Cedar Falls, Iowa, used to have only 30% of vehicle and equipment parts in stock at any given time. With everything else ordered as needed, mechanics were routinely pulled from repairs to chase down parts and vehicles sat idle for hours, days, even weeks.

In 2013, after exploring the option for some time, public works and parks manager Brian Heath outsourced parts management. The contractor, NAPA Integrated Business Solutions (IBS), liquidated the city’s inventory and gave Heath the proceeds, and then provided an onsite parts operation which consists of a full-time manager and vendor-owned inventory.

Now, when a work order is delivered to the parts room, it can be filled more than 95% of the time.

“Having the right parts on-hand has improved staff productivity,” Heath says. “Also, prices are lower, we have no inventory to track, and we don’t pay for parts until they’re used.”

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