不是字面意义上的, 当然，合作社的存在是为了提供安全, reliable electric and natural gas service to members in 40 Kansas counties. 要做到这一点, it relies on a fleet of 463 units of all types (230 trucks and cars, 加上几十辆拖车, 挖掘机, skidsteers, 叉车, 几辆四轮摩托车，甚至还有一辆雪地摩托, 确切地说). By continuously improving the way fleet purchasing and maintenance are done, 公司节省了300多美元,每年000.
Keeping all ready around the clock falls to one man, Gary Burnett, 十博体育登录网站’s Fleet Manager. Burnett covers all the counties and vehicles from a small office in Hoxie, 但他经常在卡车驾驶室工作, meeting with vendors and evaluating vehicles as he travels the service area.
伯内特几乎是意外地做了这个工作. He was initially hired by 十博体育登录网站 to assist with warehousing and FEMA documentation following a massive ice storm in 2008. 两年后该项目结束时, 公司继续雇用伯内特, thinking that his more than 15 years of fleet management experience for a building materials retailer in Denver could help save the co-op money.
“At that time, it was every supervisor for themselves,伯内特说:. “如果你需要一辆车, 您创建了规范, 与供应商会面, 协商定价, 创建并提交请求, 得到了签名, 买了一辆车. 没有标准化，”伯内特说. “Same thing went for repairs – in some instances employees were providing equipment repairs, in other situations supervisors could spend hours trying to find a shop that could do the work, 不知道工作是否应该在保修期内完成, 或者维修的价格是否有竞争力.中西部公司目前的机队计划已经转移了4个以上,管理人员和现场工作人员的工作时间是1万小时.
舰队计划于2010年开始, the focus was on what he called the “low-hanging fruit” – creating equipment specifications, developing maintenance programs and working with vendors to establish and clarify warranty expectations.
制定标准化的设备规格, Burnett developed and led employee user groups made up of equipment users from different areas of the company. These user groups defined the “needs” based on their experience using the equipment. Root cause analysis associated with accidents has also been used to develop or modify specifications. Lowest cost is not always the “best” cost and low bid is not always “best” bid. Midwest’s standards have in some cases increased the upfront cost of a unit but has lowered costs over the life of a unit.
Establishing a fleet refurbishment and replacement program has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years. In some cases refurbishment means replacing hoses and other hydraulic equipment, 在其他情况下，它可能是一个简单的重新安装, 清理和油漆. Once the hydraulic unit is refurbished it is bolted on to a new chassis. 一辆新的服务铲斗卡车的成本约为160美元,000 – and the company has 27 of this type of truck in service. When considering whether to refurbish or replace a unit an inspection is completed and this information is used to make a decision. 这样做的平均节省成本接近40美元,000 per unit; a bed and hydraulic unit may be re-used two or three times before it finally needs to be replaced.
“Many of our service trucks drive 40,000 miles or more a year,伯内特说:. “Buying a new F550 chassis and re-using the bed and hydraulic unit starts to add up over time.对于更大的卡车, 像350美元,000辆挖掘机(中西部有15辆), 或250美元,000辆铲斗卡车(中西部地区有17辆), 储蓄的机会甚至更大.
Burnett also employs smart practices he’s learned during his career, like adding a towing package to each of the 15-20 vehicles he purchases each year, 每当它是可用的. “再给我几百美元, 你会受到更重的处罚, 以及一个单独的传输冷却器, 什么延长了传输的寿命,伯内特说:. “You make that money back several times over through lower maintenance costs, 加上以旧换新, 这套房子的价格比较便宜.”
向供应商澄清保修期望, 伯内特说, “The standard warranty provided by companies that build our hydraulic units is one year, but I knew from previous experience those warranties could be extended.“今天, Burnett has negotiated extended warranties with several manufacturers of hydraulic units, 有一次是五年, 无需额外费用.
最后, Burnett has implemented a tire program where Midwest purchases tires directly from the manufacturer for a large discount, and has them drop-shipped to a local tire shop for installation. “Everyone wins; the company saves money, 当地的商店得到了装配业务, and Midwest just saved two hours of time because employees don’t have to drive from Hanston to Great Bend to get their tires put on – it can all be done in town.” Since the tire program was implemented Midwest has saved more than $250,000, 平均近40美元,每年有5万美元的储蓄.
The savings from all these efforts have been considerable. If one assumes an increase in costs based on average inflation for the last 10 years, 中西部公司将支付大约500美元,每年增加1万多辆来替换老化的车队. 因为它是, Midwest has seen a 5% increase in vehicle count and growing replacement unit costs but is annually spending less to replace it’s equipment than it did in 2008 or 2009.
One of Burnett’s proudest achievements has been the significant reduction of crew downtime due to maintenance. “没有什么比船员无所事事更昂贵的了, because their trucks - the tool they need to do their jobs – is out of service,伯内特说:. He has assembled a small number of spare units to ensure that seldom is a crew without one while primary units are being serviced.
“What Gary has done with Midwest’s fleet program with regards to downtime is exceptional,弗雷德·泰勒说, 十博体育登录网站公司运营副总裁. “In 2008, electric crews were down a combined 576 hours due to equipment issues,” Taylor said. “Crew down time due to equipment issues has been reduced by approximately 90% to 70 hours.”
“In 2017, 在大风暴后恢复服务, 中西部公司的设备运行大约10台,000 hours and had zero hours down time due to hydraulic equipment failures,”泰勒补充道. “这是一个巨大的进步.”