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10 questions to ask an outside service provider

Sept. 13, 2022
Supply chain issues mean it's vital to keep the trucks you have on the road. If you're going to trust an outside service provider with your equipment, make sure you're asking them these questions.

Data is needed to fully understand shop productivity—and as supply chain issues continue to hamper the delivery of new vehicles, shop productivity is more important than ever.

Two good sources of data are vehicle maintenance reporting standards (VMRS) codes, the universal language used to describe specific repairs, and standard repair times (SRTs), estimates of how long a repair should take.

When choosing an outside service provider to complete diagnostics and repairs, asking the right questions will help you determine which provider is right for you. A good starting point is asking how they use VMRS codes and what their SRTs are for the most frequent repairs you see in your fleet.

Consider posing these 10 questions to see if they are a good fit:

  1. What types of repairs can the shop complete?
  2. What kinds of trucks, tractors, and trailers does the shop work on?
  3. Does the shop guarantee an assessment will be completed in a set number of hours?
  4. What is the average time to get in the bay and complete a diagnostic assessment?
  5. Does the shop have a quick service bay for repairs taking a few hours to complete?
  6. How does the shop communicate the status of a repair to customers?
  7. What precautions are in place to ensure parts are in stock so repairs are not delayed?
  8. What certifications do technicians have, and how many are ASE certified?
  9. What are the shop’s hours, and do they operate late at night and/or on weekends?
  10. What is the shop’s comeback rate after a repair?

The answers to these questions will help you find a shop that best aligns with the needs of your fleet and will help ensure that your vehicles are repaired and back on the road as quickly as possible.

This article originally appeared on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Jane Clark | vice president, member services for NationaLease

Jane Clark is vice president, member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation, as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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