Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In!

I like to think that we do a pretty good job staying on top of the crucial issues in the fleet maintenance industry, but sometimes we need to have things pointed out to us… Case in point: I got an interesting letter last week from a fleet superintendent for a medium-sized city fleet in the Midwest, asking why we don’t do any stories on parts. In fact, we haven’t done a feature story on parts since 2005, so it’s a fair question. This gentleman was charged with reducing a $100,000 deficit in the operation of his city’s maintenance garage. “One of the first things that jumped out at me,” he wrote, “was that the parts room was open to anyone and there was no accountability for its inventory. After addressing some of the most obvious issues and installing a good fleet program on the computer, we have succeeded in controlling the parts room inventory and better managing the parts budget." That, along with some other operational changes, has resulted in the gentleman’s garage operating in the black for the past two years. But, he says, “After observing other fleet operations, it seems that quite a few of them are losing money through their parts rooms. I'm sure there are many fleets that could benefit from some good, sound advice from you. We could stand to learn more ourselves." That’s what I liked about this letter: this man is saving his city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and he feels there are still things he can learn! In that spirit, I’d like to open up my blog with the same attitude: I could stand to learn more myself, and I’d like to learn from you, our readers. What about you? Let’s start by talking about parts: can your parts department benefit from some good, sound advice? Do you have advice for others who are wrestling with dysfunctional parts rooms? Let’s hear from you…

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