GREENSBORO, NC. Underscoring how Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America view their respective aftermarket performance as critical to winning and keeping customers, parent firm Volvo Group has opened a brand-new Uptime Center here on its corporate campus.
The center houses a staff of aftermarket-support personnel who are dedicated to separately serving Mack and Volvo customers within a single facility designed to leverage both high technology and interpersonal communications to heighten responsiveness to customer-service needs at all hours of thee day and night..
The center, which hosted a media tour yesterday, is up and running as a 24/7 operation in which customer-support specialists connect with truck customers and their dealers via what Volvo Group termed the “latest telematics, communications and case-management tools.”
According to company executives on hand, the Mack Volvo Uptime Center brings together experts in every arena of aftermarket support along with the technology they need to work in real time to efficiently prevent and solve service-related issues for customers of both OEMs.
What’s more, the first floor of the 3-story, 123,000-sq-ft facility was expressly designed so that cross-functionalal teams can “quickly interact face-to-face when necessary to keep a truck on the road.”
The center is staffed by “live” 24/7 Uptime agents as well as reliability engineers, warranty handlers, parts specialists and dealer support staff.
“Bringing these professionals together under one roof allows them to collaborate and prioritize more quickly and effectively,” said Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing.
“We owe it to our customers to make our superior service and support even better,” he continued. “They don’t make money if their trucks are not running.”
“The Uptime Center facilitates the balanced mix of technology, live expert support and proactive communication we need to quickly deliver solutions that directly impact customers’ bottom lines,” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales and Marketing. “It’s yet another signal to our customers that Mack’s got their backs.”
“Customers require reliable real-time connectivity to their trucks to run their business,” remarked Rich Ferguson, senior vp-- Aftermarket & Soft Products for Volvo Group North America.
According to Ferguson, digital connectivity will advance more rapidly in just the next five years. “Understanding and appreciating this technology will differentiate competition in the future,” he observed, underscoring how strongly the sister truck makers view their aftermarket performance is to winning and keeping customers.
He said the Mack and Volvo approach that incorporates the new joint Uptime Center is designed to serve customers better by “moving from reactive to proactive management.”
Ferguson explained that through onboard truck telematics and the new 24/7 Uptime Center, the truck makers are providing proactive diagnostics and repair services more effectively.
In addition, he said this is being accomplished in an entirely confidential manner for customers as well as “transparently” to each party in a given service “triangle,” made up of the customer, the OEM and the designated service providers (including Mack or Volvo dealers and/or fleet maintenance operations).
Both Roy and Nyberg emphasized that Mack and Volvo dealers are essential elements of both OEMs’ efforts to deliver more uptime to customers as dealers “carry out most of the service support required to keep trucks moving.”
Nyberg pointed out that, since 2010, Volvo dealers have invested $411 million in their service capabilities and that more than 50 new facilities are either planned or underway. He said those investments have resulted in 50% more technicians, including a 150% hike in the number of Volvo master technicians. In addition, service-bay capacity has gone up by 34%; spare-part inventories have increased 37% and the number of parts department employees has climbed 68%.
“Uptime is an ongoing process of improvement that requires the diligence and commitment of our people and our dealers combined with our industry-leading products, services and technology,” Nyberg remarked. “The new Uptime Center is one more step in the quest to make Volvo’s trucks the most productive in the industry.”
Roy reported that Mack dealers have invested $400 million in their operations. He said those investments have resulted in 35% more service-bay capacity and a 162% rise in the number of Mack Master Technicians. In addition, spare-parts availability has gone up 69% and hours available for service have increased by 62%.
“The continued strengthening of our dealer network, combined with corporate initiatives like our new Uptime Center, clearly demonstrate Mack’s overall commitment to offer support where our customers need it the most- when they’re on the road away from home,” Roy stated.