What Are Your Options For Service? Part One

Updated: Mar 22, 2017

Forklift being opened up for service

When it comes to service, there are several options for you to choose from, such as providers, types of service, service contracts and internal servicing. So how do you decide? Drawing on options and experiences I have seen over my career, and to this day still discuss with customers and friends alike, I hope to help make your decision easier. Remember, I am not a “sales guy,” although some may argue this. I wear boots, not loafers, and I tell it straight.

First of all, let’s talk about your service provider: do you service in-house or do you outsource to another company? A few variables can make the choice for you. Do you have 1-2 units or a fleet of 100? 1 or 2 units can be taken care of in-house and so can 100 units, but the question you need to ask is “how much risk am I willing to hold to do it?” In-house service may be more cost effective if you have a smaller fleet and someone on your payroll who knows what they are doing.

But what happens when that person quits or retires and you don’t have anyone to do it anymore? Or if said employee makes a mistake and damages an engine or differential? Or worse something to do with the computer controls you’re not covered? That is where the risk lays, but if you use an outside company, a reputable one, you will be covered. It is not often a service provider will not warranty their work for a period of time. This also goes for injuries. What if your employee hurts him/herself when working on the gear? Now you’re on the hook again… another reason to use a (reputable) outside company. They will have safety programs in place, safe work practices and checks and balances to prove they know what they are doing. By working both internally and directly with the provider, you will ensure all safety guidelines are met and any site requirements are in line before starting work.

If you decide to work with a supplier, build a relationship with them. In the real world, you don’t have time to make calls to three different parts providers to make sure you are getting a good price, to arrange delivery and to make sure your guy is on task. Nor do you have time to walk your employee through the repair should they not feel comfortable. It is much easier to build a good relationship with the provider and be able to pick up the phone once, not five times, and say “Hey it’s broken, can you come fix it?”

Yes, finding the right provider can be difficult, but once you find the right one and build that trust, you will find you don't stress about repairs anymore. You will have a team you can rely on to take care of this for you. This means you can go back to doing what you need or want to do, whether it’s a day at the lake with your kids or completing a project on schedule because you now have the time to do so.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated companies.