A few weeks ago, Meritor launched an array of products to capitalize on the e-mobility movement sweeping the transportation sector. Now the 110-year-old manufacturer based out of Troy, MI, is adopting a speedy e-commerce-style approach to parts delivery with the creation of the Uptime Services Group.
Beginning the very first day of the next decade, the new unit will focus on expediting special order parts not in stock to a customer during emergency situations, such as for an emergency repair.
This also extends to parts in short supply and includes brake and axle components as well as remanufactured carriers, clutches, transmissions, driveline and suspension components. With this new “Meritorious” service, each customer will be given special treatment, with one point-of-contact to streamline communications and provide accurate delivery expectations.
“Customer service has always been a priority for Meritor and the Uptime Services Group’s focus on fulfilling special orders is a further commitment to that,” said Christy Westrich, director of customer loyalty. “We know how important uptime is to our customers, and we do everything within our power to expedite orders for the parts needed to get vehicles back on the road.”
Meritor has made its largest aftermarket distribution facility in Florence, KY, the headquarters for the specialty group. The facility — 20 minutes from Cincinnati and 90 minutes from Louisville — manages 23 product lines and more than 70,000 active parts numbers.
And downtime is inevitable. The American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council found the average truckload carrier breakdown interval was 10,663 miles in Q4 2018, a 3% increase from Q4 2017. And every minute counts, as the costs of downtime beyond the actual repair can range anywhere from $400 to more than $1,000 a day. Extended periods of downtime, which would happen while waiting for a part, may exacerbate an already tenuous driver availability issue going on with fleets.
“If they aren’t on the road and earning, drivers may find a new job,” added Jim Nachtman, marketing director, heavy-duty segment, for Navistar, which has one of the largest distribution and services networks.