In general, in-house maintenance of vehicles has the potential to be more cost effective than vendor maintenance. That’s because we have the opportunity to closely manage our resources. Manpower, parts, facilities, and scheduled and unscheduled activities are normally controlled better by us because we know our fleet environment. We also can adjust quicker to changing environments, i.e., weather, fleet mix, and density needs resulting from vehicle-demand changes.
Scheduled activity is more efficient than unscheduled activity. We know from experience the time required to repair. We stock the replacement parts. Travel times are reduced. Cores are saved and, as a result, provide a cost-effective life cycle for the rebuilt part and/or vehicle.
Also, we measure our costs. When we initiate change, we measure its effectiveness in cost reductions. When we perform component life-cycle analysis, overall costs are lowered. This is because we can replace parts prior to their failure, decreasing unscheduled activity.
Why outsource at all?
While in-house maintenance and repair may be ideal, there are, realistically, some activities and tasks we do not address on a frequent basis. As a result, our shops lack the tools and equipment to perform these tasks. Our efficiency suffers when we perform these tasks without proper tools and experienced people. But the option of upgrading equipment in these areas depends on our capital expenditure program.
Specific examples of jobs we might not address frequently:
The following are other examples of jobs we might not address because of our lack of technology, understanding, skills, and shop equipment:
The trick is to balance day-to-day vehicle repair needs with overtime and vendor service for peak activity and cost control. This allows our own staff to meet the majority of our needs as our fleet ages, changes density or mix, or remains stable.