This year is shaping up to be monumental for the trucking industry. In January, trucking companies ordered 48,700 heavy-duty trucks – more big rigs than they had in the past 12 years. This sudden surge in orders has caused a nationwide shortage and caused prices to skyrocket, sending retailers and manufacturers into a frenzy to try and keep up with such a high demand.
But while this is a great sign for the future of the industry, it puts a great deal of responsibility on the maintenance support for those trucks. Now more than ever, it’s important to optimize the supply chain with the proper tools and strategies. With this in mind, here are three ways that trucking manufacturers can keep up with the industry’s momentum moving forward.
Adopt uptime solutions
Traditionally, manufacturers have implemented a “break-fix” model to fix parts after they fail. While this has worked in the past, it’s not a feasible method to meet all customer demands in today’s current environment. Instead, the industry has made a shift to an uptime guarantee model, where real-time analytics help manufacturers determine the exact point where a part will fail and proactively act.
This model provides them with the necessary time to plan ahead and replace the part before it fails. In these times of high demand, downtime is simply not an option. Every piece of machinery on the floor must be fully operational at all times to optimize workflow and maximize productivity.
The high-uptime model should allow trucking companies to provide more truck capacity than their competitors. It’ll also help them satisfy all their customers, since wait times and costs will be significantly lower than in the past.
Inventory oversight technology
According to McKinsey and Company, upwards of 15% of an OEM’s total revenues come from parts and service – so having the proper oversight on inventory is pivotal. Trucking companies should invest in technologies that will help them keep tabs on all aspects of their part inventory. This, in turn, will allow them to optimize uptime processes to the fullest extent.
Those technologies will help manufacturers see where the parts are, where they should be and how long it will take for them to get from point A to B. And for manufacturers to take full advantage of the uptime guarantee model of part maintenance, inventory oversight technologies will allow these trucking companies to keep all of their machines active at all times.
Moreover, inventory management solutions can help manufacturers better maintain inventory levels, ensuring that they do not have too much in stock -- therefore having to cope with excessive carrying costs.
Data management solutions
Managing all aspects of the supply chain is critical to success for trucking companies faced with the most stressful demands they’ve seen in over a decade. Data management also plays a major role in this, so motor carriers need to invest in cloud-based data management solutions that allow them to better keep tabs on orders and distribution.
Not all parts of the supply chain are going to run smoothly when demand scales up as high as it has in recent times. Data management solutions will help ensure that customers are receiving products on schedule, and in a timely manner. This a big reason why the big data industry is growing so rapidly, and why it will be worth an estimated $203 billion by 2020.
There’s great opportunity for trucking companies this coming year. But they need to be prepared and invest in the right technologies to help them meet these demands. Moving away from the traditional “break-fix” model of part maintenance and towards an uptime guarantee is the key to successfully adapting to these changes, and Inventory oversight and data management technologies are necessary to guarantee uptime and optimize the supply chain.
— Gary Brooks is chief marketing officer at Syncron. With 20 years of marketing experience, Brooks is a revenue focused B2B marketing executive who believes in qualitative work with quantitative results to deliver breakthrough revenue performance.