Ford will begin offering the Telogis-powered Maintenance Connect this summer, an extension of its Ford Telematics solution, that will connect fleets' vehicles to a Ford service center, providing real-time diagnostics and preventive maintenance information.
Ford will offer the service to fleets, including government agencies, in the U.S. and Canada. They must have Ford Telematics in order to add Maintenance Connect.
Maintenance Connect enables Ford commercial customers to share key diagnostic and maintenance information with a participating Ford service center of their choice. Service centers and fleets must opt into sharing data. Fleets can also constrain the data that the service centers will be able to access, said Greg Dziewit, VP of commercial OEM for Telogis.
"Fleets can share as little or as much data with the service center as they want," he said.
Maintenance Connect is an extension module built into Ford Telematics, providing a new series of reports and alerts when the ideal time for maintenance schedules are. While Ford Telematics has delivered vehicle trouble codes and other maintenance data to fleet managers since its launch in 2011, the ability for service centers to have access to this data, further streamlines the maintenance process.
"With Ford Telematics, we're able to share better information with the fleet manager, and with Maintenance Connect we're able to allow the Ford dealership to participate in that maintenance service," said Dziewit. "Now the dealership have visibility into their customers' fleets and can offer a proactive service around with that customer."
For example, the dealership can set up an automated report that are within 5%-10% of the recommended oil change.
"So now the dealership can reach out and set up a mutually agreed service time to the customer, and provide a much better level of service to the fleet," said Dziewit.
The system can also be as quickly reactive as it is proactive. For instance, if a trouble code is registered, the fleet manager and service center is notified. The service center can diagnose the trouble, determine its severity, check for the availability of parts and materials, and contact the fleet manager to discuss the diagnosis and/or schedule a service call, limiting downtime and reducing costs, according to Dziewit.
"It's also about taking the hassle out of managing a fleet," said Krys Grondorf, VP of global corporate communications for Telogis. "This allows fleet managers to unplug all of the hassle and allow the service center to take a bigger role in maintenance, and provide a support system for the fleet manager."
It also helps to keep costs lower by handling a problem before it becomes catastrophic.
Government agencies that maintain their own their own fleet garages will be able to integrate Maintenance Connect with their operation, according to Telogis.
Ford has been offering a Telogis-powered telematics system since 2011. Ford Telematics is available for 2009 model-year vehicles and newer.
The system is available with Ford's F-Series, Super Duty, F-650/F-750, Transit, Transit Connect, E-Series, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Escape, and Explorer. A telematics system is available for Ford's Police Interceptor and Police Interceptor Utility as the Telogis Law Enforcement Edition.