Outsourcing Light Duty Vehicle Maintenance

 

Outsourcing Light Duty Vehicle Maintenance

What utilities outsource their light duty
vehicle maintenance?  If so, what have been the benefits, cost impact and
lessons learned?  Would you do it again? Why or Why not?

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

 

Currently we outsource approximatley 30% of our maintenance, mostly Lightduty. One of the reasons is that alot of the sedans and 1/2T PU's are used for more transportation than tool. A second reason it is easier to find shops with the time and ability to complete the repairs, altough there are areas of exception. We have been on Goodyaer's National Account programm for 5 years and have recently started pushing repairs to Goodyear Retail outlets as well, which seems to be working well. However when outsourcing the costs are typically higher, not shop rates but when comparing repairs, and the unit is out of service longer. We see an average of 3x the down time compared to internal repair time. One advantage to internal is all our shop work 3:00pm to 11:30pm so the work is being done at night, where as the dealers or shop are mostly 9-5. If we had the resources we would do more in-house.  

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

 

We have looked at outsourcing, but it doesn't make sense for us for a couple of reasons:

We can do the work, in house, for much less per hour (over 30%). We have the space and the staffing to do it. In addition we have swing shifts, so we can pull vehicles in for repairs in the evenings and it has minimal impact to the end users.

Secondly, we are an irrigation district and electric utility, so many of our light duty vehicles spend over half their time off-road on canal banks, access roads, etc.  We have a very detailed inspection process that we do at 5K, 15K, 30K and 60K that is formulated around know potential failures and the ruggidness of our environment.  For us to outsource that level of inspections would add even more cost and time out of service.

Lastly, by doing the work in house, of course, we have much better control over the quality of work. We prefer that repairs, upfitting, etc. is done to a very high standard. We currently have almost no comebacks.  With outside shops, who are trying to make a profit, the faster they can do the work the more profit that they can make (especially in flat rate shops). It sets things up for increases failures and unscheduled repairs.

Having said all this, we have the space, racks, and staff to do this in house and our Board of Directors understand the values of internal service, if those conditions don't apply, then outsourcing may be your only option.