POLICE Magazine

MAR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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O ne benefit of the fleet community is the ability to learn from each other's good (and bad) experiences. e fleet managers behind these initiatives share what worked, and offer guidance on the challenges they faced along the way. OFFSET COSTS WITH INSOURCING e City of Conroe, TX, handles maintenance for six other fleets. Insourced work makes up about 20% of the work done in Conroe's shop. "Even if we don't perform the job in house, we will facilitate the sublet then get the unit back to the customer," explained Erik Metzger, CAFS, fleet manager. Ninety-five percent of the city's insourced work is for light-duty vehicles. Labor is charged out at $70 per hour (com- pared to $60 for city-owned light-duty vehicles) and parts and sublets have 15% and 5% markups, respectively. In FY-17, the city billed out more than $88,000, enough to cover one full-time technician. Considering insourced work takes up a small percentage of the shop's operation, Metzger sees this as a huge benefit. KEEP PURCHASING OPTIONS OPEN Rather than choosing one purchasing method that works, Os- ceola County, FL, keeps its options open. When purchasing new vehicles, the county always issues a full solicitation (which is open for 30 days), collects the make and type of the winning vehicle, and compares pricing to the state contract. With this strategy, the county saved $200,000 on procurement in FY-18. "We found that you do not always get the lowest bid on the solicitation, and also the price on the state contract is not al- ways the lowest one for the same product," said Hector Sierra Morales, fleet manager. ADD DAILY SHOP MEETINGS e City of Milwaukee is cutting down its monthly shop meetings and building up the team with daily shop huddles. For about five minutes every morning, the team does a brief team-building exercise, discusses progress on current repair goals, and addresses any issues. Justin Groeschel, fleet repair supervisor, said the daily meet- ing is intended to serve as preventive maintenance for the team, rather than "repairing" issues at the end of the month. e goal is to ultimately phase out monthly meetings. For now, the number of items covered in each monthly meeting has been greatly reduced. ESTABLISH SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS When fleets have hands-on customers, it's a good idea to get in writing who decides what. Aer a new chief of police took of- fice in Wichita, KS, the agency looked for more control over ve- hicle replacement decisions. e Police Department and Public Works & Utilities developed a service level agreement (SLA) to provide an allowance and establish decision-making authority. e two departments meet regularly to discuss ideas, issues, or concerns. e increased communication has gone a long way toward addressing service concerns. Fleet staff calculates an allowance, reserving a portion of the fleet budget for the Police Department, and a fleet employee is assigned to serve as the primary liaison to the Police Depart- ment. Spending controls established in the SLA ensure that spending remains at appropriate levels. is approach will hopefully serve as a model to address the unique issues of other customer groups. But Troy Tillotson, fleet manager, noted that managing SLAs can be time consum- ing, and the Police Department rotates administrative staff more oen than other departments, which can cause a strain in ongoing discussions. In addition, the fleet is considering a new rate model to more transparently communicate fees and rates. RAISE AWARENESS WITH HARD NUMBERS Idling is a problem across many types of fleets, but it especially affects those whose drivers use their vehicles as mobile offices. e Ada County Sheriff's Office in Idaho is targeting idling by keeping officers informed. Don Walker, CAFM, fleet manager, continually explains to officers that odometer readings aren't even close to miles based on engine hours. It's one thing to tell people and another to show them. Walk- er gives specific numbers so they understand the significance. 14 | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | U PF I T T I NG & F L E E T M A N AG E M E N T Ideas to Improve Your Fleet Roselynne Reyes Learn from other fleet managers' experiences to optimize vehicle operations.

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