Last week, I laid out three areas of change facing fleet-asset managers in 2014 and suggested that organizations will need equipment expertise in dealing with those areas.
Outsourcing is one of those areas that is at the fore. Caterpillar last week quietly announced to editors it plans to offer complete fleet management services. Not much detail was provided, but the company has long targeted contained fleets in mines and quarries with services designed to monitor and deliver certain levels of uptime while maintaining those machines.
With telematics, the leap to full fleet management is a short one for contained fleets.
Rental firms have also expressed the desire to manage certain fleet assets. The most logical and effective in the short-term is emissions compliance. The paperwork necessary to validate compliance is a clerical nightmare for fleets, so why not let the rental house manage it. Plus, renting the most compliant machine keeps the new technologies and accompanying maintenance issues out of the fleet owner’s shop.
Distributors will be the next to position themselves as a reliable and cost-effective outsourcing partner. Again, with the help of the OEM telematics capabilities, distributors have access to a fleet owner’s machines. They can tell you when a maintenance issue needs to be addressed and can even dispatch the field service team to take care of it.
The final piece in the outsourcing puzzle is labor. There is still a shortage of technicians and young people who even consider the equipment business. It may very well reach the point where staffing in-house equipment maintenance and repair will no longer be feasible.