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The Fleet Supply Chain Strategy: Purchasing Fleet Vehicles in 2022

The Fleet Supply Chain Strategy: Purchasing Fleet Vehicles in 2022
A lot full of vehicles

Holman Marketing
March 27, 2022

In order to manage a fleet effectively, fleet managers need to forecast the number and the types of vehicles they’ll need to operate efficiently. Further complicating matters you also need to factor in the time it may take to replace your vehicles in the face of ongoing supply chain disruptions. 

At first glance, vehicle acquisition may seem like a straight-forward process. You choose the vehicle you want and you buy it. But things are no longer that simple. Keeping a careful eye on vehicle performance will help your fleet perform successfully over time. This involves complex decisions spanning from which vehicles will get the job done, which will have the best resale value, which will deliver the best ROI, as well as length of time to keep them in service.

Fleet Management Strategy 2022

Ordering a properly spec’ed vehicle (and allowing enough lead time to get it on the road and in service) is not easy, and that’s just part of what needs to be considered. The stages of an effective supply chain begins with data.

Before you look at vehicle analysis though, be sure that you are looking at your supply chain strategy as a big picture. Factor in how today’s supply chain disruptions impacts your overall decision-making process remembering that it may be a long wait for delivery on new vehicles. Here’s what you can anticipate in terms of status updates:

  • Scheduled for Production – It may take about a month for your order to come up at the OEM.
  • Lead Time to Upfitter – It could take several weeks before your vehicle heads from the OEM to the upfitter.
  • Lead Time to Build – Once your vehicle is heading to the upfitter, it will be travelling with an assembly of other vehicles all coming off the assembly lines at the same time. Your upfitter will start working on it when they have: 1) room on the floor, and 2) all the parts and equipment they need. This may add an additional few weeks or months.

To sum it up, if you place an order for a standard vehicle today, it may take up to six months to a year before you receive it.

Vehicle Replacement Strategy

Today more than ever before, time is of the essence and you don’t want to delay your replacement cycle but you need to build it into your overall fleet management plan. By the time order-to-delivery schedules return to pre-pandemic rates, it’s likely an entire replacement cycle will have passed, and if you’re still running old vehicles, your operating costs could become overbearing. Update your fleet strategic planning and thinking based on the climate today and you will set yourself up for a stronger position tomorrow.

It’s a tough time for vehicle ordering. If you’re struggling to navigate these unforeseen challenges , or want to learn more on leveraging the power of your supply chain management, download our whitepaper or watch this video. Holman experts are here to help you cut costs by determining how different types of vehicles in their fleet are being used, managed, and maintained.