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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. We're trying to put some policy into place regarding keeping service trucks stocked with a set list of equipment. We're an industrial maintenance and welding contractor. There's been a lot of push back regarding how time consuming it is, who should be responsible for doing it, etc. Do you have any advice on how to best organize it, auditing what's on it, and keeping it stocked. This is not usually an issue that I handle but I've been asked to get involved and resolve this issue. Thanks in advance for any input you have!

Renee
 

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Repair/Remodeling Tech.
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Well, I'm kind of an a$$hole, but here's how I would put it to my guys 9if I had guys, lol).

"Here is a list of what we expect you to keep ON your truck. This list should last you through a days service calls. YOU are responsible for keeping these minimum quantities on YOUR truck. You can stock it in the morning for that day, or in the evening for the next day. Don't care. You're an adult, figure out what works best for you.........BUT......

If you have to make a supply run in the middle of a day, naturally we'll pay for it, but if we look back and see that you used less during that day than what you should have had in stock in the first place, there will be disciplinary action taken.

IOW, if you spend too much of MY time making runs for things you should have had, then you'll be gone. There is no set amount of this "time", but when I think it's enough, you'll be the first to know. :thumbsup: "
 

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Who puts fuel in the trucks? Who drives the trucks?

They are responsible for keeping the truck stocked up on items they need. I assume they are not responsible for paying for the items that need to be stocked.

Our guys are responsible for keeping the trucks fueled (each has a card) Stocked on normal items they need and over all condition of the truck washed ect. We handle the maintenance in house.

We normally keep most items we use in stock at our shop, if they make trips back here because they didn't have X Items they get talked to.

I'd be pretty unhappy if people are complaining about keeping the items they need in the truck. I can see someone else making a list of items, as far as keeping track and physically placing the items. It who ever is driving the trucks responsibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your responses. The trucks are not used by the same employee all the time. We do different types of jobs all around the US and the person who has the truck is the employee best suited for that project.
 

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Kowboy
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If the guys are paid hourly, how time consuming it is becomes irrelevant. It is none of their business how long it takes as long as they are paid for the hours they work.

It seems fair to me that if I'm given more responsibilities, I should be given more pay and the authority to perform the added responsibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sector, they don't take the trucks home. I think it should be the same guy to do all the trucks, also. Kowboy, yes, they get paid hourly for doing it. It's actually someone in management saying it's an issue with how much time it takes. It's more time consuming to be driving all around an area your not familiar with trying to buy the equipment you are missing on your truck.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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Your 'Management' sounds kinda dumb to me. Does 'Management' prefer the guy driving all over an unfamiliar town, wasting time and gas, looking for something minor that would have taken a guy a few minutes to stock on the truck?

And - There's a reason I put 'Management' in quotes. They're like dirty diapers :laughing:
 

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Well not having the same person in the truck every day does complicate things. But why not just make it everyones responsibility. Who ever drives the truck in at night takes 1/2 hour or whatever to make sure it's stocked and ready to go for the next day, Or even before they leave for the job. The person who drives the truck that day is responsible for making sure it's stocked for what the days tasks require.

Having another person do it seems like a bigger waste of time and money. What do they want to hire a person to come in for a few hours just to stock trucks? Sounds outrageous to me but we all know those management types.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks 85GT. With multiple people doing it we've been having a problem with accountability when the trucks aren't stocked correctly. Also, I think employees remove tools from the truck during the work day if the truck's at the shop. The problem seems so simple to solve but for some reason it gets more complicated when you get in to the details.
 

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What we do when a person needs to move trucks is. The tools and supplies go with the person. So if a person needs a certain truck for the day they move there stuff in to it. With what we do though, for the most part the company owned tools that are issued are standard between all the trucks, so really no need to switch them over, just the material. Other trades are different. So what I would do is: If bob is in truck #3 monday but needs truck #2 tuesday, Bob moves all necessary supplies to Truck #3 either monday night or tuesday morning.

I guess it all boils down to the person/crew is responsible for having the materials/tools/supplies needed for the days task at hand.

When I was running a crew I hated others loading out jobs for me. I still had to check it anyway, and it's a pita to remove stuff in a tightly packed truck if they grab the wrong material. Plus you look and feel like crap for having to go back or having someone go back to the shop for the correct items/materials. Plus it's a huge time waster.
 

