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How to Measure Performance

Informed, effective decisions are rooted in accurate data. That was precisely the goal behind a survey on Key Process Indicators (KPIs) conducted by the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference. At its 2013 gathering, EUFMC presented results of that survey, which was completed by more than 100 utility companies. The findings provide a helpful list of valuable KPIs:

Availability: Vehicle Downtime, Mean Time between Repair, Ratio of Time in Shop to Time in Service, and Total Hours Available are used to prioritize engineering focus, make decisions about overtime and staffing levels, and address service level commitments by identifying hiring needs as well as areas for outsourcing specific repairs and services.

Budget Compliance: YTD Budget and Spend Comparison, Capital Budget Compliance, and Actual vs. Budget Financial Reports are used to adjust business plans, spend rates and purchase plans, and for controlling expenses for overtime, outside services and staffing. This metric is viewed as a primary driver for overall fleet direction.

Cost Per Customer: Fleet Cost Per Retail Customer, Total Cost Per Internal Customer, and Fleet Cost Per Customer – External all help target improvement goals and more efficient purchasing for specific departments, as well as help reduce overall fleet size based on underutilization findings. Management decisions based on this KPI have led to new vehicle standards, increased utilization by right-sizing fleets and streamlined processes.

Fuel Consumption: Average MPG, Fuel Consumed Per 100 Mile/KM, and Fuel Usage Comparison measures are used for defining areas of focus for driver performance improvement, forecasting fuel costs and validating fuel purchasing programs, and making vehicle acquisition and technology decisions, including selection of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Mechanic Time: Indirect vs. Direct Labor Comparisons, Monthly Vehicles Worked On and Work Orders Completed, Technician Billable Hours, and Overtime Report tracking help prioritize work and identify slower times that can be used for employee training, determine staffing levels and fleet size by location, and perform cost analyses for specific activities.

PM Metrics: PM Completion Rate, Percent of Units Meeting PM Scheduled Deadlines, and PM Average Completion Rate help ensure preventive maintenance program compliance, align the workforce to support locations, develop plans to address overtime and outsourcing, and evaluate PM workload goals.

Safety: Miles Driven without a Controllable Vehicle Accident, Number of OSHA Incidents by Department, and Near Miss Reports are helping with purchasing decisions on type/brand of equipment, addressing workforce shortages, overtime and outsourcing activities, and with the focus on compliance.

Cost Per Mile: Average Total Cost Per Mile and Total Cost Per Mile by Unit Type are eliminating excess idle time and lowering acquisition costs. Operating Cost Per Mile/KM and Operating Cost Per Vehicle enable more effective cost management decisions.

Total Cost Per Unit: Monthly Expense Reports by Unit, Cost Per Unit, and Total Expense by Type of Unit (with a Ten Year Comparison) are helping evaluate operating costs for labor, materials, supplies/tools, outside services and internal shops, and introduce programs to reduce maintenance costs.

Utilization: Fleet Utilization, Projected Miles and Monthly Mileage by Department reports are optimizing fleet size.

Work Order Metrics: PM Mechanic Time vs. Repair Time, Preventive Maintenance, Corrective Work Percentage, and Repair and PM Turnaround Time tracking help focus on education and training, and making shift personnel and workload evaluations.

Across the board, these fleets reported that business decisions made as a result of focusing on measures that gauge the effectiveness of management strategies are an important part of raising performance standards. For more information about EUFMC, visit

Seth Skydel

Management, Editorial

Seth Skydel

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