Part 2 – Leveraging Third-Party Maintenance Providers to Save: Parts & Technicians
The previous post discussed how to avoid choosing a third-party fleet maintenance provider based solely on labor rate costs. While it’s tempting to consider labor as the only criterion, it is extremely important to do a deep dive on every aspect of a third-party fleet maintenance provider’s services, including the following areas:
Third-Party Fleet Maintenance Provider Costs: Parts, Parts & More Parts
Parts are an important area fleets need to examine closely. Many vendors make much of their earnings from parts mark ups, using lower bill rates as a “loss leader.” Fluctuating mark ups are common and can range from 20% on the low side and can climb as high as 50% or more. Providers should be open about their parts mark-up practices and even allow you to audit their books to confirm this.
Knowing what a provider pays for parts is essential. Many parts providers offer discounts for customers who buy parts in significant volume. Amerit has successfully negotiated discounts of 20% or more from national parts vendors from which they buy in large volume and passes these savings along directly to their clients. Ask your suppliers to provide a cost for a bundle of items that the fleet frequently purchases to gauge how competitive their pricing really is.
In addition, some vendors receive rebates from their parts providers. Ask specifically if these rebates will be passed along as a benefit to you.
Top Quality, Productive Technicians
While immediate costs such as labor and parts are important factors to consider, it is crucial that the technicians making repairs are doing so in a productive and efficient manner. The faster the service, the quicker your vehicles and your drivers will be back on the clock, assuring a healthy bottom line for your company. But don’t sacrifice quality for productivity. Make sure the repairs are done correctly and follow the recommendations from your vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Regardless of state licensing requirements, your provider must provide top quality, motivated, customer-focused and highly trained technicians. Low-skilled, unmotivated technicians often misdiagnose problems, leading to higher costs from unnecessary work and parts.
In addition, find out if the potential provider’s technicians are certified to handle all of your maintenance requirements. If they are not, they will need to outsource more difficult repairs, which obviously drives up the labor rates and decreases repair productivity. Amerit staffs each location with technicians that have all of the skills required to maintain the fleet in top condition. This does not mean that every location has only Master certified technicians — Amerit specializes in optimizing fleet performance by building teams tailored to fit the needs, and hours, of your fleet. Contact us today and discover how Amerit can keep your fleet moving FORWARD.
Want to read more about this topic? Check out the following blog posts: