International sees benefit in integration

Feb. 12, 2003
International Truck & Engine Corp. said shrinking the number of component suppliers it works with by using more exclusive partnerships should eventually help it reduce truck pricing in the future. "We're trying to leverage the skills of our supplier base through exclusive and semi-exclusive partnerships to eliminate excess costs and improve our products," said Steve Keate, president of International's
International Truck & Engine Corp. said shrinking the number of component suppliers it works with by using more exclusive partnerships should eventually help it reduce truck pricing in the future.

"We're trying to leverage the skills of our supplier base through exclusive and semi-exclusive partnerships to eliminate excess costs and improve our products," said Steve Keate, president of International's truck group. "As our customers are demanding more from us in terms of greater vehicle uptime, easier serviceability, better performance, greater resale value, and more durability, we're looking to our supplier base to help us achieve those needs."

Keate said International has achieved such integration most visibly with its medium-duty product line, which it upgraded as part of a six-year, $1-billion effort to completely re-design its entire line of trucks. He said, for example, that supplier integration allowed International to reduce the engine and transmission options for its new medium-duty line from 800 down to 34.

"Better integration with our transmission supplier allowed us to optimize shift points with our engine, improving the truck's overall performance even as we reduced available engine-transmission combinations," he said.

Keate said that supplier integration strategy is now being applied to its Class 8 line to provide customers with more simplicity and better component functionality. That could be most critical when it comes to improving fuel economy.

"If we can get our engine, transmission, and tire suppliers to work together with us to improve our Class 8 fuel economy by even 1-2% through greater component integration, that could result in fuel cost savings to the customer," Keate said.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...