Fleet vehicle repair and maintenance is a hassle. Even a small company that theoretically only needs one vehicle can quickly find itself in the market for a second, if just to take up the slack when the first is in the shop.
But for a larger outfit with a fleet of any size, fleet vehicle repair and maintenance can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, putting considerably more pressure on normal business operations to be profitable.
Many of us start dreaming of saving money and resources by moving fleet vehicle repair in-house. The trouble is, that’s all but exactly like getting into a whole new business–one that only saves money and doesn’t make any. Below we’ll talk briefly about some of the considerations associated with keeping it outsourced, and about getting into the fleet vehicle repair business.
Outsourced Fleet Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
The beauty of keeping your fleet vehicle repair outsourced is ease. Ease that is so profound that it saves money in its own right. If you have a contract with a reputable, competent shop, your business’ fleet vehicle repair system is probably operating like… well, like a well-oiled machine.
The two major drawbacks to paying an outside business to keep your fleet vehicles in top shape are limitations due to that business’ schedule, and their markup. Some fleet vehicle repair shops are always booked and it’s hard to schedule with them; if this isn’t a big problem for you, it may be worth it to continue with the one you’ve found.
The outside company’s markup is also worth considering–is it a fair price for the ease that they provide you? Would taking on a whole new business within your company save enough on that markup to be worth it? How long would that take?
Bringing Fleet Vehicle Repair In-House
If you do decide it’s best for your business to repair your fleet vehicles in company-owned facilities, you’ll need to design a business plan and a plan of transition.
Fleet vehicle repair is nothing short of its own business and you’ll need to know just how much you expect to save per repair. If the new department pays for itself, this business-within-a-business of yours can be said to be turning a profit.
Likewise, having a plan on paper and manifesting the plan are two quite different things. Once you know where you want to go (the business plan), you’ll need to map your course with a detailed plan of transition. When does the contract with your current fleet vehicle repair company end? Will you need to extend it while you finish getting ready? Where will you find your technicians? How can you be confident in their abilities? Again, fleet vehicle repair is its own business; it may not hurt to hire an outside consultant to help see you through the transition.
Maintenance and Repairs for Your Fleet Vehicles
Fleet vehicle repair is part of the cost of doing business. It can be discouraging to pay all those repair bills just to keep your fleet vehicles moving, but, we have no choice. The best you can do is simply try and keep the bills as low as possible and not let it disrupt your business.
Sometimes this means taking the plunge and bringing fleet vehicle repair in-house while other times,
it means finding a reputable expert who does this for a living.