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Strange, but True

These “Strange, but True” stories were sent to Automotive Fleet by fleet managers, drivers, and fleet management companies. Have a strange but true story? Something so incredible it couldn’t have been made up? Share your stories with Automotive Fleet.

December 2010, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

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One Person's Car is Another Person's ... Home?

A leasing company was trying to identify the location of a leased, turn-in vehicle at an auction. The contact at a courtesy delivery dealership indicated the vehicle "had already been picked up" for auction. The leasing company checked with several auctions in the area and could not locate the vehicle. In desperation, one auction's agent went to the dealership and physically walked the lot, looking for the lost vehicle. It was quickly located on a back lot and VIN verified. The odd thing - the vehicle appeared to have lots of clothing and other items stored inside.
It turned out after further investigation that someone at the dealership had been using leasing company turn-in vehicles as his "home." He rotated the vehicle so he wasn't noticed.

Technology Really Does Work

Due to one city's goal of doing more work with less people, it staffed with the minimum number of personnel. With two shifts and only one parts buyer, the parts counter was unstaffed for most of one shift. After purchasing a purpose-built Fleet Information Management System (FIMS) three years ago, the City discovered significant capital parts inventory losses due to technicians forgetting to document all parts installed. To rectify such losses, the City purchased bar code software and mandated all parts must be bar code issued to a work order before they could be removed from the parts room. 

This change resulted in technician push-back. Some even said: "This is going to take too much time and add to our workload. It's going to take longer than necessary to get jobs done. This is not necessary and a waste of money."

One week after bar code implementation, one of the same technicians who complained about the inconvenience was forced back to the parts room to scan an oil filter he tried to remove without scanning. During one of the subsequent courtesy demonstrations of the scanning process, the FIMS indicated "nine in stock," but there were only two on the shelf.

The technician's reaction: "See, this means bar coding is not dependable."
The parts buyer's response: "No, this means seven were installed and not scanned before leaving the parts room; in other words - missing inventory." This technician now understands and believes in bar code inventory management.

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