TMC service providers develop solution for shop loading prioritization

If you’re regularly struggling to determine what trucks should enter your service bay next, the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) is busy working for you.

TMC’s S.16 Service Provider study group announced during a task force meeting Monday in Raleigh, N.C., that it plans to send a proposed Recommended Practice for Shop Loading and Prioritization to ballot next February at its Annual Meeting in Nashville.

The RP, which has been in development for years and has been produced in collaboration with OEM representatives, fleet maintenance professionals, dealers and independent service providers, will provide a repeatable process for any heavy-duty service shop looking to maximize its efficiency and eliminate wait times for customers.

Matt Panning at Tyson Foods and Scott Witt of Excel Truck Group led the creation of the document. The duo says the proposed RP will incorporate other service RPs—such as Rapid Repair Assessment (RP 1604) and Customer Repair Order Authorization and Approval (RP 1602)—in its earlier steps, and will build off them in the latter steps of the process.

The bulk of the RP addresses “once we’ve done the rapid repair assessment and the customer wants us to move forward, how to do it as efficiently as possible,” Panning says.

One key aspect of the proposed RP is the service provider’s preference for assigning work. Some service providers prefer to schedule based on repair types, others prefer to base scheduling on repair times and still others make their determination by the expertise of technicians available. Panning says its best to choose one strategy and use it regularly, deviating from the plan only when necessary—such as cases when the right technician for the right job is sick, or already occupied in another bay.

“Obviously, the easiest is first in first out but that’s not always an option in the lives that we live,” says Witt.

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