Competing for business
In Bismarck, N.D., fleet and facility manager Dennis Albers said his department is in transition to a centralized fleet management operation. Starting in January 2006, the fire department's equipment was added to Albers' responsibilities. “We're hoping to add the police pretty soon,” said Albers. “We have to prove our worth to those folks before the city will allow that to happen.”
What does that require? “If I can do the preventive maintenance and repairs cheaper and just as quickly as the neighborhood shop, then we'll get the business,” said Albers. “Each department head gets a budget, and they can spend it as they see fit. If I can do the work cheaper, they'll give it to me. It's a regular business that I'm trying to operate here. I have to show close to zero profit or loss at the end of the year.
“We've come out with about $2000 to the good on a $1.5 million budget,” said Albers. “I was pleased with our results. I think our experiment is working.”