Posted by: Deirdre O'Brien, October 9th, 2014
Fleet reporting is critical, and right from the initial days following implementation of a fleet management solution, the reporting data can help fleet owners/managers better understand their fleets and day-to-day challenges. Over time, however, the data can become mundane and less serviceable. Managing by exception is far more beneficial to the fleet owner/manager and entire organization – enabling fleets to deal with deviations from the norm quickly and efficiently.
Management by exception (MBE) is a practice in which only significant deviations from the plan or norm are brought to the attention of the management team. This ensures that management focuses only on those areas that require action – allowing them to hone in on the specific issues for rapid resolution.
Management by exception enables thinking and planning at the strategic level.
Fleet managers who manage by exception are notified only when, for example, a driver is nearing a violation, excessive driving behaviors are detected, or in the case of winter operations, an irregular amount of material such as salt is used on a particular street.
To avoid over managing exceptions, your organization should define thresholds that highlight only those results that require further action.
- Set thresholds that make sense – spend as much time as possible to ensure your thresholds are meaningful and sensible.
- Know when to stay away – when all processes are working leave them alone.
- Focus on eliminating the exceptions or factors that lead to exceptions so they don’t repeat. An exception that keeps coming back is counter-productive and perhaps requires a different approach.
Benefits of Management by Exception
- Saves management time and energy and allows for concentration on more important problems and issues
- Leads to a much better return on technology investment.
- Facilitates the engagement of specialised staff for highly routine jobs.
- Encourages workers to exercise their own judgement. As long as they are within established guidelines, they can continue working.
- Leads to identification of critical problem areas and rapid resolution.