At TMC’s annual meeting earlier this year, panelists on the council’s technical session titled “Evolving Career Pathways for Fleet Maintenance Executives” noted the difficulties of mastering both the hardware and software aspects of vehicle maintenance in today’s fleets. This is especially true when it comes to making the most out of one’s fleet maintenance software system. So much data is being gathered that it is hard to make sense of it all without a logical structure to the data reports provided.
TMC members have long asked for more content to understand our new data challenges. In response, TMC will host the Fleet Data Management & Cybersecurity Conference, a new event to address pressing issues in fleet data management and cybersecurity. The conference will be held June 5-7 at the Marriott City Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Attendees will learn how to extract more business value from the data fleets collect to make cost reporting and operations more efficient. The event will focus on leveraging the council’s vehicle maintenance reporting standards, or VMRS, as well as new breakdown maintenance benchmarking services available through a joint project with FleetNet America.
This inaugural conference will bring together fleets, manufacturers, software providers, OEMs and others to address a range of prominent issues, including VMRS, software procurement and cybersecurity best practices. The worlds of trucking and technology are merging more than ever. This conference will deliver value to our members as they prepare and build cyber and data strategies.
The event will be co-located with the 2018 annual meeting of TMC’s sister council — the National Accounting & Finance Council. This makes sense because both groups are wrestling with benchmarking, data and cybersecurity issues, albeit often from differing perspectives. These two conferences will place attendees at the cutting edge of cyber tech and finance and equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate and lead in a business environment that is constantly changing.
The topics to be covered during this two-day event include:
• An introduction to vehicle maintenance reporting standards: Our opening session will help attendees master the basics of VMRS implementation and how to apply the codes to a fleet’s daily maintenance routine. The session will cover implementing and interpreting the VMRS code keys and how the codes are used in a maintenance department. Attendees will learn how to use code key 33 (component code) and code key 34 (manufacturer/brand/supplier code) and apply the information to a repair order. They also will learn about the lesser-used code keys and how they can be an important part of any maintenance department.
• Creating better maintenance reports: Cohesive reports are the backbone of the maintenance department and VMRS is the proven method for creating the best reports. This session will help attendees make VMRS come alive with useful maintenance information.
• VMRS users forum: There also will be a VMRS users forum that will provide an opportunity for attendees to address a panel of VMRS experts from various areas of the transportation industry. This session will be the first of its kind, bringing together a group of people involved in implementing VMRS in various ways. Have the chance to have your questions answered.
• TMC/FleetNet America vertical benchmarking program update: Fleets are spending more on maintenance than they should. This session will provide attendees an approach they can take to identify where they will be most likely to realize significant cost reductions. The TMC/FleetNet America vertical benchmarking program is a new member benefit that allows for peer-to-peer comparison of unscheduled roadside repairs with those of comparable fleets through an online dashboard. By tracking what systems are failing and comparing that to similar fleets, the program helps fleets better understand the effectiveness of their overall maintenance operation.
• Productive solutions to cyber risk and threat vulnerabilities: This session will provide attendees an overview of real working cybersecurity activities specifically surrounding the trucking industry. During the past two years, cybersecurity for trucking has been questioned and exploited in different ways short of industry actions. All attendees will be invited to experience productive solutions in areas of company security planning and employee training, growing cyber industry affairs, and vehicle onboard/off-board practice and standards development efforts. In addition, ATA’s new member benefit — Fleet CyWatch — will be presented.
• The future of supply chains: Blockchain has been called the greatest advancement for shipping and logistics since the advent of the Internet. From proof of delivery to smart arbitration to cheaper payment options, blockchain could dramatically improve efficiency in trucking. Learn about blockchain technology and how it could impact the supply chain, including for verifying the origin of food.
• Using today’s maintenance software: Software has become an integral part of today’s maintenance department, yet many have questions on how to use it to its full potential. Hear from a panel of experts from leading maintenance software providers on the best method for using software to its fullest extent. This is an opportunity to speak directly to the people who are the professionals in the field of software and maintenance.
• VMRS — not just for fleets: VMRS has been a mainstay with fleets for more than 40 years, yet it’s also used by other entities in the transportation industry. Learn how VMRS is used by OEMs and manufacturers and how it can help your business. This also is a good way to communicate to your suppliers on how implementing VMRS can help them to help you.
• The intelligent method of choosing fleet maintenance software: One of the more difficult decisions facing a fleet is selecting the correct maintenance software. Attend this session and find out the key questions to ask and what to look for during the selection process. Not all software is the same. Learn what some of the common mistakes are and how to avoid the same pitfalls. Software is an expensive expenditure for most fleets. Attend this session and hear from the experts on what to look for and what questions to ask when selecting a fleet maintenance software provider.
• VMRS suggestion box: During this session, attendees will have the opportunity to make suggestions on how to improve or enhance VMRS. Attendees also can provide feedback on what they would recommend for future conferences on VMRS and cybersecurity.
To register or for more information on TMC’s Fleet Data Management & Cybersecurity Conference, visit our event landing site at www.trucking.org/events.aspx.
Robert Braswell is executive director of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. He has served the council in a variety of roles since 1992.