Holding down parts inventory, keeping parts available

Fleet maintenance departments share an important characteristic with wholesale grocery and supermarket distribution centers — everything the fleet should be readily available from the smallest possible inventory. Reducing parts inventory while maintaining a stock level that allows the fleet to operate with minimum downtime can save a company thousands of dollars, if not more, a year.

To help build a parts inventory at the fleet level that keeps inventories organized while streamlining parts ordering, Modern Business Computing has formed a partnership with International Truck and Engine Corporation to develop Diamond Connection Solutions, a fleet maintenance software and parts replenishment system. It is designed to help International dealers work with fleets to maintain an efficient parts supply procedure.

Modern Business Computing is a consulting firm founded in 1992 that specializes in fleet management and custom business software. It has partnerships with leading vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, and others. Information about the company and about Diamond Connection Solutions is available by email at [email protected] or on the company web site at modernbus.com.

The new Diamond Connection Solutions software will be distributed through International dealers. The simple software package is designed to help fleet managers reduce costs and estimate maintenance needs accurately. Available throughout the US and Canada, it tracks parts quantities, costs, parts ordering locations based on patterns of parts use and previous orders. This database allows fleets to work in conjunction with International dealers to provide a dependable automatic parts ordering system that keeps inventories at preset levels. The system tracks work orders so that managers can track the work of technicians and maintain a complete maintenance history and parts usage record for each vehicle in a fleet.

In addition to basic parts inventory tracking, the new software provides data for preventive maintenance schedules, tracking for component cores such as starters or alternators, warranty monitoring, basic vehicle information, and user security. The software produces detailed reports including cost summaries and parts usage histories. Optional software modules can provide purchase order management, fuel and tire usage, vehicle licensing, and vehicle logs. These optional modules can track problem reports to support warranty claims, provide a parts reference for vehicles, and store employee information.

Projections from International and Modern Business Computing call for installation of the software at as many as 3,000 customer locations within the next three years. The software developers say that the new system will give fleets the tool needed to maintain vehicles properly to prevent breakdowns and other downtime through efficient maintenance scheduling. The parts inventory portions of the program will help fleet managers maintain a supply of those parts needed to perform scheduled maintenance and routine repairs without keeping an expensive stock of rarely used items.

In addition to its International dealer network, International Truck and Engine Corporation builds medium duty trucks and sells truck and engine parts in a joint venture with Ford Motor Company. For more information about International, visit internationaldelivers.com.

TAGS: Components
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