Outsourced Fleet or In-House Fleet? Which Is Better for HVAC Distribution?

Larry Bernstein

March 15, 2022

Larry Bernstein

As part of your business, you make hundreds of decisions every day. Some decisions are major and greatly impact your business, while the majority are minor. For an HVAC Distribution business, one of the major decisions you will have to make is what will enable you to better service your customers - an outsourced fleet or an in-house fleet?

Let’s consider the pros and cons of outsourced vs in-house HVAC delivery operations for various types of businesses.

Outsourced vs In-House Fleet Delivery Operations

Before determining which is right for your business, a review of outsource and in-house fleet delivery operations is in order.

A business that has an in-house fleet for delivery owns and operates vehicles that are dedicated to getting products/supplies to customers. The fleet is insured and maintained by the business. Proper licensing, registration and insurance are acquired. Finally, the business employs a staff of drivers to make the deliveries.

Companies that outsource delivery will partner with integrated couriers to handle deliveries. The courier is responsible for having and maintaining an adequate fleet and managing all operations related to delivery. The fleet is available on call as needed to make any delivery – regular route, LTL, special delivery, etc. A business pays based on how many deliveries it makes.

The Benefits of Fleet Outsourcing

Working with an outsourcing partner for delivery offers multiple benefits. Operations of the HVAC Supply business are simplified and streamlined. The business turns over a significant element that can be time-consuming and expensive to operate. They can focus on their core business which they know better, rather than concerning themselves with the challenges related to delivery.

Besides being easier to manage, outsourcing the fleet is less expensive. Your HVAC Supply business can utilize resources only as needed. There’s no need to have vehicles sitting around – just in case or for busy seasons/times. There’s no need to employ drivers and pay them regardless of how busy or not they are.

For Small Businesses

In a small HVAC business, management tends to wear multiple hats. This can be stressful and can lead to people feeling pulled in many directions. Who has the time or mental energy to focus on specific issues/areas of the business, such as distribution?

Outsourcing the fleet allows you to take delivery off your plate and turn your attention to the million other things in your business on which you must focus.  

For Expanding Businesses

Expanding a business to include more locations is an exciting and nerve-wracking time for management. Crucial business decisions related to operations, personnel, equipment, etc. must be made. Decisions around finances – crunching the numbers – are particularly important. Every dollar spent adds to the debt needed to service the business expansion.

When an expanding business outsources its fleet, it eliminates the upfront costs needed for distribution. The HVAC business can pay per delivery rather than buying a fleet, serving the fleet, and hiring drivers.  

For Manufacturers

Nearly every business has peak and off-peak seasons. This is especially true in the HVAC business as there are times of the year when keeping up with customer demands can be overwhelming.

As an HVAC manufacturer, you need to service your distributors, so they are well-stocked during peak seasons. If delivery is slow for any reason, sales are lost. With an outsource delivery service, you can be assured the fleet is readily available no matter how busy things get. And during off-peak times, money is not tied up into maintaining a fleet that is being under deployed.

For Distributors and Suppliers

These days, customers have very high expectations – they want things now. This is especially true when it comes to HVAC-related products. Therefore, repair people need the product to be readily and easily accessible to satisfy their customers.

When HVAC distributors and suppliers use an outsourced fleet, they can provide better service for contractors. They're able to get materials and supplies delivered quickly since operations are being handled by a business that specializes in that area. It means the end to worries about maintaining a sufficient in-house fleet no matter the time of year.

Curri’s Flexible Fleet Outsourcing Service Is Your Solution

So, outsource vs. in-house delivery. While both delivery options have business benefits, outsourced fleets have few negatives. They allow HVAC companies of all types – distributors, manufacturers, suppliers, small businesses, and expanding businesses - to meet customer demand.

With Curri, HVAC companies simply pay per delivery, which means they aren't stuck with extra expenses for fleet vehicles and staffing.

Our all-in-one logistics platform helps HVAC businesses move material quickly, reliably, and professionally. Ready to get started? Contact Curri today!

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