By FMW Editorial Staff
As companies look to rebound from the recent economic downturn, those with fleet operations are reassessing budgets, resizing fleets, uncovering hidden costs, and finding innovative ways to achieve operational efficiencies.
Fleet vehicle transport and relocation services provide a unique opportunity to reduce costs and increase productivity. Success depends on a carefully- planned schedule of ancillary services as part of a move.
These services might include one or more of the following: vehicle legalization, maintenance, de-identification, body repair, storage, and others. With a single-source, end-to-end solution, companies reduce vehicle downtime and keep drivers more productive.
Notes Teri Ross, PARS vice president, sales and client relations, “Many fleet managers know relocation providers like PARS as singularly-focused on moving vehicles from point A to point B. But today’s moves are much more complex. The complications are a challenge that experienced transport project account managers can address. Their logistics experience can support a customer’s asset and maintenance management concerns.”
Bringing Logistics Expertise to Today’s Transport Projects
“PARS is the very definition of a logistics company. We take a team approach to project management, with the business’s leaders coordinating complex projects. The logistics team could involve many people, facilities, fleet management companies, upfitters, accident management companies, remarketers, and other automotive and fleet service providers. We have countless examples of our professionals in concert with our partners, contributing to our customers’ business success.”
Ross cited a typical recent project involving 300 vehicles, “We received a customer’s vehicle inventory and vehicle information from the customer’s fleet management company for a new project. We set up a separate, project-specific database to provide daily updates on the project’s status, different from the customer’s recurring fleet moves.
Because we have our drivers in the field, PARS obtains any missing information. This data is reported back, with pictures, using our driver mobile app. When our drivers fill out a vehicle condition report, we know if a plate is valid and even have a picture of the glove box registration.
A real-world example of how PARS’ data-driven process brings value: A leading insurance industry customer requested that PARS swap eleven vehicles in storage, delivering them to their drivers, picking up the drivers’ current vehicles, and putting them in storage for eventual sale at auction.
The complication was that the customer’s fleet management company needed help identifying the license plates’ status. Because we maintained the vehicles in storage, our team was able to provide the missing information.
PARS Handles the Small Details for Big Projects
Many times, it is the small details that get lost in a large, complicated transport project. For instance, a PARS driver might pick up a vehicle with a wrap identification that needs removal before delivery. The PARS team will notify the customer, confirm the best course of action, and coordinate de-identification.
Sometimes, a vehicle plate is either expired or about to expire. PARS can get the required inspections needed to complete the licensing and titling in the new state done en route. PARS can complete the license and titling and deliver a hard plate or deliver a 30-day temp tag. PARS has an entire team that specializes in expediting vehicle legalization.
“If we are the ones that have to get the license and titling, we will need a power of attorney. Or, if we’re picking up a new vehicle from a dealership and we’re taking it out of state, they could send us the MSO paperwork for us to complete the license and titling. We work closely with the fleet management company to obtain all necessary required paperwork to complete the license and title on behalf of the client,” notes Ross.
Suppose there is something as simple as a lit check engine light when a vehicle is picked up. In that case, our driver reports it electronically at the time. PARS can take action immediately within the parameters established by the customer or its fleet management company.
“We follow the customer’s directives to get the vehicle repaired through our maintenance line that tracks all things on the vehicle,” explains Ross. “Even though PARS is moving the vehicle, not the customer’s driver, any findings are collected as part of the vehicle’s maintenance history.”
Urgent COVID-related Transport Considerations
PARS quickly responded to the challenges of COVID-19 in several ways. First, it found service or process alternatives to complete customer projects despite state agency and vehicle service provider closures.
Because there are still residual service delays due to the pandemic, PARS recommends that if a vehicle is in storage and the plate is about to expire, customers get the vehicle renewed while it is in storage.
PARS initiated driver safety and vehicle disinfection standards for all customer contact by its drivers at the start of the pandemic. It worked with existing partners and established new partnerships to disinfect vehicles, as necessary, per CDC guidelines.
As long as the possibility of infection exists, those protocols are standard operating procedures.
At the height of the COVID crisis, a customer urgently requested PARS to provide nine vehicles. These vehicles would allow its lab technicians to work on a COVID-19-related drug to get to its NYC labs without relying on public transportation. The PARS team had the re-purposed vehicle delivered in time to support the urgent need.
Customized Transport Problem-resolution
Whether a customer project requires vehicle driveaway, auto carrier service, storage management, license and titling, reconditioning & make-ready, detailing, body work, mechanical repair, or general maintenance services, fleet vehicle relocation project success depends upon a customized plan with metrics-driven goals, implemented by a dedicated team of professionals.
“A provider with experts who know how to solve the most complicated, time-sensitive relocation needs and the wherewithal to complete the myriad tasks – big and small — can help drive a customer’s business success. We have even begun to provide a resource page for fleet managers to dhow of the ways our transport solutions can help drive business success at www.parsdrives.com/counttheways ,” concludes Ross.