-level goals to your daily routines. Show your mechanics how easy it is to enter and review information like equipment history and parts inventory from mobile devices and they might be on your side.

It’s hard to argue against numbers, and a simple example like the below could get your mechanic on board:

On average Equipment360 Mobile Mechanic users spend about 7.5 minutes a day on the application. Compare that to approximately 35-40 minutes a day using paper time cards and work orders and close to 15-20 minutes using spreadsheets, your mechanic could be saving 7.5-32.5 minutes a day, time that could be used for turning wrenches.

3. Do people constantly hound you for shop information?

You know everything that’s going on in your shop, but no one else does. Because of this, your owner probably asks you questions all day and your operations team might not  trust your estimates.

Fleet management software can give your team access to information like meter readings and labor hours. Making this information visible and accessible often means better communication across the board and more trust from your team, especially when it’s time to purchase new equipment.

4. Is payroll a difficult, time-consuming process at your company?

Electronic time cards can decrease friction with payroll by erasing the need to mail in or deliver time cards in person. In addition, instant review and approval can eliminate the need for your mechanics to drive to the office, and, as a result, can reduce risk, insurance costs, and wear and tear on your team’s equipment. Plus, manual entry into your accounting software leaves room for errors. Software that exports time cards directly to accounting will make the payroll process automated and digital, giving your payroll department fewer headaches.

5. Are you losing money because you don’t track inventory? 

Many companies don’t track inventory since it can be time-consuming and tedious. However, not knowing what you have in your inventory can cost you time and money. Some equipment software have the capabilities to help make managing your inventory (and in turn your purchase orders) painless and more cost-effective. Knowing what you have in your warehouse may help predict your needs to avoid scrambling and paying more than you should for a part you have to have that day.

6. Is there equipment software out there that would interface with my existing software?

If you already have an accounting, estimating, job management, fuel tracking, or telematics system, adding equipment software might be easier than you think. Interfacing equipment software with your current system could increase your overall productivity and decrease the chance of needing to import your data from scratch. You can also check if your accounting software has an equipment module.

If you find yourself too busy managing details like meter readings, maintenance history, time, and labor to make important business decisions, equipment software can help. Choosing an equipment management software to help you with the small stuff allows you to focus on what’s important.

Learn More about Equipment360