How to Overcome Supply Chain Issues at Your Fleet

By Mary Gerard, Content Marketing Manager

Do the words “supply chain issues” immediately cause your blood pressure to rise?

It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone trying to secure needed inventory, and the fleet industry is no exception. 

Between waiting longer for new vehicles to become available to trying to find much-needed parts to repair your assets, supply chain issues can be causing problems in your fleet operation. You might be putting older vehicles on the roads. Your downtime might be longer than usual. And worst of all, it can be costing your fleet operation money. Supply chain problems can cost you up to 62% in losses

To reduce the impact supply chain issues are having on your fleet operation, use these tips. 

Develop a Contingency Plan for Your Fleet Maintenance Shop

Developing a contingency plan to keep your fleet maintenance program going can give you more alternatives. If you are short on critical supplies, having a plan in place will allow you to act quickly to obtain the needed parts, vehicles, and other supplies for your fleet management department. 

Establish Strong Relationships with Suppliers

Having a strong relationship with your suppliers can give you more insight into the status of your vehicles and the parts you’re waiting for. Establishing an open relationship with your vendors will give you more visibility into their process and can alert you to changes in the status of your order, expected delivery dates, and other information that can impact your fleet. 

Leverage Technology at Your Fleet Operation

Modern technology can help you overcome supply chain issues in your fleet. Fleet management software, or an FMIS, can help you track parts inventory levels, monitor equipment performance, and help you create a preventative maintenance program that can keep your vehicles and parts running longer while you wait for new ones. Telematics systems can also provide real-time data on vehicle performance and identify maintenance issues, enabling you to proactively address any problems and minimize vehicle downtime.

Implement a Just-In-Time Inventory System to Avoid Supply Chain Problems

Implementing a just-in-time inventory system can help you minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions by reducing the amount of inventory you need to store in your shop. With this approach, you only order and receive supplies as you need them, minimizing the risk of excess inventory and reducing storage costs. However, it’s essential to work closely with your vendors to ensure they can deliver the necessary supplies when you need them. If they cannot, then you need to add more suppliers to ensure you can get the parts you need in time and reduce your vehicles’ downtime.

Diversify Your Supplier Base

Adding more suppliers can help you overcome supply chain issues by reducing your reliance on any single vendor. It lets you reduce your risk by getting more suppliers involved and increasing your chances of obtaining the parts you need. This way, if one vendor has an issue, you can work with others to try to obtain the parts or vehicles. 

Have an Emergency Response Plan

You should also have an emergency response plan in place to ensure you can get parts and assets as needed during a crisis. This can include adding more vendors. If one vendor is unable to deliver during an emergency, then you can work with others to try to get the parts you need to keep your vehicles running. 

Supply chain issues have made it very difficult to run your fleet operation over the past few years. You’ve had to run a shop management program without knowing when parts will arrive, if and when you can get replacement vehicles, and not knowing what price increases you will need to account for. You can curb these problems with proactive planning. By developing contingency plans, building strong relationships with suppliers, leveraging technology, implementing just-in-time inventory systems, and diversifying your supplier base, you can keep your fleet running smoothly even in the face of unexpected challenges.

To learn how RTA’s fleet management software solution can help your fleet operation overcome supply chain issues, schedule a free demo today. 


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