As utilities refocus resources on their core business, they are developing strategic partners to manage day-to-day support services more efficiently. Operational functions that received scant notice in the past are now identified as areas for big savings.
Transportation services mark one such area. Activities like vehicle acquisition, resale, maintenance, fueling, and routine administration are now widely viewed as outsourcing opportunities (em to reduce costs and enhance productivity. But outsourcers can offer other services, too, such as: benchmarking, licensing and permitting, warranty management, emergency roadside assistance, bodywork, or resale of used vehicles. After all, fleet vehicles represent a large corporate asset. The average bucket truck costs $60,000 plus $200 in monthly maintenance.
Today's fleet management companies provide comprehensive service. Sophisticated computer systems integrate vehicle, driver, and expense information to manage vehicle maintenance, increase operational efficiency, and improve quality of service to fleet drivers. What's more, since most outsource companies offer services à la carte, you can choose to outsource only those services your company really needs (em one component, or the entire fleet management.
Central Illinois Public Service (CIPS), for example, has used fleet outsourcing to trim expenses by 27 percent for annual invoice processing. The company formerly processed over 1,200 invoices from automotive service centers and oil companies. By outsourcing, it streamlined its fuel and maintenance operation and increased efficiency. According to Joe Kindernay, CIPS fleet supervisor: "We were able to save $37,000 and 3,600 clerical hours