With approximately 21,000 vehicles in its fleet, the State of Georgia operates one of the largest government fleets in the country. As such, the State must constantly reassess fleet policies, procedures, and vendor contracts in an effort to stay up-to-date on the best and most cost-effective programs and partnerships available.
Each of the 161 State agencies is responsible for the care of the State vehicles assigned to them, which include sedans, pickup trucks, police units, fire trucks, ambulances, tractor-trailers, and other highly specialized vehicles. Approximately 143 State agencies utilize fleets that range from one vehicle to 4,500. The agencies with larger fleets include the Georgia Department of Transportation, Department of Corrections, and the 36 colleges and universities under the title of Board of Regents.
While State employees drive fleet vehicles to do their jobs, vehicles are also occasionally provided to non-profit entities and their employees.
Fleet Management Partnership Leads to Significant Savings
After implementing several loss-control measures in 2009, the State's Department of Administrative Services' (DOAS) Office of Fleet Management (OFM) sought to further reduce costs, this time in the area of vehicle repair. These initiatives stemmed from the OFM's departmental mission to house and utilize data to drive down the cost of maintaining its fleet.
"Realizing that everyone is struggling with budget problems, the difficult task is to promote investment. The key is not the expense, but rather the return on investment," said Ed Finnegan, director, Office of Fleet Management for the State of Georgia.
One such State investment included signing up with fleet management company Automotive Resources International (ARI). While the partnership led to cost savings initially, the DOAS/OFM made the decision to renegotiate its contract to better mesh the programs offered by ARI with the needs of the State agencies.
The new ARI agreement is now a "statewide contract," leading to a savings of thousands of dollars for agencies involved in writing bid specifications and managing evaluation processes associated with initiating RFPs, RFIs, and RFQs. And because the State self insures and has an in-house claims office for all auto exposures, the claims handling section and the subrogation program were excluded from the new agreement.