Salt Lake County's Outsourcing of the Parts Room

June 03, 2014, by Paul Clinton

John Webster discussus the benefits and disadvantages of outsourcing at GFX. Photo by Vince Taroc.
John Webster discussus the benefits and disadvantages of outsourcing at GFX. Photo by Vince Taroc.

Outsourcing of government fleet services has lost its one-time stigma and has become more normalized, Salt Lake County's fleet director told his peers at the Government Fleet Expo and Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.

John Webster, in "The Perfect Parts Room" on June 3, outlined his county's decision to outsource management of its parts room following a one-year analysis in 2009.

The decision was data-driven and motivated by a desire to make the department more effective and efficient, Webster said.

"Don't do it because you think you'll save money," Webster said. "Let that be a byproduct. Do it to be effective and efficient."

Webster outlined numerous advantages of outsoucing, including the ability to free up fleet managers from day-to-day parts inventory management.

"I'm going to let my vendors help me manage my inventory," he said.

Webster manages 4,000 vehicles and equipment assets, as well as five external contracts.

Jeff Flaten, fleet supervisor with the City of Sioux Falls, S.D., said if he were to consider outsourcing aspects of his fleet management, he would need to present a strong case with data.

"You've got to know your numbers," Flaten said. "If you're on a contract, you want to make sure they're performing under the guidelines."

By Paul Clinton

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