In the fleet management category, the highest area of shared services participation is in vehicle purchasing, where cooperative or consortium purchasing is used quite extensively to acquire vehicles for the various public entities. With a participation rate of 19.6 percent of all survey respondents, shared vehicle purchasing is nearly twice as popular as the next two most-cited shared services â€“ vehicle maintenance 10.5 percent and transportation operations 9.3 percent. Park districts, traditional school districts and colleges/universities were the most frequent users of shared vehicle purchasing with participation rates of 40.0 percent, 35.1 percent and 32.4 percent, respectively.
Among the survey's responses, there were 888 reported experiences of entities receiving fleet shared services; 325 instances of those supplying fleet shared services; and 140 responses of interest in increasing capacity in the fleet shared services area. The highest participation rates for entities receiving shared services were among transit authorities, boards of developmentaldisabilities and traditional school districts. The most frequent providers of shared services were transit authorities and county commissioners. The entities most interested in developing fleet shared services were transit authorities, boards of developmental disabilities and ESCs.
Centralized fueling, in comparison to centralized fuel purchasing, involves fueling at another entity's location. Optimally, this is by adjacent entities, or at least by those that are in close proximity for convenience. The City of Gahanna, Mifflin Township and the Gahanna-Jefferson School District, all in Franklin County, are participating in such an arrangement, as are Miami Township in Greene County and the Yellow Springs School District.
Among the barriers, entities must coordinate security access to the fueling site and have a mechanism for interfacing their ordering and billing systems. Willing partners and distance are the main barriers. However, the potential gain is the avoided cost of duplicative and expensive fueling infrastructure such as underground tanks and monitoring equipment. It is recommended that shared fueling infrastructure be considered at least among nearby entities.
Personnel management includes driver qualification assurances, hiring services, training and other related needs. These services can be shared at the regional or county levels and lower, and are currently being provided by the majority of the ESCs in the state. The benefits include lower administrative and training costs per employee, and also better resources with regard to management of driver qualifications across a wider region.
Barriers include local control, willing partners, labor agreements and the ability to share records confidentially. There is an advantage in schools identifying regional-driver qualification monitoring centers to assist with the tasks involved in maintaining certifications. Moving these tasks to a regional site frees up management time at the operational sites for other important tasks.