Since the 1990s, Allentown, Pennsylvania, has outsourced its fleet’s vehicles. The fleet consists of over 600 assets, some including pickups, trailers, street sweepers, and law enforcement SUVs.
On November 2, Allentown officials met to discuss insourcing the fleet maintenance with Scott Rood, a representative from Mercury Associates, a fleet management consulting company.
The city council unanimously voted to switch the fleet’s maintenance to in-house for 2023.
The representative presented an assessment detailing Allentown’s fleet’s current mode of operation with costs of services and a cost analysis of potential in-house maintenance and repairs.
Right now, one employee handles the contract with the contractor. The contractor oversees:
- The fleet management information system (FMIS).
- Preventive maintenance.
- Any required parts.
- Equipment maintenance and repairs.
According to the Mercury Analysis report, Allentown has paid the contractor $2,462,380 in 2021 and $2,285,890 in 2020 for target and non-target maintenance and repairs.
In the meeting, the members stated that outsourcing the fleet’s maintenance is not ideal and there are frequent delays.
Making the Switch to In-House
In the report, Rood recommended 16 new Allentown staff that would be needed to make the switch to in-house maintenance. Of those staff, a new fleet manager, fleet coordinator, maintenance supervisor, and five technicians would be included.
The city would also need to build an inventory of parts, supplies, and bench stock as well as build a new FMIS.
As for the cost breakdown, it would cost Allentown $3,026,540 million for total in-house costs.
- In-house labor.
- Sublet repair services.
- Asset management.
To conclude the presentation, council Vice President Ed Zucal said, “I’m chairman of the public works committee. We have been dealing with this for three or four years, with the inefficiency of the garage, and based on everything you’ve done, I think it’s all let up to common sense to put this into play and put us back in-house.”