Where there’s a will, there’s a way to bring fleets and shops together

No aftermarket segment is immune to the lack of qualified technicians and the wave of increasingly advanced vehicles.

Many fleets are closing their in-house repair facilities due to a shortage of technicians, new technology challenges, and the cost of doing the repair. Finding an alternative to having their fleets serviced hasn’t been easy, however, but that’s beginning to change.

Joe McDonald, who is regional vice president of sales for JASPER Engines and Transmissions, shared with Parts & People what he’s been working on for the last couple of years in the fleet world.

“As I visited national and regional fleet directors, they all had a common problem of finding quality fleet repair facilities,” McDonald said.

Fleet managers face hurdles that include finding shops that can work on their specific equipment, shops that understand downtime and the importance of expedient repairs, and sourcing honest shops.

“I saw an added value we could bring to these fleet directors and created our Fleet Installer Program. We have 160 professional outside factory representatives who know who these people are. We’ve qualified and vetted thousands of facilities and continue to do so in order to have a national list to provide these directors.”

In the fall of last year, JASPER created a Fleet Repair Shop Advisory Group, which includes 12 owners from across the country who meet twice per year with a two-year commitment. The group mirrors Jasper’s Independent Repair Shop Advisory Group that has been in existence for more than 25 years.

“This was done after speaking to many of these shop owners across the country. Many have reached out and attended several of these events, but found that 90 percent of the material was directed to a shop that focused on the consumer as the customer,” McDonald said. “Dealing with a fleet manager is very different and their needs are as well. After two meetings, the Fleet Repair Shop Advisory Group has been a home run.”

It was during these meetings that the Fleet Installer Program was born.

JASPER’s current Preferred Installer Program was set up for an end user to find a quality shop, and McDonald said he thought he could do the same thing and offer it to fleet managers.

“The members shared their frustration establishing appointments and creating value in their shops. As a vendor in the automotive aftermarket I wanted to create added value to our loyal fleet repair shops.”

Today, JASPER has several national fleets that are using its fleet installers.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.