I see a lot of businesses that are frustrated and that are failing by trying to do everything by becoming an expert in everything. This is an impossible task in today’s world of specialisation! Rather organisations should determine what they do best and stick to those core tasks.
Ask yourself, would you hire an expert electrician to sit in a cubicle waiting for an electrical breakdown to occur? The answer to this question is no. You would not waste money and time training this person, providing them with a cubicle, salary, phone, and other office accoutrements in the event an electrical problem might happen. You would simply outsource these repairs to a qualified and certified company that specialises in performing these services. The same applies to a company who specialises in managing minor plant and machinery repairs.
When do I outsource?
We are always amazed at how many businesses feel they can continue to handle their machinery repairs in-house without training or abilities to make complex decisions about machinery repairs. The rationale for their insistence is usually very noble and stems from their insistence that the outsource company either charges too much or they will rip us off. Which has an element of truth if you choose the wrong repairer.
My question has always been this. How do you know when you don’t keep up to date with the latest mechanical knowledge and expertise? Most administrators that I speak to about whether they should outsource their machinery repairs or not feel that can make these complex decisions when called upon to do so, even though they generally have no recent formal training.
Why do people resist using outsourced vendors?
I think the answer to these questions stems primarily from self-preservation. Most administrators faced with this question are usually the person who is involved in making the call about who repair machinery. Which means, their primal instinct of whether I will still have a job or not many times plays into the decision. In addition, another motivation that affects someone from outsourcing repairs is the way the organisation budgets its repair dollars. For example, if the organisation does not consider the total costs of the vehicle operation which a life cycle perspective in mind, it may be tempted to make myopic or shortsighted decisions when it comes to vehicle repairs. Time and time again I have watched organisations say their budget cannot afford to pay the costs for an outsourced vendor to manage their machinery. These statements usually are unfounded when you look at the complete picture.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have the expertise to pit myself up against a vendor asking me complex mechanical questions and can I make the right call when asked what repair needs to be done?
- Do I know if the vendor is upselling or trying to rip us off?
- What are the advantages of outsourcing your machinery repairs?
First and foremost you receive the services of an industry expert working as an extension of your organisation and looking out for your best interests. Secondly, you will receive the added benefit and peace of mind that your best interests are served by competent technicians making complex repairs decisions on your behalf.
Other benefits realised may be as follows:
- Reduced administrative costs processing a multitude of repair invoices for vehicles.
- Machinery repairs normally completed quicker as a team is working together to complete your repairs.
- Increased productivity due to less downtime. More productivity = more profit.
- Expertly trained technicians making complex decisions on your behalf using each vehicle’s repair history.
- An advocate that ensures vehicle warranties are recouped and claimed during the repair process. A lot of money may be available by watching warranties on machinery repairs.
- Track your repair history.
- Reduce parts inventories, eliminate workshop facilities, fleet information systems, and all costs associated with these systems.
- Expensive tools and electronic troubleshooting devices needed to operate a shop in today’s complex fleet world.
- Training needed to keep up with government programs like EPA, OSHA, Workman’s Comp etc.
- Labour relation issues with employees in a world where technicians are becoming in short supply.
The list goes on…
What are you waiting for? It’s time you outsource your repairs to those qualified to save your organisation the precious budget dollars it deserves?
Finally, don’t wait until you fail to accomplish everything to consider outsourcing repairs that should have happened a long time before now. If you wait until it’s too late you may find yourself completely out of a job because of the lack of efficiencies the organisation is experiencing.
Tip: I found out a long time ago that when an outsource company is your partner it’s hard for them to be your adversary when they are trying to get all the repair business.
Do what you do best and leave the rest to others to do what they do best. This is a winning combination.