Right to repair legislation has been swirling around the heavy trucking industry for quite some time. However, with more stringent right to repair legislation popping up in states across the nation – especially regarding personal electronics – it has once again become top-of-mind for today’s heavy trucking businesses.

For those unfamiliar with the current right to repair bills, this legislation opens a huge door for product owners of long-lasting durable goods when it comes to servicing their own equipment. The recent bills come from Apple product owners who wanted to repair their own devices, instead of working directly with the manufacturer for service and maintenance. Right to repair legislation gives product owners the choice to repair products themselves or tap independent specialists to make repairs without breaking their warranties.

This legislation would also force manufacturers to sell repair parts and make maintenance materials available to the public, resulting in an easier repair process for the end user. And while these current bills focus on personal and enterprise technology, it will likely ripple into other industries – and could even have further implications than what already exists in heavy trucking. Now is the time heavy truck manufacturers must optimize their service supply chains to ensure they are meeting the demands of Right to Repair regulations today, while simultaneously preparing for further constraints in the coming months and years.

Below are a few ways heavy truck manufacturers can navigate Right to Repair laws to achieve sustained success.

Coping with the Grey Market

It’s no secret that today’s customer has more control than ever. There’s more pressure on manufacturers to enhance the customer experience, and the status quo just won’t cut it anymore. Companies unable to meet service demands will see customers purchase parts elsewhere, specifically on the grey market.

Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to make repairs – they want efficiency and effectiveness. All too often, customers turn to the grey market to cut costs. While many aftermarket companies buy the rights to manufacture parts from the manufacturer, many do not, and this leads to immediate quality and safety concerns. And with grey market providers now gaining a bigger share of the pie, manufacturers must optimize their service supply chain to remain competitive. The most successful brands will invest in technologies and personnel to create a more seamless service experience for end-users – increasing brand loyalty along the way.

Maximized Product Uptime is Crucial to Success

As IoT permeates manufacturing – the technology will be worth more than $250 billionby 2020– the time is now for the trucking industry to take a hard look at shifting their business models. Because today’s customers expect quick, reliable service, it is now more important than ever to shift from a reactive, break-fix service model to one focused on maximized product uptime – and IoT makes this possible.

Downtime can crush productivity and deal devastating blows to a business’ bottom line and customer retention. A service model centered around maximized product uptime guarantees fleets are always in the best operating condition. Moving forward, this must become a focal point for the industry, especially with Right to Repair legislation becoming more commonplace. By embracing an uptime-centric model, fleet owners can keep customers happy by handling much of the maintenance before failure ever occurs.

Upgrade Inventory Management

Managing service parts inventory is already a major point of emphasis for heavy truck manufacturers. However, as more third-party providers enter the service parts space, inventory distribution is becoming more complicated. To combat this, trucking manufacturers should embrace solutions that help forecast demand and make sure inventory is where it needs to be at the right time.

Too many companies still rely on Excel spreadsheets and other antiquated methods to manage their service parts inventory. This has led to inventory shortages in some places, and excessive carrying costs in others. By adopting next-level inventory solutions, trucking businesses can mitigate carrying costs, while ensuring that customers don’t leave a dealership or parts shop unhappy because a part is out of stock.In addition, it’ll be especially important to manage service parts inventory, as guaranteeing uptime and performing proactive maintenance become the norm to help manufacturers fend off competitors.

It’s clear that today’s customers expect quick, reliable service on demand and for heavy truck manufacturers, this means they must optimize their after-sales service organizations. The status quo of reactive, break-fix service models is no longer sufficient, and companies must invest in human capital and new technologies to transform their businesses to become more proactive and focused on maximizing product uptime.

Optimizing after-sales service operations today will ultimately help manufacturers successfully navigate Right to Repair legislation, while also improving financial performance and exceeding customers’ expectations.