While repairing your vehicle before the pandemic was a quick one or two-day affair, depending on the severity of the damage, the period has quickly ballooned to over two weeks.
If the part you need has a chip, you have to wait for weeks or months. The pandemic wreaked havoc on global manufacturing and supply lines. It resulted in a serious backlog of parts orders that continues to be experienced to date.
On top of the supply chain shortages, there are labor challenges and lengthy downtimes of the vehicles in your fleet. It's a terrible position to be in, but you can create some room to breathe.
To get there, we need to examine the reasons behind this mess.
Why Is the Situation This Bad?
Parts prices have risen by over 60% since the pandemic due to the higher commodity prices. The cost of manufacturing and shipping them have also gone up while decreasing the margins fabricators would normally enjoy. This increase has pushed up inflation and the overall repair cycle time. What we're witnessing now hinders providers the ability to chart a smooth repair process. Even the tools, such as supplements needed to implement effective repairs, are also in limited supply, exacerbating the problems even further.
If you think fleet maintenance and repair shops are experiencing these issues alone, then you're in for a rude awakening. Even vehicle manufacturers have had to park thousands of almost complete vehicles from assembly lines simply because of the chip shortage. So, instead of clients getting new vehicles, they're repairing their existing fleets, placing further strain on an already burdened supply chain.
How Do We Get Out of This?
At Wilmar Inc, we have more than 40 years of experience, but even we had to put some intellectual muscle into finding a way around this bungled situation. What we managed to come up with has worked a treat for us and several of our clients. These solutions include;
A fleet can't work without parts, so we've had to look for alternatives like aftermarket parts. When motorized mirrors aren't available, fitting a manual one is a temporary solution until automated ones become available.
It would be best to have relationships with the right people and entities to go far. For us, we managed to leverage our connections with multiple parts manufacturers. From that act, we could secure parts and expedite their delivery. To sweeten the deal, we pre-ordered parts for vehicles still on the road so that whenever they break down, we'll have the parts on hand for a quick turnaround.
At a time when costs have ballooned, and parts are scarce, every solution is worth exploring. One of them was to repair panels that would have otherwise been replaced. Not only do they regain their previous safety and quality rating, but they also sidestep the previously alluded-to problems.
The emergence of video conferencing and reporting technologies has eased communication with strategic partners. As such, assessing the availability of parts and predicting when we'll need them has become a simple affair. One such tool is telematics, where we can see how the vehicles are used and know which parts require fixing or replacing even before they come into the repair shop. Technology is at the heart of our strategy as it allows us to re-evaluate approval thresholds on the fly, translating to properly aligning parts, labor, and repairs.
Need Help with Managing Your Fleet?
Look no further than Wilmar Inc. We have been in the business of providing fleet solutions to the people of North Carolina for over 40 years. Our services include fleet selection, management, maintenance, and repair. We offer other packages, such as vehicle and equipment leasing. If you'd like to learn more about how we can be of service to you, contact us now!