It’s been a challenging few years for manufacturers and consumers alike. We have had to adjust to supply chain complications and develop new solutions to support consumers, even when dealing with uncertain circumstances. Supply chain issues are resulting in fewer chassis being manufactured and fewer new chassis available on lots.
As business and fleet owners continue to advance, expand their service offerings, and grow their teams, they still need the right trucks and equipment to get the job done efficiently and safely.
Just like teams across the country, we are thinking of ways we can adjust to better meet the needs of the contractors and fleet managers who rely on our equipment to get their work done.
Upfitting an existing chassis is one way to help address some of the scheduling and budgetary challenges we’ve seen in the past few years.
The Why Behind Supply Chain Issues
From parts, chassis, and microchip shortages, to a rise in material costs and an overall convergence of challenges - there are several factors impacting the supply chain and causing additional ordering issues:
1. Part Shortages
Part shortages are plaguing all manufacturers right now. Demand for parts jumped last year as COVID slowed, and employee hiring needs also jumped while there are fewer workers– making it challenging to both manufacture and deliver needed parts. We might have a truck or trailer complete, waiting on a single motor or tank. Meanwhile, customers, unfortunately, have to wait it out.
2. Chassis Shortages/Microchip
Chassis shortages are affecting all automotive manufacturers. 65% of our business requires a chassis – and both light-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks are being pushed out months at a time. This is of course not the fault of OEMs, but rather the result of a microchip shortage.
3. Material Costs
Costs are also accelerating for all aspects of owning a business, from hiring employees and benefits to buying raw materials and procuring equipment maintenance services. This is driven by higher demand and lack of supply, while the War in Ukraine has also pushed costs higher for commodities like minerals, petroleum, and food.
4. A Convergence of Challenges
This is a frustrating time for manufacturers and consumers alike. Our upfitting program is a result of our team’s strategic pivoting. We aren’t just facing one or two challenges but rather a unique position created by the convergence of several challenges. We have found temporary solutions to our challenges by staying on our toes.
An Interim Solution
Monroe's upfitting program uses the chassis you already have and upfits it to become your ideal work truck. This allows our customers to utilize the investments they have already made, instead of purchasing a new chassis and going through the traditional upfitting process.
The process is simple. First, call the Monroe team to discuss what upfit options you are looking for; then, schedule a time to bring in your truck. Leave your truck with our talented team members who are ready to make all updates to your existing chassis. Together, you decide on a time to schedule a pickup. When the updates are complete, you pick up your new work truck and are ready to work!
About the Author: Jim Smith is director of sales of the Commercial Division at Monroe Truck Equipment. He has spent more than 30 years driving the development of true partnerships with Monroe customers. This article was authored and edited according to WT editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not reflect that of WT.