The town of Eden Bay owns and maintains a feet of vehicles. You are a systems analyst
This morning, Dawn called you into her office to discuss the situation. A summary of her comments follows: Dawn (IT manager): When I came here two years ago, I was told that Eden Bay had a computerized information system for vehicle maintenance. What I found was a spreadsheet designed by a part time employee as a quick answer to a complex problem. It's probably better than no system at all, but what we really need is a new information system to meet our current and future needs.
I want to develop a proposal for a new system For now, let's call it RAVE, which stands for Repair Analysis for Vehicular Equipment. I met with the town manager, the equipment department, and several maintenance employees to understand their needs and concerns. I want you to start by reading the interview summaries I prepared. Before You Begin Review the following interview summaries from Marie (town manager), Martin (equipment department manager), Phil (maintenance supervisor), Alice (maintenance clerk), and Joe (mechanic): Marie (town manager): Maintenance costs have risen le to 1696 annually. I'm not sure that we have any real control over these costs. Some members of the town council think we should get out of the maintenance business and contract it out to a private firm. That might mean laying off current employees, and I'm not sure whether outsourcing is the right way to go. Both the equipment department manager and the IT manager tell me that our current record-keeping system is outdated, and I wonder if a new information system would give us a better handle on the problem. My own view is that if there's a way we can become more efficient, we should continue to perform our own maintenance. Dawn, our IT manager, tells me that she has developed a proposal for a maintenance information system. I plan to bring it up at the next council meeting
Martin (equipment department manager): I hear a lot of criticism about the maintenance budget, but I'm doing the best can, We operate from one budget year to the next, without a long-term plan. I belong to a professional association of fleet maintenance managers, and I know that should be developing a strategic plan instead of juggling annual budget figures.
I'd like to build this department into a first-class organization Our people are great, but they could use more technical training. Our shop and equipment are generally adequate for what we do, but we haven't kept up with some of the newer diagnostic equipment. We have a real problem in record keeping. Instead of a short-term solution Eden Bay should have developed a maintenance information system years ago. Prior to taking this position, I was assistant maintenance manager in a medum-sized city, and they had developed a system that handled scheduling and cost analysis, in addition to day-to-day maintenance operations.
Phil (maintenance supervisor): I'm in the middle - I get pressure from above to cut costs, and I get complaints from below that management doesn't know what it's doing. One thing for sure - short-term solutions are not the answer. I hope they don't ask me to cut back on preventive maintenance. The last time we did that, we extended routine oil changes and servicing, and we ended up with even more repairs than we had previously.
My mechanics are capable people, and they're doing the best they cart One problem I see is that it's hard to pull up a history for a particular vehicle. We keep the data on a computer, but different people used different codes and procedures over the years, and the system probably needs a good overhaul.
Alice (maintenance clerk): I'm in charge of maintenance record keeping. We use a spreadsheet system that was designed by a part-time employee who is no longer around. Because we work on a monthly budget, the spreadsheet has a separate page for each month. When the year is over, we start a new set of monthly pages. The spreadsheet is supposed to record labor and parts used, and assign the cost to a specific vehicle, but it doesn't always work out that way.
I also use a notebook to keep track of vehicle mileage and scheduled service intervals, so I can let the department heads know when a vehicle needs to come in for service. I write up work orders for scheduled service or necessary repairs, but often a mechanic finds other problems and has to write up an additional charges form.
Each time a vehicle comes into the shop, I start a new row on the spreadsheet. I enter the vehicle number, mileage, and date. Then I enter the rest of the data into the columns for parts, labor hours, job code, shop supplies, and miscellaneous charges. At the end of the month, I calculate total costs from the spreachh-_,t, and we compare these with actual payroll and parts vouchers for the month. If the totals are close, everyone is happy. If not, vie try to figure out what work didn't get reported and entered into the spreadsheet.
The labor codes also are a problem. Specific codes are assigned for certain types of shop labor, but these were changed three years ago when the new director arrived. Also, about half the labor can be coded, but the rest has to be entered manually - and there are no standards. Two mechanics might do the same job, and one records four specific tasks, while the other calls it a tune-up.
Describe the specific steps you will follow during a preliminary investigation, including any fact-finding techniques you will use. Be sure to include the tools mentioned in this chapter.
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