Ways to enhance your fleet procurement process and management
Modern procurement is far from a linear process. In fact, supply chain disruption is now the number-one issue facing public fleets, meaning traditional procurement processes and management strategies are quickly becoming obsolete.
Procurement obstacles affect some industries and processes more than others. Fleet procurement for public agencies is particularly tricky to navigate, requiring constant updates to its operational strategy and regular tweaks to its overall maintenance plan.
Fortunately, you can build a future-focused strategy that remains flexible in the face of ever-increasing change. Here, we explore seven ways to streamline fleet vehicle procurement process and management in spite of uncertain supply chain disruptions.
Common challenges with procurement process management
Public fleet procurement has never been particularly linear, but due to dispersion and supply chain disruption, the process is more complex than ever. Modern CPOs face four major challenges in acquiring and maintaining their fleets:
- Maintenance costs: Vehicle maintenance is an extremely important (and extremely expensive) aspect of managing a fleet. Recent estimates attribute 30-50% of fleet ownership costs to maintenance services alone.
- Vehicle shortages: Fewer new vehicles are arriving at dealerships in the U.S., and chip shortages are costing the industry billions of dollars.
- Lack of digitization: The less digitized your procurement process is, the slower it moves for everyone involved. Interestingly, many organizations still use paper reports or are unsure about telemetrics.
- Long wait times: Vehicle acquisition is no longer a short and sweet process. In fact, two-month wait times have now been extended to eight or ten months in total.
There is no way to completely avoid procurement obstacles on a public fleet. However, you can dodge the worst of their effects by utilizing tried-and-true procurement tips.
Enhance your procurement process management with these seven tips
Better public fleet management may be just a few steps away. Here’s how to reduce the impact of unexpected drawbacks and enhance your fleet procurement process from start to finish.
- Keep an eye on your vehicle lifecycle
There are three ways to tell if your vehicle has outgrown its usefulness: economic, service, or technological expenditures. If the costs of gas or maintenance exceed the price of the vehicle or if technology cannot be utilized effectively, it may be time to purchase a new vehicle.
Know when to get rid of older vehicles and when to buy new ones. Don't be afraid to act with confidence—faster decisions lead to an enhanced procurement process.
- Consider the future before the past
Fleet purchases must be made with the future in mind. Don’t get too caught up in past successes, as they rarely carry forward during periods of economic instability or supply chain disruption. Instead, set up a hybrid approach to procurement that looks forward before it looks backward.
- Rely on teamwork rather than a solo show
Public fleet procurement is not a one-person band. It takes many hands to make light work, and in an industry as complex as this, delegation is the name of the game.
Go ahead and lean on the expertise of professionals. An effective procurement process requires knowledge from many angles, and good organizations should diversify their teams to enhance the procurement process.
- Digitize your system if you haven't already
Digitization is a must in the world of public procurement. However, only 23% of fleets surveyed say that they use big data analytics to make better decisions for their teams.
Start by choosing an excellent management platform that can grow alongside your business. Be sure to thoroughly vet their use cases and look for ways to maximize growth.
- Do what you can to rightsize your fleet
The Goldilocks Principle always applies to public fleets. You don't want a fleet too big or too small—only one that's just right.
You can use digital tools and calculators to rightsize your public fleet. You might also consider leasing options, which may be a better long-term solution depending on your circumstances.
- Tap into the flow of data with the right tools
Data is the lifeblood of any public fleet. Use technology to your advantage by leveraging telemetrics, analytics platforms, and digital tools that provide better insights about your future.
For example, telematics can help you track vehicle performance, driver safety, and even the weather. In addition, certain digital tools enable you to compare the costs of different vehicles and calculate savings before making a purchase decision.
- Streamline the process with cooperative contracts
Cooperative contracts are ideal for avoiding the pitfalls of traditional purchasing. They enable multiple entities to purchase the same product or service, helping agencies save money, move faster, and remain agile throughout the process. They also eliminate the need to negotiate prices, write complex documentation, or juggle multiple bids at once.
No matter where you're located in the U.S., the team at Sourcewell can help.
Using cooperative contracts to streamline procurement process management
Creating a seamless, effective fleet procurement process isn’t easy. But with the right strategy and partnerships in place, you can reduce your costs and time-to-market while improving vehicle performance, sustainability, and safety.
Cooperative contracts have made this process even easier. With Sourcewell by your side, your organization can harness the power of cooperative contracts totally free of charge. Here's how it works:
- Register your school or government on the site.
- Browse the contracts or open solicitations.
- Make great choices for your organization, or partner with one of our pros for value-added guidance.
You're also welcome to browse the regional programs and services, technology solutions, and hundreds of awarded contracts at any time.
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!