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More fleet managers are open to new suppliers this year, study shows

Monday, December 19, 2016 - 08:00
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Fleet managers are more open to changing suppliers this year than last year, according to the 2016 Aftermarket Business World Fleet Product Study.  Some 36 percent of respondents to this year’s study said they were open to switching to a new supplier for the product categories surveyed this year, compared to 17 percent who said they were open to switching suppliers in last year’s survey.

Three out of four respondents this year said that they prefer to be contacted via email by companies that are seeking to do business with them. Only 13 percent said they prefer a personal visit and 3 percent said they prefer a phone call. Last year 48 percent said they prefer to be contacted by email and 26 percent said they prefer a phone call.

This year 49 percent of respondents said they prefer to purchase products from national parts retailers and 30 percent preferred to buy from warehouse distributors. These results were similar to last year’s findings.

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The four most important qualities that fleet managers look for in their products suppliers are parts availability, fast delivery, price and customer service in that order, according to this year’s survey. Other important qualities include being easy to work with, maintaining good relationships and carrying specific brands.

Some 29 percent of fleet managers said that quality is the main reason why they buy a particular product, while 23 percent said reliability and 17 percent said availability. Only 11 percent said price was the main reason why they purchase products.

Fleet managers like to keep low on-site inventories as 48 percent said they order products as needed while 29 percent said they keep a one-month supply of products and 12 percent keep a three-month supply.

The 2016 Fleet Product Study was fielded via email to readers of Aftermarket Business World who are part of a fleet. The results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties.

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