Government Case Study: County Official Saves Taxpayers Over $40,000 with Jeter
Chief Steve Finical of the Summit County Sheriffs Office had already selected the winning bid for a new conveyor system at the County Jail when he got a call from Tammy Kinder, senior account manager of Jeter Systems in Akron.
“I read in the Akron Beacon that you’re about to spend almost $81,000 on a replacement conveyor system to store prisoners’ personal property,” she told the chief. ”If I can show you a better solution with more storage capacity at about half the price, will you give us a crack at it?”
Although some public servants would have declined to start the arduous bidding process all over again, Chief Finical welcomed the chance to save taxpayers money. ”Even though this project had been in the works since 2002, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give Tammy a shot,” he said. ”We try our best to be prudent with county and taxpayers money.”
Finical immediately put Deputy John Barrackman and County Jail Maintenance Supervisor Tom Hathaway on the job with Jeter Systems, a leading manufacturer of mobile storage systems, filing cabinets and color-coded filing supplies. The two county officials worked closely with Kinder and her team to custom-design a movable shelving system that fit their exact specifications at a price tag that was $40,000 less than the system they were considering.
”We were originally looking at a conveyor system similar to what youd find at a dry cleaners,” explained Hathaway. ”Dry cleaning-type systems are designed to handle single items of clothing. In our case, we have inmates who bring their entire belongings with them if they happen to be homeless. The systems we were looking at just weren’t designed to accommodate that kind of volume and maximize our space–an important consideration since we regularly house more than 600 prisoners at a time.”
The engineers at Jeter showed Barrackman and Hathaway several prototypes of its EZ Roller movable storage system before they arrived at a design that was acceptable to both the County Jail and the Company. With constant input from the staff at the County Jail, we were able to design a system using off-the-shelf parts that gave them far more storage capacity for considerably less money.
The system designed by Jeter features a stationery row of storage racks, plus seven movable rows that are used to create access aisles when and where they are needed, thus making the most of available floor space. Each row functions as a stand-alone two-tier closet to hold bags containing prisoners personal property.
“Our old conveyor system was installed in 1989 when the jail was built,” Finical said. ”It wasn’t industrial strength, and we were constantly repairing it. The Jeter System is mechanical instead of electrical, so there aren’t a lot of things that can go wrong with it. Its so heavy duty that it looks like well never need to repair it.”