VMRS codes critical in keeping costs under control, panel says

Panelists at the 2017 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., said Monday that Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) are a growing necessity in the industry.

“I swear by VMRS,” said Pete Wallen, operations/implementation, Cetaris, Inc.

VMRS allows fleets to compile just about anything imaginable about the trucks they have on the road or on the lot.

Acquiring that much information can be a major job, Wallen said, but one that he believes everyone should quickly adapt to.

Wallen said fleet operators can utilize VMRS to track many different components that allow fleets to reduce maintenance costs across the board.

He credits the simplification of VMRS for helping fleet operators, both large and small. Maintaining current and accurate records are necessary in helping to ensure that items can be properly tracked.

“Be sure all the inventory is appropriate and coded correctly,” he said.

It’s never been more important for fleets to have control of their maintenance costs and VMRS codes are a key tool in adequately and properly tracking those costs.

VMRS codes do not always require software customization so because the codes can be universal, they can be input by fleets and their service providers no matter what software or tools each prefers.

ATA’s Jack Poster said that 717 codes were added in 2016 alone, so it’s critical to stay on top of the changes and additions being made. Some of the recently added codes deal with items related to work on a dairy farm to placing bicycle racks on buses.

Businesses must use VMRS diligently to see the benefits of the codes, he says. And he acknowledges that the system is still imperfect. ATA is working to improve the codes, and create more comprehensive codes for specific component systems that currently have coding overlaps, he said.

Wallen said the use of VMRS plays a major role in warranty issues.

“Code them right so you can be protected in warranty issues. In a nutshell, VMRS pays off, use it.”

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