It is a long held proverb in the public sector that “’the number of philosophies on government is greater than to the number of philosophers on government.” This being said, it is especially natural for me to apply the word customer when describing relationship the residents of Jonesborough have with the town government. The Town of Jonesborough is expected to meet certain obligations in return for taxes paid. It is also important to keep the departments that used fleet services firmly in the caring arms of customer service. Just as the shop keeper must meet his obligations to the customer the Town of Jonesborough must meet its obligations to avoid disagreeable outcomes. This keeps the buyer-supplier relationship in check.

The word customer is not as familiar a term in the dominion of the municipal garage. The word “customer” is derived from the word “custom” meaning “habit”. Those who make it a habit to purchase goods or services must be encouraged to maintain that habit and not take their business elsewhere. This is the fundamental nature of customer service. It is my desire that any department, person within a department or department head be treated as a customer. It is not inconceivable that a municipal garage could become so mismanaged that its customers would be better off seeking the services of an outside vendor. It my intention to make the buyer-supplier relationship between the departments and fleet management as productive as can be imagined.
The Town of Jonesborough’s several departments have varying needs for the services of fleet maintenance and management. Some departments rarely need the services of fleet management while others are a constant presence. Some equipment enjoys an undisputed priority while others have to forfeit their place in line.

At its best fleet management is able to act as a gate keeper making sure that any given piece of equipment is ready for its designated task at any given moment. At its worst fleet management is more like the catcher in the rye struggling to keep the wheels of progress from grinding to a halt. Proper management and sound business decisions will make the difference between the best and worst case scenarios. Excellence in customer service resides somewhere between the ex post facto “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and the fanatical “just buy a new one”. It is the goal of fleet management to have a cooperative relationship with all of its customers and with the town government so that obligations are met with the best tools available at the best price.

About the author
Gary Lykins

Gary Lykins

Fleet Manager

Gary Lykins serves as the fleet manager, shop supervisor, and lead mechanic for the Town of Jonesborough. Although he has 20 years of experience in various roles in the automotive and equipment industry, his tenure with the Town of Jonesborough has been the most challenging and fulfilling position of his career.

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