How Fleets Can Overcome the Microchip Shortage
In recent months fleets have seen demand surge causing many to seize the opportunity to replace outdated equipment. Orders are returning to pre-Covid levels but the worldwide semiconductor shortage is forcing many fleets to push pause on their growth strategy.
With our lives becoming increasingly dependent upon technology, especially in the last year, manufacturers are struggling to meet unprecedented demand. Factory shutdowns and tension between the U.S. and China are major culprits to the growing challenge surrounding the shortage. So what are fleets to do?
Finding ways to maximize fleet productivity and add capacity might seem like a pipe dream, but fleets everywhere are leveraging existing technology to overcome this new challenge. More reliable data allows fleets to think outside the box and approach the problem from a different perspective. Below are two ways to navigate through the chip shortage.
Dive Into Data
Fleets have never been more connected. From preventative maintenance to route optimization, there is a world of information at their fingertips. Sadly, only around 23% of fleets claim to use data analytics to guide their decision-making process and even less than that use information provided to plan for the future.
With trucks on backorder, the need to keep every available piece of equipment up and running is all the more critical. Just one vehicle out of commission can lead to a huge loss in revenue. As trucks are delivered, the better-maintained units can still remain in the fleet, helping to grow capacity until semiconductor manufacturers are back to a surplus. Here are a few areas to consider:
1. Preventative Maintenance - Outside of keeping vehicles on the road, closely monitoring PM data will help keep older equipment in tip-top condition much longer. As new vehicles enter the fleet you can easily grow the fleet rather than play catch-up.
2. Driver Training - Safety should always be a priority, but being proactive can help prevent accidents that will impact fleet capacity. This is especially true if the damage is done to any electrical components that could be impacted by the shortage.
3. GPS Tracking - Use route optimization to eliminate unnecessary wear and tear on fleet vehicles. Not only will this help with overall costs, but those miles quickly add up and can speed up the need for repairs.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Each integration between fleet management systems provides an area to be evaluated with its own set of supporting data. Creatively using the data that is at hand can help alleviate some of the stress while waiting for new fleet vehicles.
Invest in Future Technologies
It might seem counterintuitive to look to future technology when there is a crunch in the tech industry but there is a great opportunity at hand. Mobile providers have been gearing up for the 3G sunset for the past year.
Although dates have been continually pushed back, anticipation for this shift has prompted manufacturers to slow down the production of 3G equipment, even before Covid-19 struck. As a result, newer telematics equipment that is equipped with 4G technology has been less impacted as many providers have held a surplus as they gear up for the change.
Progressive fleets are using this opportunity to begin the migration process away from 3G technology, killing two birds with one stone. For many, the ability to tie new telematics devices to trucks right out the gate will help reduce some of the stress of a fleetwide implementation in the near future.
Staying Connected Through Your Telematics Provider
While fleets might see some delays in the interim, demand for technology is on an upward trend and shows no signs of slowing and the market will catch up. Taking this time to get a better understanding of your existing technology will only help propel your fleet growth when the time comes. Having a partner that understands the intricacies of fleet technology will help set you on the right path.
Argos Connected Solutions has been helping fleets in the Midwest adopt, implement, and leverage fleet management technology for years. Backed by Geotab, the worldwide leader in fleet telematics, we can help you solve your technology challenges. Visit ArgosConnected.com to learn more and schedule a consultation with our team.