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City Service Garage to Outsource Parts Management

City Council to vote next week on contract for NAPA inventory management program.

The city’s Bailey Road service garage will soon be transformed into a vendor-operated on-site “parts store” customized to the needs of its lone client: Cuyahoga Falls.

on Monday heard a presentation by Dan Bigham of NAPA Integrated Business Solutions, a division of Genuine Parts Co. Council will vote next Monday to enter into a three-year contract with Genuine Parts to take over the city’s parts inventory for its large vehicle fleet.

Don Williams, Cuyahoga Falls motor vehicle maintenance supervisor, said the employee who has managed the city’s parts inventory will soon retire. Williams told council he had seen a presentation about the NAPA IBS program and “was impressed,” leading him to recommend it as a solution to a problem the city would soon have.

Williams said the city garage currently holds an inventory of more than 500,000 parts, many of which are obsolete as the vehicles they were intended for have been retired.

“It’s been a struggle the whole time we’ve been there,” Williams explained. “We run about 84 to 90 open (purchase orders) for all the different vendors throughout the area for parts. This would consolidate to one PO for NAPA.”

Bigham said what Genuine Parts Co. does best is handle inventory through IBS, a program that started when the city of Richmond, Va., approached NAPA officials with a request for inventory assistance.

There are now more than 225 NAPA IBS sites across the country, serving both municipalities and private industries, Bigham said. “You’re in the parts business not by design, but by necessity. We’re one of the leaders in the inventory business,” he told council.

Once contracted, Bigham said IBS employees will inventory the city’s parts and segregate usable items from obsolete ones. The active inventory will continue to be used by the city until depleted. Obsolete parts will be returned, if possible, or liquidated online, with proceeds going to the city.

NAPA will staff the city garage with two employees, one full-time and one part-time, who will handle everything related to parts: price-shopping, ordering, pick-up, delivery, maintaining an inventory of often-needed parts and all related paperwork.

Bigham said the program will improve productivity at the city garage, increase efficiency of the department and save city employees there “a significant amount of time.”

Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said she will provide IBS with a list of local vendors who have long been used by the city. “We’re not going to put anybody out of business. That’s not our intent,” she said.

Bigham told council that while the program is NAPA-powered, it’s not designed to sell only NAPA products.

“It’s not a NAPA store as you typically see it; it’s a self-contained store customized to fit the needs of the city,” Bigham said. “In most instances, what you see is 20 percent NAPA inventory and the rest is other vendors that are already supplying (parts). We’re just acting as a procurement agent.”

Joe Brodzinski, finance director, said the city’s current annual budget for parts and supplies through various vendors is about $430,000.

Bigham said an advantage of contracting with NAPA IBS is that “when we own inventory, we can reduce shrinkage, duplication issues, surplus and obsolescence.”

Council member Carol Klinger likes the idea. “Being able to eliminate $500,000 being tied up in inventory is a huge win for the city,” Klinger commented, prompting agreement from council member Kathy Hummel.

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