ARI’s Partha Ghosh Provides Insight on the Benefits of Implementing a Service Level Agreement with Upfitters

Partha Ghosh, director of supply chain management for ARI, provides his thoughts on how to structure a service level agreement (SLA) that benefits both the service provider and the end-user, in a two part article published by Work Truck Magazine, Benefits of a Service Level Agreement with Upfitters.”

The main function of an SLA is to provide assurance to a fleet’s end-user when there are concerns about a supplier’s reliability. “A fleet client may want to consider an SLA when there is reasonable doubt about the ability of the provider to meet expectations, and/or has a history of inconsistent delivery that has impacted the client in a material way,” said Ghosh. However, the overall goal of an SLA should be to establish clarity of what is expected. “The value of an SLA is the mutual understanding and clarity of expectations (and their scope) between the provider and client. The SLA can also provide assurance to the client that the service provider is ‘guaranteed’ to deliver against those expectations, as there is usually some sort of penalty or compensation for failure to meet expectations.”

Ghosh added that the SLA should focus on the following measures:

  • Establishing critical delivery dates.
  • Ensuring that when delivered, the units are road-ready, meaning that they are fully and properly licensed and registered, and have all required permits.
  • Tracking of any quality or safety issues as a result of the upfitting.

Although an SLA can be complicated, it can provide many benefits to both the upfitter and fleet personnel. “When executed correctly, an SLA can provide a client and their supplier/upfitter with clear expectations of performance and/or results, which can be reviewed annually or on some agreed-on frequency, to determine if the results meet expectations, and what consequences may occur if they do not,” said Ghosh.

You can read the full post here.