That feeling when you walk into a bar and everyone knows your name.

That’s what supply chain management should feel like in 2020.

For companies like ARI and Auto Truck Group, supply chain success means getting the right road-ready vehicles to your drivers promptly. Like in Cheers when Sam slides a beer around the corner of the bar – 90-degrees – to his customer and friend, Cliff. (Part of Sam’s trick is the help he gets from Coach, who knows exactly how to make a clear path for the beer to travel from Sam’s hand to Cliff’s.) Yet in fleet management it’s the same story every year – we find the same obstacles in the path that need to be smoothed out in order to protect your business from delays.

By now, you probably know how to plan ahead with your fleet-related partners for the ongoing railcar shortages and the resulting cascade of headaches. Like how the bar patrons help Norm get his bar stool back when he returns from playing darts and someone has taken his seat. Similarly, the automotive industry as a whole continues to adjust to account for:

  • Railcar shortages (mainly ones capable of carrying large trucks and SUVs),
  • Rail network congestion, and
  • Congestion at vehicle distribution centers.

Improving the future together

Blog OTD Trends Ted David Cheers 2.jpg

Rest assured, ARI and Auto Truck are doing our part to ease your dog-eat-dog days. We’re increasing collaboration with North America OEMs, transport companies, delivery dealers, and other fleet management companies and upfit vendors to lessen the impact of delays. Consistent and timely communication throughout the entire supply chain enables more effective planning. It also helps our shared customers implement pivot strategies that keep their business moving forward.

In 2019, the supply chain management teams at ARI and Auto Truck carefully examined the shared as well as disconnected paths of our supply chain processes and identified opportunities to develop a unique, collaborative strategy for 2020 and beyond. Working together closely, we determined that the ideal end-to-end supply chain management solution requires:

  • A structured approach to the order cycle that begins with capital investment forecasting.
  • Pre-order planning and playbook development focused on year-end budget constraints. The earlier in the year a fleet can place orders and submit POs the better.
  • Strengthened communication with our customers about their roles in contributing to successful supply chain management.

Here’s how this new supply chain management strategy will take advantage of the collective strengths of our Holman companies:

  1. Coordinating build schedules with OEMs to greatly improve our ability to control the timing.
  2. Leveraging Auto Truck’s North America footprint to reduce transportation time and costs.
  3. Increasing speed-to-market by appointing Kargo Master to supply ladder racks, interiors and accessories.
  4. Expediting delivery of road-ready vehicles via driveaway services.

In our first execution of this innovative strategy, we helped a major communications company reduce post-upfit-to-delivery wait times from 43 to 17 days, which contributed to lower interim interest and allowed them to remove expensive, older vehicles from service that much sooner. And by consolidating vendors, they saved $245,000 in production costs.

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.” It’s true. And in handling supply chain management, you may not know all of the challenges or have access to the best solutions. But when you go where the people are all working in the same network, where everybody knows not only the kinds of challenges companies like you can face, but they also know your name, you can take a break from all your supply chain management worries. It sure would help a lot.

Read further about bringing more control to supply chain management – download our whitepaper: “LEVERAGING THE POWER OF VISIBILITY IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.” Also, please contact your ARI support team at any time to talk about your specific supply chain management concerns.