States are starting to open again after shelter-in-place orders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and in response, government fleet managers are changing the way they do business. For some, that means more employees are back at work and for others, it’s the opposite. In a Government Fleet survey, 15% of respondents said more employees have come back to work in the past two weeks, while 13% said their workforce has decreased. Meanwhile, 41% said their workforce stayed the same in the past two weeks.
Those whose workforce increased said they started bringing technicians who had been working from home back to the shop, began opening up more shops, had fewer sick employees, and saw an increase in work as customers went back to work or used their vehicles more (such as more patrols for police). Those with a decreased workforce said they closed shops, employees took paid leave or were sent home on leave due to agency policy, employees tested positive for coronavirus, they saw a decrease in work, and they cut back on office staff.
Government Fleet conducted a survey of its readership on May 14, with results tabulated on May 26. The survey received 91 responses from public sector fleet professionals. This is the second COVID-19 survey — results of the first one can be found this page of the COVID-19 Data Center.
Nearly three-fourths of respondents (71%) said they have taken steps to ensure that they have the parts needed to keep vehicles maintained and on the road. Still 27% said they anticipate being unable to obtain parts for their vehicles in the next month.
In the May survey, fewer respondents said they expect a decrease in operational budget next year, with 69% reporting this (versus 78% in April). However, about the same percentage said they expect decreases in next year’s capital/procurement budget (78% in May versus 81% in April).
As for short-term acquisition plans, 38% said they plan acquire fewer vehicles in the next three months, while none said they plan to acquire more vehicles during this time period.
Full survey results are available at the COVID-19 Data Center.