With “the most robust freight market in a generation,” the trucking industry is booming and fleet managers are struggling to stay ahead. As a result, demand for new heavy trucks is higher than ever – orders for the freight haulers increased a staggering 141 percent in June compared to the year prior – and manufacturers cannot keep up.

Fleet managers have higher expectations than ever, as trucks are revenue generating assets and are only generating income when they are up and running. Now with more trucks on the road than ever, manufacturers must ensure they have the infrastructure and resources in place to meet these increased demands and set themselves up for future success.

Heavy Trucking Leads the Way in Product Uptime

As the demand for freight continues to increase, there is more onus on manufacturers to ensure trucks – both new and used – are always running smoothly and efficiently.  And, manufacturers must prepare their businesses for the inevitable dip in orders that can come after such steep spikes.

To better meet the needs of fleet managers and provide more financial predictability and stability to their businesses, truck manufacturers are shifting from transactional, break-fix service to subscription-based models focused on maximizing product uptime. This model leverages IoT data to identify parts to preemptively repair or replace before they ever fail.

Many leading brands like International, Daimler Trucks North America and Mack have launched uptime-driven products and services, which ultimately will help enhance the customer experience and improve financial performance.

But, what do manufacturers need to achieve maximized product uptime?

The foundation of any uptime program is part availability, and an optimized dealer inventory management program is the best way to achieve this.

An Optimized Dealer Network is the Foundation of Success

A service model focused on maximizing product uptime will only realize its full potential when paired with a sophisticated dealer inventory management solution. While IoT data can provide visibility into when and where problems may occur, a service parts inventory planning solution will ensure parts are delivered to the right place at the right time – ensuring a repair can be made before a breakdown occurs.

A sophisticated dealer inventory management solution will stock slow moving parts as needed, automatically scan and locate the correct parts, manage stock refills more effectively and seamlessly manage part returns – empowering dealers to support their company’s uptime model. A flexible, scalable solution will not only provide control at the manufacturer level, but also drive profits for dealers.

The Future is IoT

Investments in IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive analytics will also be instrumental in heavy truck manufacturers’ future success. The organizations that win will be the ones to examine their business processes and adopt the right technologies to meet their needs. With more data available than ever – especially from sensor equipped parts in the field – manufacturers must have the infrastructure in place to analyze the data and act on it. As customer demands continue to evolve and increase, the proactive nature of truck manufacturers’ service organizations will require the integration of these emerging technologies.

The trucking industry will continue to evolve and become ‘smarter.’ With such high demand today, heavy truck manufacturers need to invest in change and take the necessary steps – adopting the appropriate technologies and processes – to ensure fleet manager’s needs and expectations are met now and for years to come.