Mobile technicians are increasingly being used as a means to overcome recruitment issues in the industry, and supported with the technology required to make this possible, according to the commercial vehicle compliance and maintenance software specialist r2c Online.
“It’s well-known that the sector suffers when it comes to attracting technicians, with Logistics UK stating that workshops find around a third of vacancies difficult to fill,” said Tim Griffiths, operations and product development director at r2c Online.
“There are a number of programmes underway from manufacturers and other parties to try and solve this problem but they will take some years to come to fruition.
“In the meantime, one method of ensuring more efficient use of the technicians that are available now is to make them mobile, and this is something that we are seeing happen in an increasing number of instances. It’s very much a developing trend.”
A technician equipped with a van, tools and a range of basic spares would typically spend a day with a fleet carrying out on-site inspections and minor repairs, Tim explains.
“There are obviously some limitations in terms of the work that can be carried out but it does have very real advantages,” he continued.
“For the fleet operator, it is very time-efficient, meaning there is minimum disruption to their operations and a number of vehicles can be seen at once. For the workshop, it maximises the number of billable hours and improves customer service.”
r2c Online became involved in this area because its workshop system allowed this kind of operation to be made possible, says Tim.
“Effectively, the technology we provide means that workshop actions can be carried out almost anywhere, with job sheets created and jobs allocated, plus notifications about repairs and defects added to the system, and parts ordered or taken from the store,” he added.
“Everything happens in real time and, to all intents and purposes, there is no difference between a mobile technician and one working in the workshop when it comes to the facilities available through the system. It creates a seamless infrastructure.
“We’re seeing more and more of this type of activity through our systems and, with no solution to the technician shortage on the horizon, we’re very much expecting it to be a growing workshop trend heading into 2021.”