Blog #2: Diversifying Your Fleet and Other Best Practices
Acquisition costs are rising daily, causing unprecedented stress on fleet managers responsible for their fleet’s efficient utilization and the revenue stream’s subsequent growth potential. Like an investment portfolio, fleet diversification is a proven method to support sustainability, directly impacting profitability and future expansion – and should not be taken lightly.
A solid diversification strategy goes well beyond light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicle classifications. It is ready to adapt your fleet to the current market to ensure optimal utilization of your existing assets – yet remaining open to alternate solutions as you anticipate your needs in the near and distant future.
With rising inflation, labor shortages, and ongoing supply chain uncertainty, it’s essential to carefully review your procurement model and work with an expert team like Curry Supply, who can easily guide you through the process. The key is to start conversations early, allowing ample time to examine your ordering history and new asset allocations, review your fleet requirements, and then share that data with our team of experts so we can assist by identifying unnecessary specs and offering alternatives.
Learn how Curry Supply is ready to support you in this new environment, influenced by OEM allocations, to ensure your business is equipped to maximize revenue. Topics include:
- Tips to Diversify Your Fleet While Staying Within Your Budget
- Tactics to Optimize Equipment Utilization
- Common Obstacles You Might Encounter If You’re Not Diversified
We’ll also discuss the importance of choosing brand partners wisely and why you need a backup plan.
Tips to Diversify Your Fleet While Staying Within Your Budget
Profitability reigns supreme among your priorities as a business. Due to the many fluctuating variables in the market, it’s become increasingly difficult to maintain a profit margin. As you prepare to place a new order, how can you procure the same amount of assets while being cost conscious? Consider these tips:
- Deep dive into your ordering history to gain a better understanding of specific features included in your vehicles. For example, do you need a compressor or generator on every vehicle in your fleet? This critical step will help uncover the specs you need and use before placing your next order.
- Consider the impact of GVW. With the current labor shortage, it’s imperative to have versatile equipment that your whole team can operate. Does your current vehicle require a CDL? This is an opportunity to lighten up the body and drop the classification, opening up your driver pool and making hiring and retaining employees easier.
- Be open to repurposing an asset instead of following the typical straight-line depreciation model. For instance, consider revitalizing a concrete mixer by preserving the chassis and replacing the body to convert the vehicle to a water truck. You’ll save approximately half of your overall cost by upfitting a truck equipped to navigate the challenging quarry terrain.
Tactics to Optimize Equipment Utilization
It’s all about utilization to ensure vehicles within your fleet are not sitting idle, especially while OEMs are limited in their production. It’s okay to go back to the drawing board to consider refurbishing or upfitting a vehicle to increase versatility. Here are two tactics you can employ to get the most out of your vehicles:
- Upfit your preventive maintenance truck with a customizable lube skid. This enables your service team to perform multiple jobs while already onsite to complete a repair or routine maintenance. These removable units add so much value to your fleet with the capacity to haul a variety of oils, antifreeze, or grease.
- Reconfigure the cab on your work truck to carry more personnel. By making this shift, you’ll reduce the number of vehicles driven to the job site and free up another vehicle to go elsewhere.
Common Obstacles You Might Encounter If You’re Not Diversified
Various obstacles plague a fleet manager when assets are not diversified, such as delays, lost revenue, or worse, getting outbid on projects. With proper forecasting and reliable partners, these obstacles don’t have to define the future. Let’s look at brand loyalty and the importance of a backup plan.
During these difficult times, brand loyalty will carry us through. Working with a chassis manufacturer that knows your background, understands your needs, and can give expert market guidance is essential. But it’s also vital to cultivate relationships with multiple OEMs to help fill in the gaps and expand purchasing options, especially if your allocation is lower than expected. The same powertrain, engine, and transmission can be configured for a variety of chassis.
When choosing a vendor, watch for telltale signs that display reliability, particularly during a crisis. Ask questions and listen to the response. Do they provide specific details regarding quotes, communication, and support after the sale? Generic answers may indicate inexperience or inability to stay connected with you as a partner.
Having a Backup Plan
Regardless of your preferred chassis dealer, remaining flexible and having a backup plan cannot be emphasized enough. When you experience delays and cancellations, let Curry Supply help guide you to similar specs to save on lead times and get your truck completed quicker. Having a backup plan means you’re no longer limited to the corresponding delays for a specific chassis brand and body style.
One of the many benefits of working with Curry Supply is that we can upfit any brand chassis available. We’ll help you diversify, find deals, and expand your options – with your best interest in mind. Always. We’re not just taking orders without a review of your procurement history, and we’re fully invested in your success. We know the needs of your business and how your trucks will be used, which is why we’re going to dive into the details and figure out the best solution. We can’t predict what will happen, but we can certainly provide the most up-to-date information for the market we’re all navigating together.
Continuing the series with Blog #3, we’ll share positive lessons learned while navigating the most common industry challenges in recent years and also reveal how Curry’s brand ethos (Fearless. Driven. Proven.) inspired innovative solutions, ultimately leading us into the future of manufacturing.