Maintaining and repairing automobiles in a timely, cost-effective fashion is a daunting task to most fleet managers. Managers lose valuable time contacting auto dealerships to look up, identify and order parts, decreasing the revenue a vehicle can generate because it's not in service. Delays in repairs can frequently be attributed to incorrectly identifying and ordering a part, which results in an unnecessary loss of revenue. However, fleet managers with Ford vehicles can now use parts specifying tools similar to those available to dealership service technicians -- electronic parts catalogs (EPCs), according to Bell & Howell Publishing Services. "Bell & Howell's EPCs are easy to use and more accurate than paper or microfiche catalogs," spokesperson Carolyn Costello Grossi told Business Fleet. "They help identify parts quicker and more easily, and help fleet managers 'fix 'em faster and keep 'em rolling.'" These catalogs are similar to the ones that qualified automotive technicians use to service cars and trucks when they come in to dealerships for regular maintenance and/or repairs. "Bell & Howell's EPCs allow fleet managers to service their vehicles in a more economic and timely manner," Grossi said. When using EPCs, fleet managers don't have to call a service technician at a dealership to identify needed parts, according to Grossi. "A fleet's technicians can use the EPC to correctly identify the parts themselves, saving time and returning the vehicle to the road sooner, minimizing revenue loss," Grossi said. The Bell & Howell EPC is designed specifically for fleet operations that do their own maintenance work. It uses DVD-ROM technology to provide monthly parts information updates. It provides parts look-up navigation, and offers search capability by part number, name, or simply pointing and clicking on the part illustration. A fleet service technician can also enter a vehicle identification number and have instant access to up-to-date parts information for the specific automobile being serviced. "By having the precise, accurate part number, one short phone call or one simple fax to the local ford dealership is all that is needed to order the part," Grossi said. EPC is currently available to Ford fleets only. For more information, call toll free 1-888-543-0894.