How to lessen the impact of supply chain disruption with fleet vehicles
Everyone seems to be struggling with how to lessen the impact of supply chain disruption, and unfortunately, there are no simple answers. This is an issue that is likely not going away anytime soon, but you can improve on the current situation by using the correct tools to procure a public fleet.
The root of the supply chain issue
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, large plants were closed all over the world, resulting in many tier-two suppliers being unable to create inventory. Since then, the supply chain issues have become ever-changing and more complex. Manufacturers still struggle to meet demand, and the full supply chain, including the delivery and transit of items, has also felt the squeeze.
The future of the transportation supply chain continues to have many unknowns. While things might be looking up because temporary shutdowns across the world are diminishing in frequency, long-term concerns exist due to staffing shortages in the transportation sector, especially when it comes to long-haul drivers who deliver heavy equipment.
Basically, supply chain challenges are not going away even as the pandemic does, and everyone needs to have a plan to manage them.
Tips for managing around the supply chain
Some strategies are better than others when it comes to working through supply chain issues. The following ideas maximize impact and diminish delays:
- Plan as far ahead as possible. While this is challenging, it does help “absorb” any supply chain delays that might be on the horizon. When working to order new fleet equipment, provide yourself with at least an additional two to four months when possible.
- Do your homework. You cannot be an expert on every industry, but if purchasing a new fleet is on your docket for the next year, learn about steel manufacturing, the chip shortage, and other factors that play a role in procuring a new fleet. Your ability to work with sales staff will improve if you do your homework and know the right questions to ask.
- Ask vendors about every cost. Certain suppliers are taking advantage of the supply chain issues by using delivery charges as a new “hidden” fee to pass along the cost to the customer. These types of charges add up with a large procurement, and knowing the costs up front is critical.
Information is the key
Gathering data up front is vital when researching how to lessen the impact of supply chain disruption. But it isn’t just about having the information; you must also know how to maneuver with these details to get the fleet that you want.
When you use a cooperative agreement instead of a traditional bid process, you will see a much clearer path to a successful procurement. Cooperatives provide clarity on timelines and deliveries up front, instead of after the bids come in. When you know delivery dates with accuracy, you can manage and plan for procuring a fleet when you need it.
Since you have already done your homework, you will find the cooperative process much more straightforward than creating specs and putting out RFPs. Co-ops are straightforward and easy to navigate.
But don’t forget the hidden delivery fees. To factor delivery into a bid is common, but knowing how that cost will impact the final low-bid decision is not. Your budgeting will become much easier when you know the costs at the start of the procurement process rather than at the end.
Learning how to lessen the impact of supply chain disruption requires ongoing attention. Equipment that might be delayed this week could resolve those issues next week, and the reverse is also true. Your best action plan to combat all these challenges is to have a great partner to create options for cooperative purchasing.
Sourcewell provides clear pricing, cost savings, and more accurate delivery times than the traditional bid process. The supply chain problems are not going away, but your path for navigating them can get easier.
Here at Sourcewell, we help public agency buyers procure fleet vehicles faster by fulfilling the time-consuming bid process for them. Through cooperative contracts, we expedite the fleet vehicle procurement process so you can better serve your teams.
Want a faster procurement process? Contact one of our specialists today to buy the fleet solutions you need!