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4 Things to Consider Before Implementing VMRS

Written By: Pete Wallen, Director of Operations, on Jan 09, 2018

What is VMRS?

Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) provide a vital communication link between maintenance personnel, computers, and management.  It is known as the “universal” language for fleets, original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs), industry suppliers, computers, and the people who specify, purchase, operate, and maintain equipment.

Why VMRS?

Codifying your maintenance data using VMRS gives you the ability to see your spend, determine what your highest costs inside the maintenance environment is, and identify trends in the frequency of repair, failure by asset spec, as well as manufacturers with the highest fail rates. With these high-level reporting insights, you can make better purchasing decisions down the line. 

4 Things to Consider Before Implementing VMRS

1. Find a reliable, vetted source that can do VMRS conversion for you. For most organizations, beginning a journey with VMRS is a lot more complex than simply downloading the manual from the ATA website and hitting "Go". Fitting your organization into predefined code keys can feel like fitting a square peg in a round hole. That’s why it is highly recommended that you consult an expert to support your conversion so it’s as accurate as possible. If the codes are not accurate in the system, you can seriously compromise the success of your VMRS implementation.

2. Don't compare Apples to Oranges. It's important that two identical pieces of Assets with the same Year, Make, Model but a different transmission type, speed, or fuel type are reported separately at the asset level even though they are sister trucks. Reporting on this level of granularity will reveal key insights into how little details such as transmission speed, gear ratios, and fuel types can impact your component life cycle.

3. Correct coding will make all the difference. To get true clarity regarding variation in spend for identical assets with the same spec, the assets need to be correctly coded so your reports are clean and standardized. It is fairly common to begin by looking at the parts cost and gauging how many miles were run regardless of the asset. But this will not give you a 360 view of your Cost Per Mile. If you take 10 assets of the same type that all ran 1 million miles, and you review the Spend by VMRS code, spend spikes become evident. This enables better purchasing decisions and insights into what changes will impact your life cycle cost - from better tires, to changing the spec, to incorporating better emission components.

4. Set up reports to identify abnormalities. An audit trail is always necessary so you can drill down into results and see where outliers come from. You will inevitably encounter incorrect entries, or anomalies in workflow, and it's important to use a maintenance system with built-in validation to flag errors and allow you to update incorrect entries retrospectively. For example, if you accidentally keyed two part counts during a repair where only one is needed, the cost per mile will be higher which falsely inflates the lifecycle cost.