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How dealership programs can improve truck service

Dealers are well aware of fleets’ need for efficient service, and many of them make use of programs that prioritize this.

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If the dealer is your go-to source for truck service know that, as with any shop, dealers are well aware of fleets’ need for efficient service, and many of them make use of programs that prioritize this.

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“Personal, face-to-face interaction still remains the best practice when it comes to communication between fleets and their shops, as it promotes the relationship between the supplier and customer,” says Roy Horton, Mack Trucks director of product strategy. “But in today’s world, where everything goes at lighting speed, there are tendencies for things to be forgotten, and that face-to-face interaction is replaced with missed phone calls or unanswered emails. That is not effective communication, and it comes down to a ‘time is money’ issue for fleets and customers.

Mack, Horton says, has a solution for this: the ASIST platform.

“ASIST is an effective service management tool that can be used within fleets, dealers and customers, as it links all of them together,” he explains. “There are no more missed calls, emails or sticky notes during a repair or maintenance event. The data is stored, centralized and becomes a permanent record of the chassis. It is searchable in the event you need it for past references.

“The ASIST platform lets you respond anywhere or anytime using your smart device,” Horton continues. “The platform provides timely, accurate and complete information. Dealers, fleets, and customers, plus fleet and district service managers from Mack, can all access this information at any time. It helps the fleet in their understanding of accurate equipment and maintenance costs. It definitely helps them make good business decisions, which helps contribute to their bottom line, while minimizing the cost of operation.”

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Rob Hodgson, marketing communications manager for aftermarket with Daimler Trucks North America, says that telematics are the key to dealers’ ability to improve their service offerings.

“Maintenance managers can look to telematics data to gain insights and understanding into service intervals on heavy-duty vehicles,” Hodgson says. “Today’s connected vehicle broadcasts a variety of data such as engine hours, braking severity, load factor and transmission top gear time that help fleets understand how their vehicles are being operated.

“Data communicated from Detroit Connect solutions can also help technicians diagnose, troubleshoot, repair and document, as well as ensure they have the right tools needed to complete the job—further contributing to less time in the shop,” he adds. 

Hodgson also highlights DTNA’s Elite Support program, which sets a stringent series of criteria for shops to meet and continue to track metrics to see if the standards are still being met.

Key features of this program that Hodgson points out include:

  • Express Assessment: Express Assessment is the commitment to provide a preliminary diagnosis and communication to the customer within two hours of arrival. All Elite Support Certified locations participate in Express Assessment. Combined with DTNA’s PreAuth program, trucks requiring less extensive repairs can be approved and serviced in less than four hours through the Express Repair process.
  • Service Tracker: A web-based, mobile-compatible application that connects the customer to the repair process, allowing them to track service in real time. Customers can opt to receive notifications about the repair status of their vehicle, review and approve estimates and communicate with the service location.
  • Excelerator: DTNA’s new eCommerce platform launching in early 2020 connects customers and their vehicles to PartsPro as well as every Alliance Parts store and dealer management system in DTNA’s service network, providing transparency of parts availability and flexible delivery options to help ensure customers receive the right part, at the right time and place.

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