By Paul Shaffer, Executive VP, Landi Renzo

Disruptions. Changes. It’s become quite predictable that things are unpredictable. The ‘normal’ cycle for what we expect in the fleet world has been turned upside down with a variety of factors over the past year or so.
We could point to COVID, the microchip crisis, raw material shortages, long lead times, just to name a few. No one can point to one thing – we’ve been hit on multiple fronts, and it’s had significant supply chain impacts.
So how do we handle these changes? It’s a valid question and so I would like to offer a few suggestions for fleets trying to navigate and understand these issues.

FIRST, I believe the mindset needs to shift to planning vs reacting. Yes, plan for contingencies. Plan that what has worked historically won’t work this time. It means being proactive with ordering vehicles and equipment. Don’t wait until the last minute. You may not have the chance and likely will have further delays to getting the vehicles and equipment you need. Be aggressive with getting in front of it. If you do, you’ll be one step ahead of others that are doing business as usual.

It was Benjamin Franklin that said, “Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.” That would be sound advice in these current circumstances…or any circumstance.

SECOND, it’s more paramount than ever to be partnered with experts. They are the ones that have a heartbeat on what is going on and can be those advisors you need when you face something not expected. These experts are your dealer, equipment provider, and perhaps even other industry peers that are highly regarded in the industry. Let’s face it. We can’t all keep up with the myriad of changes going on, so have the right team to help you navigate.

THIRD, it will be crucial to remain agile. Agility is defined as “ability to move quickly and easily” or “ability to think and understand quickly”. Be agile. There will be times that you need to think through a situation quickly and make a decision. It might be the difference in putting your fleet in a more favorable situation.

FOURTH, remain calm. Regardless of how things play out, it won’t do any good to get worked up over it. Prepare. Plan. Execute. And if it still goes wrong, you’ve taken the appropriate steps to be wise with your fleet. If you’ve followed the advice above, you’ll still be in much better shape than those around you.

When I play in a golf tournament and the weather forecast is dire, I prepare. I know there is chance that things will not be pleasant. But that doesn’t stop me. I make sure I have my appropriate equipment. I double check my rain gear in my bag. Is it all there? Check. Umbrella? Check. Are the items in the pockets I expect because I won’t have much time when the rain comes? Check. And, then after I tee off and the rain comes, I am prepared. It’s not fun. It’s not ideal. But, I prepared and planned for it. Now, I can execute and remain calm. It’s better to be that guy than the one scrambling to find everything or the one who forgot essential gear.

It’s no different in our business.

From yet another famous inventor and innovator,
Alexander Graham Bell is quoted as saying
“Before Anything else, preparation is the key to success.”