Vitec helping the city run smoother

Jan 12th 2016
Keith Owens
Michigan Chronicle

Vitec CEO Sylvester Hester

Last October, the City of Detroit awarded a three-year, $11.5 million contract for vehicle parts inventory management to Vitec LLC, a southwest Detroit-based member of the Global Automotive Alliance with expertise in warehousing and distribution. It was the largest contract awarded to a minority firm in 2015, and one of the largest awarded to any minority firm by the city in the past five years.

To say the least, the city is already quite pleased with Vitec’s performance, and equally pleased that it was a hometown minority-owned company that won the bid through the presentation of a superior proposal that far outshone the performance provided by their predecessor, Atlanta-based NAPA Auto Parts, which had held the contract for the past eight years.

In a nutshell, Vitec, which was founded in 1998, will be responsible for maintaining a steady and reliable supply of parts for all of the city’s 2,400-vehicle fleet, which includes police and fire response vehicles, street maintenance trucks, parking enforcement cars, grass-cutting and forestry, and other equipment. The General Services Department employs 80 mechanics to maintain this fleet out of four municipal garages, each with a parts storeroom to be operated by Vitec/Mancon staff.

This reliability of supply comes in handy when those vehicles are in need of repair, because the faster they can get the parts they need, the faster they can return to service. In the case of fire and police vehicles, Vitec CEO Sylvester Hester said it’s safe to say that this reliability has the potential to affect – and improve – response times in emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and EMS vehicles.

“In essence, we’re procuring the parts themselves, as well as providing that part to that mechanic once he comes to the door at greater than an 85 percent fulfillment rate. That means that out of 100 times the mechanic goes to the parts department, the department should have that part 85 percent of the time,” said Hester.

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