Fleet Supply Shortages? Don’t Panic! - Mercia Fleet Management, Staffordshire

Fleet Supply Shortages? Don’t Panic!

Forget the headlines of Christmas being cancelled, that’s months away. For businesses worldwide, there are more pressing issues, like moving their people instead of their turkeys! Fleets are in short supply, so what has led to this situation and what can we do about it?

For decades we’ve become increasingly reliant on fleets, and for good reason too. Whether we’re moving people or goods or using them for training and meetings. Trains and automobiles have grown to support it.

The Crisis Has Been Building Since 2018.

A series of factors affecting CO2 and company car tax had led to companies stretching replacement schedules and extending fleet. Just as this was beginning to lessen, COVID struck. A fresh set of challenges presented itself with dealers closed, staff furloughed, and countries locked down.

Where Are We Today?

Well, just as business is springing back to life, we have the semiconductor crisis. Everything from cars to vans is virtually impossible to source. So, what can you do to keep your business and employees mobile?

Firstly, Evaluate Your Current Fleet and Needs.

During the lockdowns, travel was obviously totally unnecessary. Now? It can still be largely unnecessary! This whole experience has made us realise, while face-to-face working can be better, remote working is just as effective! From contract negotiations to training, by going virtual you can boost productivity and cut cost! Think of all the hours lost to traffic you’ll save. If you’re unsure, we have a journey planner decision tree that can help you out.

On Your Fleet, You’ll Have Much That Can Be Extended.

If you own your fleet then generally anything under 100,000 miles should still be cost-effective to retain, 150,000 for vans. Above that, be cautious. In the current climate, you may be better advised to invest in a fleet refurb programme rather than source a non-existent supply. If you lease it may not be as easy. Many lease companies now want to sell and will not agree to extensions, but it’s always worth asking.

If You Need to Replace, Consider Used Cars for Immediate Needs.

This is tricky as used vehicles too are few in number and attracting record prices. New cars are available, after a couple of weeks, but only select models. Perhaps a policy review is needed? There are also long-term hire cars available. We can supply anything from an I-PACE to a Corsa on month or more rentals to fill the gap while new orders are being built.

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to learn to be less picky, whether it’s food shopping or fleet. If you are less picky, not only will you not have to worry about Christmas being cancelled, but you can ensure business isn’t cancelled too!