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SPECIAL REPORT


Ed Godwin, the shop supervisor for Chesapeake Public Schools, said a computerized parts inventory will cut down on mountains of paperwork.


This, he added, allows the district to sometimes ne-


gotiate a volume discount. In addition, Harnage said the Versatrans solution


provides clear visibility of the total cost of ownership of one brand. That allows parts to be procured based on their individual lifecycles and not simply their price. For instance, Harnage shared that he could have a re- placement part “of a particular brand that does not last as long as another brand, even though it may cost less. The software will help you make a decision to pay a little more and get a better brand for that part.” Knowing what he’s buying and how many is of great


appeal to Randy McCardle, the shop foreman for the Ohio County Board of Education in Wheeling, West Virginia. His fleet of 55 buses that traverse 109 square miles a day uses the software system Fleet Maintenance Pro from Innovative Maintenance Systems. “It works pretty good for us,” said McCardle. “It’s


simple enough that pretty much any of the guys in the shop can use it. It gets the job done.” McCardle explained that the solution is ideal for setting inventory levels accurately. Staff can drill down to the inventory level of any part and determine, for example, there are only two parts in stock, compared to the normal quantity of six. The software will then alert the garage of the low level based on usage history. The inverse can also be true. “If you’ve got a


slow-moving part, you can kind of go in there and say, ‘Boy, I haven’t used that for a couple of years. I probably shouldn’t be keeping that one on the shelf anymore.’” He explained that the district will sell the part, along


with other obsolete parts, or return it to the dealer for credit. McCardle noted that the greatest benefit for Ohio


County is the reduction of paperwork when purchasing parts. “There’s no question because I used to do it man- ually and kept it all on file cards,” McCardle chuckled.


22 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2020


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