Truckfile takes an in-depth look at the contribution modern digital management systems can make to effective workshop management.
For own-account fleet workshops, independent service agents or even main dealer network franchisees, efficient management can be made easier with Truckfile’s digital platform.
The system uses cutting-edge technology but only with the aim – and effect – of keeping things simple. Service managers, foremen, technicians, parts staff and administrators can all benefit from Truckfile’s impressive range of capabilities.
Managers are given full visibility of any job progressing through the workshop, from start to finish. Parts stocks are automatically updated as any item is picked and used. Technicians have a range of user-friendly options to quickly complete all maintenance records – these are stored digitally, so are both permanently secure and easily accessible. Industry-standard templates and advance loading of jobs combine to ensure the workshop is kept running seamlessly.
Everything is visible on easy-to-understand screens – from a desktop computer or mobile device. Anyone who needs access to information can get it wherever they are, whenever it’s required. Endless paper files, with the ever-present danger of sheets being damaged or going missing, are a thing of the past.
Key to its appeal is Truckfile’s package of individual features which can be assembled, and then adapted, to suit the specific requirements of different operator profiles.
Standout elements of the Truckfile toolbox include:
- Notifications and alerts – scheduled events, overdue tasks, notes of work and any number of important items can be flagged up by the system to help both workshop and fleet managers stay fully in control.
- Instant messaging – allowing real-time contact with colleagues regardless of their location. Pictures and video files can be sent from remote, on-site technicians back to base, or from the workshop to the customer, at the click of a button.
- Integrated invoicing – parts and labour costs are fully visible and can be easily added as work progresses, providing an accurate rate for every job as it reaches completion.
- Parts management – Instant stock reports, simple order forms which can be retained as drafts, the ability to check order status and even set automatic low-stock alerts for individual parts lines, all help to make life easier for busy parts colleagues.
- Workshop control – any number of technicians, working across multiple shifts, can be managed effectively with Truckfile. The platform’s simplicity and ease of use will cut admin and boost productivity.
- Bespoke templates – for the workshop manager, the heart of the Truckfile system is the Dashboard computer screen. No ‘one size fits all’ product, this can be tailored precisely to each customer’s needs, with personalised templates, shift patterns, all the information an operator needs and no unnecessary clutter.
- Defect reporting – technicians can use their Truckfile handsets to take photographs or video clips of any vehicle defects, which are then reported immediately, and automatically, to relevant managers. Where applicable, these can also be shared with customers.
- Workshop capacity display – total shift capacity or the hours of every individual technician can be assessed at a glance, thanks to the clear and simple ‘traffic light’ display system.
- Order management – scheduling and completion of both in-house and external vehicle maintenance tasks can be integrated smoothly.
- Technician app – job sheets are simpler to fill in than any paper-based system, using either hand-held tablet devices or dedicated computer workstations. The quality control process means all defects must be signed off before the job is progressed, providing an effective safeguard against anything being missed.
Among the many commercial vehicle service providers already taking full advantage of Truckfile’s flexible, user-friendly offering is Leicestershire-based Truck Doctor. Established in 2012, the company’s five-bay workshop in Whetstone, just minutes from the M1, offers a range of repair and maintenance services to truck and trailer operators across the East Midlands and beyond.
Director Alan Phillips comments: “Using Truckfile’s Workshop Management function I can have full, instant overview of every vehicle in our bays at any time. The information is ‘live’, and constantly updated, so I can always check exactly where any specific job is up to – helpfully, I can do this either from my desk, at the click of a button, or remotely via mobile internet connection. Checking back on past records is much easier than ever before, too. Shift management, stock-taking and parts ordering, and scheduling can all be performed through Truckfile.
“The guys on the shop floor, meanwhile, find the system’s Technician Application very user-friendly and easy to live with. Before we digitised they were laboriously filling in worksheets by hand, which was time-consuming and inefficient, and also created a lot of paperwork which had to be stored somewhere. Now they can update records as they go, using either a hand-held tablet or dedicated computer workstation – they can even take and attach photographs to their reports.
“The process is far quicker and easier, and also means documents are automatically filed and stored securely, so they can never go missing. The information we record can also be shared with our customers, which helps ease any administrative or compliance headaches before they’ve even started.
“We look after a wide range of vehicles of many different makes, models and configurations, for customers with everything from a large fleet to a single truck. Truckfile works equally seamlessly across the board and had really helped to streamline our operation. It has become one of the most important tools we use.”
Truckfile Workshop Web
Meanwhile, Truckfile’s development experts continue to explore ways of keeping their technology ahead of the curve, in both functionality and ease of use. Exciting developments are coming down the line very soon. One new feature about to be launched is Truckfile Workshop Web – in essence a simplified version of the full system which retains key areas of functionality. This is aimed at operators who, for example, have the majority of their fleet maintained in a Truckfile-equipped workshop but send a small number of vehicles – perhaps older, out-of-contract trucks, or specialised trailers – to another supplier which does not have Truckfile installed. Workshop Web allows the fleet operator to give its supplier access to basic Truckfile functions, in order to maintain the integrity of recording.
The web-based system allows the operator to send digital forms to the service provider, who can then complete all documentation electronically. Workshop Web allows for real-time updates on the status of any jobs, and satisfies all requirements of digital job sheets for Earned Recognition. Information returned is automatically stored in the correct place and all files are updated, with no need for extra inputting.
The operator maintains full control at all times – including the ability to set permissions to allow only necessary functions to be accessed.
Truckfile is the brainchild of Magic Internet Technologies. Based in Redditch, Worcestershire, the company was formed in 2006 to create an innovative and user-friendly fleet and workshop management system for the commercial vehicle and transport sectors. With well over 200,000 individual vehicle records stored for more than 24,000 users, Truckfile is the largest document store of its kind in the marketplace. Customers can access the system from any internet-connected device, with no need for additional investment in servers or extra hardware. All documents are available around the clock and are securely protected against loss or damage.