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An investigation of the maintenance process of commercial vehicles in the Department of Defence
The purpose of this investigation was the development of a holistic solution to problems of high cost and long tum around times in the maintenance process of D-vehicles (commercial vehicles) in the Department of Defence (DOD). The investigation was focussed on the technical functions of the process, but also explored direct interfaces with the process, namely the financial, procurement and transport sections. During the research phase, benchmarking was done at various Government Departments to enquire about best maintenance practices in a similar environment. As a result of this investigation, an improved process has been designed based on modem maintenance practices. Results have shown that the implementation of the proposed solution would lead to a substantial improvement in the present state of affairs. A representative group of Defence Force units were visited during the investigation. The DOD managed approximately 17 500 D-vehicles at the time of the investigation. Problems relating to the maintenance process started surfacing during the last few years after the change of policy, in that non-core functions in the DOD should be outsourced. These vehicles were subsequently not considered to be a core function. The importance of this investigation was underlined by the enormous financial impact that the maintenance of this large commodity has on the Defence Force budget, and more importantly, the capability of ensuring a high ratio of availability of these vehicles as essential support equipment. The completed report is currently being scrutinised by the responsible DOD authorities. A decision whether the recommendations of this study will be implemented or not, has unfortunately not yet been reached.
- Engineering