MARIETTA, GA – Cobb County, Ga. expects to save more than 30 percent on its auto parts budget this year through the AutoZone Strategic Partners program.

In planning the 2009 budget, County leaders asked each department to reduce expenditures a minimum of 10-percent. To meet this goal, the Purchasing Department, which includes both purchasing and fleet management divisions, looked to U.S. Communities and their auto parts and accessories contract with AutoZone.

AutoZone recently launched a Strategic Partners program as part of their government offering through U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. The goal of the program is to partner with local governments in order to analyze common automotive parts purchased by governments nationwide and leverage that total volume to obtain better pricing. Additionally, local governments can save money by streamlining their purchasing operations and reducing the number of vendors they use to support their daily fleet maintenance activities.

"AutoZone came onsite and provided the county with a very detailed review of all our automotive parts and purchasing processes," said Rick Brun, purchasing director for Cobb County. "Not only is the county saving money by switching to AutoZone brands and products, we are realizing administrative savings by reducing the number of vendors we use to manage our fleet operations."

Because the AutoZone contract was competitively solicited and awarded by Charlotte-Mecklenberg Purchasing Services in North Carolina through the U.S. Communities program, any state and local government agency in the country can order what they need from the contract and never have to go out to bid. This speeds up the process to complete a cost savings review and cuts down on the administrative costs normally associated with the bid process.

"The U.S. Communities contract allows government agencies to realize their savings goals faster by reducing the amount of time it takes to adopt our Strategic Partners program through the U.S. Communities contract," explained Larry Roesel, senior vice president of AutoZone commercial.

As part of a nationwide awareness campaign, AutoZone is launching the "AutoZone: Great Brands, Great Products" initiative to complement its Strategic Partners program and the U.S. Communities contract. The goal is to share many of the cost saving experiences being realized by local governments, such as Cobb County, with all of the local government agencies across the country.