The Tire Retread Information Bureau, hoping to persuade the U.S. Postal Service to rethink its pending plan to issue a nationwide contract for retreading 14- and 15-inch tires, has suggested an eight-point procurement program to ensure retread quality and performance that also would streamline the process.
Adopting TRIB's recommendations for retreading contracts for those tire sizes ``would work beautifully both for the Postal Service and the retread industry without excluding any qualified retreader who wished to do business with the Postal Service,'' TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky wrote in a Jan. 17 letter to Anthony Hufford, a purchasing and supply management specialist with the USPS.
The Tire Industry Association (TIA) endorsed TRIB's position in a Jan. 20 letter to Mr. Hufford.
``TRIB has come up with a way the USPS can streamline their process while saving money,'' said Becky MacDicken, TIA director of government affairs. ``TIA agrees that the eight steps TRIB outlined would help the USPS reach their goals without harming any small business retreaders that are currently working with the government.''
Retread procurement would be helped immensely, Mr. Brodsky said, if the USPS issued a maximum price list of what it would pay for a retreaded 14- or 15-inch tire, regardless of precure or mold cure technology, and revised it every six months.
He also suggested the agency issue a maximum failure adjustment rate, which a retreader could not exceed more than twice in six months if it wanted to keep USPS business.
In the case of a retread failure caused by retreader error, retreaders must agree to adjust the tire to the agency's satisfaction; retreaders also would have to agree to delivery deadlines set by the USPS facility and to provide legal removal and disposal of the facility's scrap tires.
The USPS should require all retreaders to have a valid Department of Transportation code as a prerequisite for doing business with them; that all retreaders doing business with them provide evidence of required insurance and licenses; and that those retreaders agree to provide whatever data the agency might require, such as number of tires retreaded, number of tires rejected due to damage, etc., Mr. Brodsky also noted.
The USPS last fall announced plans to issue a nationwide contract for retreading the tires on its 208,000 vehicles, most of which require 14- or 15-inch tires.
TRIB and TIA objected, saying smaller retreaders that depend on local or regional USPS business and aren't big enough to bid on nationwide contracts could be hurt severely.
TRIB and TIA also were alarmed at the USPS' ``Statement of Work-Performance-Based Retread Tires,'' which set forth requirements for the contract that the retread industry said were unrealistic.
For instance, the document forbade the repair of sidewalls under any circumstances, a requirement Mr. Brodsky described as equivalent to throwing money out the window.
A meeting between USPS and retreading officials Jan. 7, though friendly, did not end the impasse. At that time Mr. Hufford and other USPS officials requested further information pertaining to the contract, which was the genesis of the TRIB and TIA letters.
Also in her letter, Ms. MacDicken outlined TIA's training programs for the agency, suggesting its Basic Automotive Tire Service and Commercial Tire Service training programs for USPS vehicle maintenance facilities.