Examining Emerging Upfit Trends and the Impact on Vocational Fleets
September 6, 2022
Over the last several years, there’s been a dramatic change in the way many organizations conduct business. Whether it’s shifting to a remote/hybrid work environment, scaling-up to meet increased demand, or changing how products and services are delivered to align with today’s customer expectations, many businesses are operating very differently than they were even just a couple of years ago.
This shifting business landscape also influences how you construct your commercial fleet. Perhaps you find yourself exploring the viability of larger vehicles that will serve as a mobile office for your now remote employees, or maybe you’re looking at versatile van models with increased storage to handle a great number of deliveries. In any number of scenarios, the vehicles you acquire and the methods by which you upfit continues to evolve.
With that in mind, Holman’s Brent MacLean and Blake Heiser recently spoke with Work Truck to explore some of the latest upfitting trends as fleet operators work to navigate these challenges. In the series of articles, Brent and Blake discuss several emerging trends, including why a growing number of fleets are embracing standardization among their vehicles’ specs as well as the increasing popularity of last-mile delivery vans.
“This segment is perhaps the fastest growing in the industry, and fleet operators continue to find new, innovative ways to use these versatile units, which offer a virtual blank canvas for upfitting. Our engineering team has a group dedicated to learning more about how these units are being used in the field and developing new components and equipment to transform commercial vans into vocational powerhouses.”
In another article in the series, Blake offers his insight on how organizations are adapting to stay ahead of the curve as OEMs introduce new truck and van models. He notes that new models or updates to existing vehicles may alter upfit strategies. Blake highlights the value of having long-standing strategic partnerships throughout your supply chain to help you easily navigate these various changes.
“If you find yourself in a cycle of constant change, always looking for the fastest or cheapest option, you’ll likely have a harder time staying ahead of these changes and experience a greater number of disruptions that will impact your fleet stakeholders.”
The final article focuses on strategies for efficient cargo management. In addition to discussing solutions for efficiently storing parts, equipment, and other items, Brent and Blake also offer insight for mitigating cargo theft, which has been on the rise in recent years. Brent also shares why it is important to engage your frontline employees and understand precisely how your vehicles are being used in the field as you’re developing your upfit solution.
“Pilot studies or ride-alongs deliver tremendous insight and provide an opportunity for your frontline employees to provide real-world feedback. This process helps to ensure there isn’t a disconnect between what looks good on paper and how those specs translate to real-world use in the field.”
To read the entire series of articles, please visit WorkTruckOnline.com. For the latest information on emerging trends and other factors influencing upfit strategies, be sure to subscribe to our Morning Brake newsletter.