The New Vehicle Acquisition Process: Why Now is the Time to Be Proactive
Global events of the past few years have drastically affected nearly every facet of life, including the automobile and fleet industries. Changes in manufacturing processes, global supply chain issues, and demand far outpacing supply have shifted how business is conducted and carried out.
For fleets, these changes can impact operations if not properly planned for. In this article, we will look at these changes and guide you on positioning your fleet to tackle them moving forward.
Vehicle Order Banks
Historically, auto manufacturers would give plenty of early notice when announcing order banks’ opening and closing dates for various models. While shifts or changes sometimes occurred, the process’s stability left fleets plenty of time to plan and submit orders for the upcoming model year. However, we no longer have this element of predictability.
Global events such as chip and part shortages, supply chain issues, and factory shutdowns have resulted in an abrupt decrease in production from nearly every manufacturer. As a result, order banks that would typically be open for months are now unreliable. There have been instances where order banks are open for less than 24 hours before closing.
This drastic shift means that fleets must be far more proactive than in the past.
Once you’ve planned out and submitted your orders with ample lead time, it’s safe to assume that you should expect delivery in the usual timeframe, right? Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case.
Not only has the order bank operation changed, but there are now major changes with order-to-delivery time. Delays in the manufacturing process are due to part or labor shortages, increased freight time by both boat and rail, and even increased lead times from vehicle upfitters. All these factors have drastically increased delivery timeframes.
In managing a fleet, it is necessary to both anticipate and plan for these changes. Vehicle replacement cycles may need to be tweaked to adapt to the new course of business. By being proactive and working well in advance, our fleet management team can help you formulate a strategy to move forward with minimal disruption to your ordinary course of operations.
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