Provide feedback. Your input can drive industry improvement

Published in the December 2016 issue of Fleet Affiliation

Providing feedback is often easier said than done. Our busy world of multiple communication channels can lead to disconnects, noise and miscommunication. However, when you provide input to your vendors, you are taking advantage of a powerful tool – because feedback often eventually comes full circle and drives change within the industry. So, communicating important issues about your vocational truck and equipment needs can provide positive change to the community.

As discussed in previous columns, manufacturers, upfitters and dealers should be striving to anticipate your needs as a fleet manager. However, there is often little feedback from the end user community. To address this, NTEA began an initiative to help truck equipment upfitters, distributors, manufacturers and fleets understand trends for the upcoming year. This information can result in better planning and  forecasting, leading to faster build times.

Closing the communication gap
Does your vendor understand what is important to you? Typically, truck equipment suppliers and upfitters think they understand what is important to their customers. Furthermore, most end users assume their suppliers understand what is important. However, major discrepancies often exist between the expectations of the end user and the assumptions of the suppliers/upfitters. As long as this gap exists between suppliers and end users, there will be undesirable results for the products that are purchased. This can lead to increased costs and production time, and lost opportunities.

As a fleet professional, you can take the time to ensure your suppliers know exactly what is important to you. Establishing effective communication will ensure expectations are met.

Fleet Purchasing Survey
NTEA is conducting its fifth annual Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey. Results provide invaluable insights into anticipated industry-wide trends for the coming year’s fleet acquisition and composition plans. Set aside less than 10 minutes to provide direct feedback to the industry.

Results often give insight to manufacturers, upfitters and distributors on what to expect for the year to come. With this information, they can better organize their business plans to better serve the industry. Additionally, end user fleets can utilize this data to benchmark their operations within the industry. The survey report will provide critical data on:

  • Average truck age and replacement cycles
  • Macro-level buying trends
  • Anticipated changes in fleet size
  • Interest in advanced truck technologies and alternative fuels
  • Challenges within the fleet community

All survey participants will receive a complimentary Fleet Purchasing Outlook (up to a $199 value) upon publication in spring 2017, along with a free copy of NTEA's Truck Equipment Handbook (up to a $29 value) which features in-depth technical information on selecting commercial vehicle components and equipment. Upon completing the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $100 Amazon gift cards.

All survey responses will be kept confidential; final results will be presented as aggregated data only.

If you did not receive the survey, and would like to participate, please contact NTEA Director of Fleet Relations Chris Lyon at

"The NTEA Fleet Purchasing Outlook helps validate our business plan. We like to compare the acquisition and replacement survey results to our sales forecasts. We also like to understand what fleets are thinking in terms of fuel, technologies, and maintenance. It helps ensure our solutions are aligned with what is important to them."
Peter Dondlinger, president, Auto Truck Group

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