The City of Stamford, Conn., has reduced its motor pool fleet from 60 to 29 vehicles by automating motor pool management and having better control of utilization, said Mike Scacco, fleet maintenance manager for the city.
Scacco had been looking for a motor pool program for years to overhaul the city’s method of decentralized motor pools — individual departments managed their own pooled vehicles, making it difficult to centrally track utilization and determine if they were used effectively.
“Cars were scattered throughout. We were looking for a system to control the cars, to take a look at the utilization of cars, how they were being used on a daily basis, who was using them, where they were going,” Scacco said.
The city purchased the Agile FleetCommander motor pool solution, installing it on 60 vehicles that fleet staff had identified for its central motor pool. Scacco, along with Scott Gerardi, parts manager, and Art Zanvettor, mechanic/body man, gave classes to city departments to inform them of the change; tell them general rules such as leaving the vehicle clean, with fuel, and without personal belongings; and show them how to use the new automated pool vehicle reservation system. The user reserves a vehicle online, retrieves a key from a key box at the scheduled time, retrieves the vehicle from a central location, and returns the key in the key box after responding to automated questions about any vehicle defects.
Scacco said one of the factors that allowed the fleet to reduce its size is through “stacking,” or renting out a vehicle for more than one trip throughout the day. Users are now more likely to carpool to meetings, and managers are holding employees more accountable for vehicle use, he added.
Another factor leading to the success of the program is encouraging those with “stationary positions” to use their personal vehicle instead. If a worker tends to take a vehicle to a location and stays there for six to seven hours every day, Scacco sees no point in having a $30,000 vehicle sit unused throughout most of the day.
The software has active telematics and allows fleet to not only track utilization, but also who use the vehicles, where they go, if they’re speeding or using vehicles for personal use, and even for tracking work history.
“It’s a tremendous tool,” Scacco said.
The Stamford fleet consists of about 1,000 units, ranging from fire, police, and Public Works vehicles to snow blowers, lawn mowers, and beach combers. Scacco oversees a staff of 20.