Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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w 78 HDT • JULY 2014 www.truckinginfo.com inventory, "it allowed us to start disposing of parts that weren't used on a regular basis." Another important advantage is the ability to compare the pricing of a part against other vendors to help make sure they're getting the best price possible. Among the many reports offered by the system are cost per mile, Shafer says, which can be broken down by truck model, truck year, every part used and the price paid for the part, as well as their labor time. Clerks would key in the informa- tion from those orders into a system built on an AS 400 mainframe. Parts inventories were also taken manually. The goal was to eliminate that error-prone and time-consuming data entry by using handheld scanners and UPC codes to track parts inventory and usage. Ken Shafer, director of maintenance and tank cleaning for the Superior Carriers division, said one of the big benefits was getting more of a handle When Superior Bulk Logistics implemented the warranty manage- ment function of its fleet mainte- nance software, it was expecting to save $500,000 in the first year. As of May, more than half of the goal has been achieved. The Oak Brook, Ill., carrier is among the largest bulk carriers in North America, with two divisions — Superior Carriers, which handles primarily chemical products, and Carry Transit, which focuses on food- grade and pharmaceutical products. The warranty recovery is the latest phase in a project that started in 2010, when the company first began implementing TMT Fleet Mainte- nance software from TMW Systems. Previously, it was using a primarily manual system in its 36 shops to manage a fleet that today consists of more than 900 trucks and 2,100 trailers. "We initially purchased it to get us out of a 100% manual process," explains Donna Hudson, account- ing manager. Technicians filled out repair orders by hand, documenting Tech Bytes Bulk hauler finds warranty recovery IT project pays Deborah Lockridge • Editor in Chief Superior Bulk Logistics gained new insight into its maintenance and repair costs with TMT Fleet Maintenance software. "We're comparing the cost per mile from one year make to the next year make and can see where the drop-off starts to happen – where maintenance costs increase." – Ken Shafer, Superior Carriers on the parts inventory. "Now we had an actual part count rather than just a dollar value, so it was more efficient." Phil Bonnes, director of main- tenance for Carry Transit, agreed. And with a better handle on the terminal, etc. "We're comparing the cost per mile from one year make to the next year make and can see where the drop-off starts to hap- pen — where maintenance costs increase," he says.

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