In my last blog post, “It’s decision time for private fleets,” I strongly suggested that private fleets decide how to deploy their limited capital and human resources, given the technological advancements and environmental regulatory changes, coupled with the driver and technician shortages.
Outsourcing some or all of the transportation function is one option. A fleet can decide to get out of asset ownership and turn to leasing. It can opt out of the maintenance and repair business and find a company that can assume that burden. Fleets can also turn to dedicated contract carriage, an option that mimics the current operation of private fleets.
Regardless of which option the fleet chooses, it needs to make sure that it partners with someone who understands its needs and maintains its quality standards.
When researching an outside company to take over maintenance, or to provide dedicated contract carriage services, there are many concrete factors to look for. Considerations include:
- Number of service bays
- Number of technicians
- Technician certification level
- Technician training
- Operating hours
- Spec’ing expertise
- Type and amount of shop equipment and diagnostic tools
- Ability to digitally track maintenance
- Customer support
- HR expertise
The list could go on and on. However, a checklist of “haves” is only part of the equation for finding the right outsource supplier. What a fleet is really looking for is someone who demonstrates a keen understanding of its business, value, and vision, and who understands its pain points and can offer real solutions.
One key element to look for is transparency. Are they open in their dealings and willing to share what their true costs, to include their anticipates earnings, will be from the work you give them?
The right people, equipment and skills, along with a thorough understanding of your business and an openness about how they operate, are the winning combination a private fleet should look for when outsourcing some or all of its transportation functions.