FLEETS/Columbus completes automation overhaul
For years, Columbus, Ohio’s fleet management division struggled to manage operations with an antiquated computer system. However, Y2K concerns offered the city an opportunity last year to overhaul its current system and add new features. “[The old system] had serious limitations,” says Darby Williamson, the information services manager who built it 15 years ago. In fact, the department could not even print reports on site. Nor was the system Y2K-compliant, leading Williamson to investigate other management tools.
Last fall, the department implemented FleetAnywhere from Peregrine Systems, San Diego. Fleet managers now can automatically track labor, parts inventory, costs, fuel and other equipment data, such as weights, capacities and warranties. After users enter initial fleet data, the system automatically schedules preventive maintenance and work orders. Williamson also regularly runs reports, which can now be printed on site. Other city departments also can access the system to check on the status of repair work. However, they have read-only access, Williamson says.
The new system has not yet produced cost savings, but it has significantly improved operations efficiency, Williamson says. “We can have 40 to 45 concurrent users and 12 shops using the system at the same time. We could never do that before,” she notes.