Meet fleet service expectations the right way

The TMC's Service Provider Study Group is continuing to bridge the gap between fleets and service providers.


There are three basic steps to this RP, according to Calhoun. First, the details necessary to start a warranty repair have to be gathered. These include documenting the complaint, having the fleet provide any additional warranty coverage information, determining whether there are any recalls and gathering other necessary data.

Next, once the vehicle problem has been diagnosed by the service provider, and before starting repairs, there ought to be verification that payment for the work would be covered by an applicable warranty. During this process, it is the service provider’s job to obtain and document OEM pre-authorization information and to inform the fleet as to the status of the warranty and the estimated repair time.

After this, the repair may be completed and proper documentation made for the customer invoice. When invoicing a customer for a warranty repair, it is important that the applicable warranty repairs have notations indicating that there was no charge and that the proper VMRS coding on the repair operations was used, says Calhoun.

VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards) is the standard coding convention for communicating maintenance information. Considered the “shorthand” of maintenance reporting, VMRS is managed by TMC.

  • RP 1604, Rapid Repair Assessment. This was developed to establish a rapid vehicle repair assessment. It says that the first order of business when a vehicle arrives at a shop is to determine the customer’s preferred method of communication for business dealings.

The next recommended best practice with RP 1604 is to allow the service provider up to two hours of diagnostic time to assess the problems with the vehicle.

The process continues with the service provider doing a diagnosis, formulating a repair estimate, determining parts availability and, if necessary, getting prior authorization for the repair.

  • RP 1605, Justification For A Parts & Service Assistant. Unlike the previous two RPs that deal with relations between fleets and service providers when it comes to completing repair work, this RP deals with the process of justifying and implementing the hiring of a parts and service assistant. The reasoning behind this RP, observes Calhoun, is that such an assistant can help fleet and/or service provider efficiency by lessening the workload on technicians and keeping them where they are most needed - in the work bay.

Among the topics addressed by RP 1605:

  • How to figure out the necessary experience a person should have to successfully fill the position.
  • Depending upon the size of the service provider/fleet, how many parts and service assistants may be needed.
  • How technicians and the assistant can most effectively communicate with one another.
  • Tools the assistant may need to perform his duties.
  • Benchmarking of target areas of parts and service improvement expected from the hiring of an assistant.

For more details on these and other RPs, consult the TMC Recommended Practices Manual.

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