What is Drop-Ship?
Drop-ship is most often used by a fleet customer (in combination with Ship-thru fleet orders) as a result of the multiple destinations that the ordered vehicles must be shipped to within a certain geographical region. Also due to the vehicle size as a result of the modification; the unit cannot re-enter the Ship-thru system because of the shipping height and width limitations.
Facilitators of the Process:
There are two facilitators for this process:
1. OEM vehicle dealer
2. OEM approved vehicle up-fitter/modifier
The OEM vehicle dealer provides a Fleet pre-delivery process which includes the following:
1. Perform the Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI)
2. Clean the interior of the vehicle
3. Wash the exterior of the vehicle
4. Prepare title work
5. Register & license the vehicle
6. Refuel the vehicle based on customer specifications
The OEM approved vehicle up-fitter/modifier:
Alternatively, the fleet customer can drop ship the vehicles directly to an OEM approved up-fitter to centralize the supply & installation of the aftermarket fleet equipment and accessory options, so that the vehicles are work-ready for the fleet customer's use.
The OEM approved up-fitter will work with the local OEM dealer to complete the "Fleet pre-delivery Process" on-site at the up-fitter's facility, while the up-fitter is processing the vehicles for the aftermarket accessory & equipment options.
Essentially, the OEM approved up-fitter becomes the
project manager as the majority of the communication from the fleet customer is with the approved up-fitter to centralize all the facets and logistics regarding the vehicle up-fitting. This is essential to ensure the vehicle(s) are properly equipped as a turn-key solution for the job function it will be deployed to.
Therefore, most approved up-fitters will provide licensing services for a minimal fee and facilitate the vehicle plating process along with centralizing the driver care packages, which usually include the customer supplied fleet cards, log books, insurance/ownerships, accident reporting papers and any other customer supplied details that are standard issue from the fleet operator's corporate office.
Depending on the fleet customer's arrangement, there are (3) possible delivery arrangements that the fleet operators utilize for final delivery on a "Drop-Ship" order:
OEM Dealer Delivery:
The OEM dealer will provdie final delivery to the fleet customer's office location(s) this is usually negotiated at the time of the order.
Private Driveaway Services:
The fleet customer may enter into a delivery agreement with a private vehicle delivery service using transport trailers or vehicle jockies that will drive the units to the end destination. This service can usually be negotiated to include the return delivery of the surplus/retired unit in exchange for the newly issued unit for the client to dispose of by corporate auction or other remarketing center.
OEM Approved Up-fitter:
Alternatively, most OEM approved up-fitters can provide the final delivery service identical to the Private Driveaway Service with the added benefit of centralized invoicing by vehicle unit to include the up-fitting, licensing and final delivery service all on one invoice to simplify the processing requirements for the fleet customer.
Vehicle Status Reporting:
When utilizing an OEM approved up-fitter, this allows the fleet customer to have one point of contact for vehicle status, as all units are centralized at the up-fitter's facility. Most up-fitters maintain a vehicle database reporting system to provide a snap shot at anytime of the units in production at the OEM plant, while in the up-fitter's possession for up-fitting, off-site for special customer service requests related to the customer's unique up-fit requirements and shipping status to the end destination(s).
This type of information is valuable for financial reporting requirements when requested by other departments within the fleet customer's corporate office.
One last added benefit with centralizing the units at the up-fitter's facility allows the fleet customer to easily facilitate special user group meetings to discuss the up-fitting requirements by reviewing recently up-fitted units. This allows the fleet customer to easily manage the alteration cost-effectively to their standard specifications that may be due to equipment, user preferences and custom requests. Overall the fleet customer has greater control and can closely monitor the overall up-fitting progression to completion.