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Accidental Painter
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Think ambulances. How do you think THEY do it?

They have a checklist they check after each run.

Create a "universal" loadout. That is your checklist. Then leave extra room to list anything not on the list. Your employee should have a full days work order before he leaves shop so he can load up & do paperwork.

Let them cry. Employees always do when you add work. Boo hoo.

Then enforce it. If you dont enforce it, the game is lost.
 

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driftwood is correct

I am surprised this is even an issue, since the solution is so obvious.

It doesn't really matter if the employees drive different trucks each and every day..........

Here is the list-when you leave the shop each day you are responsible for making sure all these items are on the truck you are driving that day.

doesn't matter if you drive truck 348 today and truck 276 tomorrow- each morning you run the list before you leave.

how is this even an issue?
stephen
 

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Although this job sounds simple on the surface, I see some issues with the drivers restocking the trucks --

They aren't the ones that will be using the truck next--

When I had a shop with several trucks (long ago) the shop equipment manager stocked the trucks--

He was also issued a copy of the work order and supplies for the job that that truck was going to head off to---

Our computer was set up to generate a supply and equipment list based on the work order---that was tough to set up but saved time hand checking a pull sheet.

Worked well for us---not to many shops have an equipment manager,however.
 

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Although this job sounds simple on the surface, I see some issues with the drivers restocking the trucks --

They aren't the ones that will be using the truck next--

When I had a shop with several trucks (long ago) the shop equipment manager stocked the trucks--

He was also issued a copy of the work order and supplies for the job that that truck was going to head off to---

Our computer was set up to generate a supply and equipment list based on the work order---that was tough to set up but saved time hand checking a pull sheet.

Worked well for us---not to many shops have an equipment manager,however.
Mike-
I don't follow your logic on this. Why WOULDN"T the driver be the one using the truck next.
Man reports to work in the morning- yesterday he was driving truck 137.

today-for some reason which escapes me "management" has decided he is driving truck 458

Ok-so here are the keys to todays truck #458, here are your work orders for the day-----make sure the truck is stocked before you leave.

simple
what am I missing?------- how is this complicated ?

aren't we over thinking this a bit ?
stephen
 

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Each vehicle has an operations manual in it, with bunch of different things in there.

The manual includes a list of stock parts and tools required on the vehicles. Each page is laminated, and has a column at the end of the item description with a spot to write quantity used with a dry erase marker.

When they get back to the shop, they pull out the list, replace what was used, and erase the notes.

Never do they return to the shop without doing this. It takes less than 5 minutes, it's easy, and the guys like knowing that they will never forget to re-stock.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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This would be a no-brainer for me. Maybe a little bit of adversity helps me appreciate certain things because me and my co-workers used to fight for what little material there was in the shop to keep our trucks stocked. The moment UPS came, everyone would rush the loading dock scrambling for whatever we could find in the box. But I suppose that if you have an endless supply of materials in your shop, people will be more inclined to take it for granted.

Also, I imagine that it would be difficult to assign anyone other than the guy driving the truck to restock it as he is the only one who knows what was used and how much of it is left. Even in the ambulance scenario, I'm sure that the paramedics have to make an account of any supplies used and report the information over even if they have a load-out check list.
 

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It may be a pain to set up, but lets think about the technology in our pockets. There has to be some sort of way to scan barcodes with a phone. Set up an inventory system based on that. Scan consumable when used off of the truck. Restock list gets auto generated. Back to the shop, load items based off the list, and scan them back in. Maybe Im way off base, but I would think there is something like this out there
 

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is there an electronic method of identifying what is used from the truck each day?

i.e. Tech#8 uses (2) schmoozles from Truck#5 on Thur so when Tech #9 is given the order to use Truck#5 for Fri's job an automated note is re (2) schmoozles is tagged w/ the truck number.

Many years ago I found a website where programmers bid on a project you want created-I'm sure this has flourished since then. If you have someone smart, they can devise the requirements of the program and then have someone write the program. Integrating the mobile device the technician uses (BB, Iphone, Ipad, whatever) and whatever you use centrally in the office as well as what the restocking technician uses to "clear" the notes is part of the system.

takes a bit of creativity, but that's how you can grow a little company into a big company
 
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