In order to effectively manage a fleet, fleet managers need to forecast how many and what type of vehicles a fleet will need in order to operate efficiently. At first glance, vehicle acquisition may seem like an easy process. You choose the vehicle you want and you buy it. But we all know things are not that simple. Keeping a careful eye on vehicle analysis will help your fleet perform successfully over time. This involves complex decisions spanning from which vehicles will get the job done and have the best resale value, to which ones will deliver the most ROI when it comes to total cost of ownership.
Start Off Right
Ordering a properly spec’ed vehicle (with enough time to keep your fleet on the road) is not easy, and that’s just part of what needs to be considered. The stages of an effective supply chain begins with data. Before you look at vehicle analysis be sure that you are looking at your supply chain strategy as a big picture. Effective supply chain management minimizes risk, lead times, and costs for a fleet and begins by examining a buy, drive, service, sell fleet life cycle model to make smarter decisions.
If you want the best possible return on your investment- spec your vehicles correctly before you acquire them. The only way to be sure is by first working with the right partners in order to have the best strategic plan in place, so you can study the data before making a decision. Focusing on the “buy” aspect of your fleet requires a knowledgeable team to help you focus on things like:
Replacement Cycling Strategy
Lease vs. Reimbursement
Maintenance Spend Planning
Fuel Spend Analysis
Fleet Structure Review
The Right Partner Can Make A Difference
What if you could work with a single team with the resources to design, build, deliver, and manage trucks? The quality and efficiency gained when you order vehicles through a partner who can also handle your specification builds — ensuring you get the right vehicles for the job — can free up your time for other responsibilities. The combined core competencies of ARI, Auto Truck Group and Kargo Master help you to determine the right vehicles for your business and create a strategic plan that will pay off in the long run.
So, how do you identify the right vehicle for your fleet?
If you don’t determine the right vehicles for the job, you may miss opportunities to maximize use and
predict costs. When identifying the right vehicle for your fleet here are some key factors to consider.
Planning and taking the time to evaluate the critical processes and equipment that your business needs to ensure success is important. By identifying the key requirements for your vehicle and how it will perform over time-whether you are buying, financing or leasing your vehicles you can utilize ARI’s expertise to make sure you consider things such as functionality, data driven factors, and things such as vehicle fuel type.
Some other things to consider might be:
Operational requirements such as size, style and carrying capacity
Routing, roads and terrains
What are the needs of your drivers?
Are you vehicles underutilized and over spec’ed?
Are you thinking long-term?
Supply chain starts with funding. Cost supersedes everything and you need funding that aligns with your company’s financial goals. Whether it’s leasing, financing, or purchasing, ARI can help you pick the option that best balances your CapEx/OpEx demands.
Standardization is key to vehicle utilization and minimizing costs. By having standardized specs for vehicle types and their uses, you can be consistent when it comes to maintenance, training and parts. Less complicated specs reduce acquisition costs and timeline as well as maintenance and fuel expenses.
While the supply chain process itself is complex and comprised of several interconnected steps, decisions are becoming easier, especially when your fleet management company has deep data integration partnerships with its key suppliers. We know that every fleet is different and we understand the importance of choosing the correct vehicle to meet the needs of your organization. Above all, your main goal should be receiving the most value up front and throughout your vehicle’s life span- while making sure you have the right equipment for the job and accurate data and communication to provide you with information that will produce worthy investments.
To learn more on leveraging the power of your supply chain management download our whitepaper or read a customer story on how ARI’s BI&A team helped a client cut costs by determining how different types of vehicles in their fleet were being used, managed, and maintained.