Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference (TOR) is the first stage of the TRADE Benchmarking methodology. This is where the team developed a clear purpose of what they wanted to achieve, specify the resources required, and what was expected in terms of financial and non-financial benefits.
To find and implement best practices in vehicle fleet maintenance to improve vehicle availability and labour productivity of the Dubai Police Mechanical Department to world-class levels.
The specific targets set were to increase productivity for the Mechanical Department from 40% to 70% and increase vehicle availability from 88% to 95%.
The team conducted an extensive review of factors that were impeding labour productivity and vehicle availability. This involved SWOT analysis, fishbone analysis, surveying the opinions of mechanics, analysing job sheet data, and deciding on the most important performance measures to use. The main areas of concern were identified as spare parts management and storage, equipment, material and tools availability, manpower and labour capabilities, and the Fleet Focus Management System (as the maintenance data was found to be inaccurate and not supportive of management decision making). Through this analysis the scope of the project changed from focusing on a total fleet of 3,600 vehicles to the 800 police patrol vehicles as these were most critical to police operations.
At the beginning of the ‘Acquire’ stage, Dubai Police defined 12 criteria for the selection of potential benchmarking partners. These criteria were selected to reflect the priorities of the project. Thereafter, the team brainstormed potential benchmarking partners as well as the ways in which ‘acquisition’ would be carried out (e.g. site visit, internet research).
Potential Benchmarking partners were then approached and ultimately, nine organisations were visited for the purposes of benchmarking exchange. The nine organisations were 3M, Kia – Al Majid Motors Company, BMW – Arabian Gulf Mechanical Centre, Mazda – Galadari Automobiles Co, Al-Futtaim. Ducab, Avis Repair Centre, STREIT Group and Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).
All 35 improvement ideas were assessed for potential based on a set criteria. Meetings were then held with all stakeholders to communicate the findings from the benchmarking project and get their commitment to deploy the improvement actions.
Key activities implemented at this stage included data cleansing, closing of the Bur-Dubai mini workshop to improve efficiency, creation of a shift pattern for workers and the setting up of a spare parts demand management system. In addition, workshop audio visual screens were set up to improve visual management and cost and productivity calculations were made. With particular regard to the mechanics, an incentive scheme and working hours management system were set up.
The results showed an increase in labour productivity from 40% to 72.2% (exceeding the target of 70%) as well as an increase in vehicle availability from 88% to 95%. This has resulted in a saving of 14 million AED with future savings estimated to be in excess of 20 million AED. The increase in labour productivity contributed to a saving of 5,120,367 AED and the increase in vehicle availability led to extra savings of 8,680,000 AED (the elimination of ‘replacement’ costs of about 40 vehicles).
Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae or Dr Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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