In our last post, we began looking at some of the questions our team asks when they begin to work with a new client on an upfitting project, whether that’s a truck or a van. Today, we’re going to take it a step further by looking past a “regular” day and instead, look into the future a bit…
Simple economics tell us that buying and placing a truck or van in service today likely means it will be in service for at least the next 3-5 years, depending on financing, maintenance, and, yes, how you treat it during the winter. There’s a lot more to it than that, so here are a few questions you need to consider as you get ready to upfit a new truck or van.
Question 5: What’s Changing In Your Industry?
We can all agree that none of us saw the pandemic and the ensuing economic challenges coming, but the truth is, change always happens.
As a leader or manager, your job is to be able to understand the changes that are most likely to occur and build the business to support those changes. We see this in technology – the inroads that fiber optic technology is making into network connectivity, for example – but we also see it in inventory management, too.
The days of carrying thousands of dollars in inventory in the back of the van are giving way to more effective controls being placed on this type of asset management. At the same time, there is also a shift in billing and connectivity.
The truth is, even the traditional trades are seeing a shift in how the work is done and how it is scheduled, so being aware of how, over the working life of your upfitted truck or van, your industry may change can allow you and your fleet to remain competitive.
Question 6: What Are Your Company Goals For The Next Three Years?
While Question 5 asks you to look into the future of your industry, Question 6 is even more important: Where is your company moving in the next three years?
Now, this isn’t a question about the work to be done, or where it’s going to be done, but rather, about growth within your company.
How big will your team be in the next three years? What are your revenue goals and what are you doing to move the needle in them? Will you continue to do the actual work in your business or will you transition to a managerial role as you bring on new skilled employees to handle the field work.
Conversely, for larger, more established businesses, how much expansion is on the horizon? Is there the possibility of a merger or a joint venture partnership that will change the “average” job, or will things remain static and stable?
And of course, these days, as we ask you to look into your crystal ball, it’s relevant to investigate where, for example, fuel prices, tax credits, and governmental policies might lead you and your company, too. Is diesel the smart fuel source, or is there a “better” one for your needs. It’s all part of the process for upfitting the perfect truck or van.
Question 7: Where Do You Think You’ll Expand – Both In Terms Of Geography As Well As Products Or Services?
Look, the truth is, no matter how big your business is, success is only going to come when you expand. You can’t save your way to it, so, as we look at the types of questions you ought to be asking before you upfit your next truck or van, think about how your business, company, and industry might shift in the next few years.
For example, if you’re a commercial painting contractor, will that continue to be the case, or will there be expansion into new markets, either in terms of the jobs to be done or the physical locations served?
Alternately, as your business grows, does that mean you’ll be placing more trucks or vans in service, or, perhaps, will those be working from new offices in other metropolitan areas or Provinces? If so, what types of challenges will that present to your current fleet of vehicles as well as the one you’re building now?
Even if you don’t know these answers, the act of critically thinking about them as you begin to build and upfit your next truck or van ensures your investment is ready to do the right thing when you are.
Upfitting a truck or van is a BIG deal, because it speaks to the dedication you and your business have to creating a great customer experience. If you’re in the market and working through your own questions, get it touch with our team here or simply call us at 1-888-435-6466 to start the conversation and get the right truck or van set up for the job beginning right now.
Do You Even Need To Upfit? The FAQs – Part 1