Controlling the cost of your rental fleet is important to be a profitable rental company, but where do you begin?
- Purchase cheaper equipment? If you purchase lower quality equipment for less money, you risk having more downtime and will spend more in parts and labor to make repairs.
- Attempt to cut corners on the parts side of your business? Cutting corners on parts by ordering poor quality aftermarket parts can lead to the same results.
- Attempt to get by with a smaller administrative staff?If you’re like most rental companies, you probably have already stretched your staff as thin ask you’re comfortable with.
- Look for ways to reduce the time it takes to perform service and repair work? Sounds great, but how and will this save you money?
You probably wrestle with these questions on a regular basis. As you can see, the first three answers to these questions lead to potentially negative consequences, and the last question leads to even more questions. Don’t let that scare you off, though. Instead, let’s review how to reduce the labor involved with service and repairs and how it can help you control fleet costs.
True costs of service and repair
Whether in the shop or the field, when a piece of equipment is being serviced or repaired it costs you money in two areas — labor expenses and lost rental revenue. Service and repair labor is the second highest expense for rental companies behind initial acquisition costs. Every hour a machine is being worked on is the one hour of lost revenue. When you look at from that perspective, downtime costs you big time. Improving your team’s efficiency here will have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.
Reducing service labor
The best way to reduce the labor associated with service and repair starts with the equipment you buy. Investing in quality equipment may cost you more up front, but it will pay for itself throughout the life of the machine through less downtime, longer service intervals and higher resale value when it’s time to retire a unit from your fleet.
The industry’s most popular brands didn’t get there by making machinery that breaks down a lot. They source quality components, use sophisticated manufacturing technics that include several checks and balances. Many, including Genie, are also manufacturing equipment with extended service intervals, which reduces your labor expenses. Also, they stand behind their work and provide support around the clock. All of this adds up to higher residual values.
Reducing repair time
The repair process typically involves these steps:
- Identify the issue
- Identify what parts are needed
- Order parts (if you don’t have what you need on hand)
- Complete the repair
Those four steps can take hours and in many instances days. The right equipment partner can help reduce that time using a simplified parts system, mobile apps and qualified technical support.
For example, the new Genie TechSight app allows rental technicians to interactive with a live Genie representative through a mobile device. Using real-time video, they can show the Genie representative area of concerns while the member of technical service and support team helps them troubleshoot an issue. This lets you diagnose an issue faster so you can move on to the next step.
A user-friendly parts system will also cut down on labor expenses. The biggest thing to look out for here is ordering the wrong parts, which can extend downtime while you reorder the right ones. System’s like GoGenieLift.com take the guesswork out of order part by offer users the ability to look up parts by model and serial number or by specific parts numbers. There is also a website configuration tool and 24/7 chat support. Our team knows it’s important to order the part the first time.
Adding up the savings
Remember every hour a machine is being worked on costs you a potential hour in rental revenues, which is why buying quality equipment with longer service intervals along with reducing the time it takes to make a repair can save you thousands of dollars. And, that’s a great formula for lowering your fleet costs.