Keeping your trucks on the road is hard enough with today’s shortage of drivers, but when you add in the difficulties of maintaining your own fleet things are now exponentially harder. Dealing with the EPA, OSHA, parts inventory purchasing and management,BUYING the right tools and equipment, and not to mention hiring during a tech shortage. Many companies are choosing the option to outsource maintenance and repair of their fleet. When making this decision to leave this work for someone else to do the real question becomes, “Which service provider do I choose?”.
- Assess Your Needs – Check out their website. Is it professionally done. A professional company, will have a professional website. Give them a call and listen to how they answer the phone. This will tell you a lot about the company culture. Something as little as do they say “Thank You” and tell you their name, can tell you how much they will take care of you as a client. Prepare a basic list of questions to ask them, such as hours of operation, average repair time, type of products and services offered, and years of experience. Ask them if about their level of insurance, the last thing you would want is your truck to burn down in their shop and their insurance (or lack thereof) not be able to pay for your truck. Then go visit the place to see how it looks. It boils down to whether you feel comfortable with them and do you believe they want and are willing toEARN and keep your business.
- Build Long Term Relationships – See this not as a transaction, but a relationship. Your fleet is like your baby and to make sure your baby is well fed, changed, and clothed right you have got to communicate. Find one point of contact at the service provider and view them as an extension of yourBUSINESS. Make sure they know everything you do about your fleet so that they can anticipate your needs through the lens of expertise that they have. Share with them what is on your list to do for truck maintenance and have them carry some of the load. In order to do this contact should be regular and frequent. Today’s technology of cell phones, texting, email, skype, social media, etc. contact has never been easier.
- Cost is More Than Initial Price – It is about total value, not labor rates, or parts markup. Why pay $50/hr for an untrained guy to take all day when the $200/hr trained technician fixes it in a hour. The lowest price is not always the best price. A combination of quality, speed, price, and ease. Downtime costs major money and with today’s competitive market, you don’t have time for it nor can you afford it. Bad quality of work or product will put you back in the shop every time and taking too long for them to finish the job is also a huge determinant in the total value of the provider. Ease of doingBUSINESS when things go wrong is also extremely important. If a warranty situation happens, how do they treat you? Are you hassled and fought over every one or are they going to be a partner that works with you to make the situation right every time. What is the value of the time savings in not having to invest time in bidding out parts purchases, paying technicians, upgrading tools, and investing in shop facilities?
- Standardize it to You – Ask them for custom solutions for your needs. Maybe you have a PM schedule you need to execute, have them work on your schedule. Or if you have an internal inspection list after each repair, then share this with them and allow them to do it for you. You don’t have to lose control when you outsource repair work, you can make it fit your existing standards. This will create consistency with your overall goals, as well create speed in automating process and standards for the service provider to do for you every time.
If you are interested in any of these ABC’s give Consolidated Truck Parts & Service a call today and we will gladly develop a custom solution for you.