"One of the biggest issues with trying to operate an organized shop is knowing when the next job is coming in," says Dave Reed, a fleet management consultant with Arsenault Associates, provider of Dossier maintenance management solutions. While there are several good reasons for scheduling shop work, the most important one is efficiency.
"The greatest nemesis any shop faces is the unscheduled problem - the hot load that can't possibly wait," he explains. "This, without a doubt, causes disruption and a restructuring of a technician's time.
"You also have to be concerned with parts availability and, importantly, the other units that were supposed to be worked on at the time."
According to Reed, there is no system - paper or electronic - that will make those emergency repairs go away. But at worst, they represent only a part of a shop's workload, and an organized shop will be better able to handle them while staying on or close to schedules for other work.
"That work should include the PMs that help prevent emergencies in the first place."
Electronic software scheduling can and will assist a shop in doing do a far better job that a paper system because of its numerous capabilities, says Reed. For example, any software can be to allow multiple people to review the schedule, the plan, the parts inventory and staffing.