According to Tom Dreiling, general manager of Nextran, a Volvo dealership in Orlando, Fla., “The operation that takes care of its customers will have the most business and the happiest customers.”
That’s the genuine attitude and commitment of Dreiling, a 23-year industry veteran who feels deeply about the business he manages and the strong sales-service team at Nextran.
He went on to say, “We’re partners and friends with our customers—all of us embrace that culture and treat them like family members.”
A loyal Volvo dealership and fan of the truck’s equipment technology, especially I-Shift transmissions, the Nextran Orlando facility is one of 14 Nextran Centers located along major truck routes in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The Orlando shop employs 21 technicians occupying 16 service bays.
The dealership’s customer focus is paying off. Over the past year, parts sales increased by 24% and service by 30%. The secret is to always have the right part in stock.
The Nextran parts inventory totals almost $2 million in value. “We use OEM brand parts and recommend to put on the truck being serviced the exact parts it was built with,” said Ray Petrie, director of parts marketing.
The operation places its shop foreman, service writer and parts director in an almost joined-at-the-hip office setup. Plus, all key service personnel employ two computer monitors to stay current on the day’s priorities, and even to note a “promise date” for delivering serviced vehicles.
“The entire Nextran team believes in and supports continual training,” said Juan Deoliveira, a technician-turned-account manager. “Our training partners are awesome and include the local trade schools, Volvo online VMasterTech and strong supplier partners like Red Dot for air conditioning, Meritor for brake training, Bendix for ABS, and Fram for cooling systems.”
Dreiling said, “Some fleet customers want to make some minor fixes themselves or maybe use an independent garage for a starter or wipers. But we strongly suggest that when it’s ‘the valve cover to the oil pan,’ that’s our responsibility. They can rely on us, we’ll take great care of that engine.”
Helping anticipate all customers’ service needs, the shop performs a 22-point inspection at no cost, plus the dealership is constantly tracking, accounting and recording every process in the shop.
“We do not save them [customers] dimes and lose dollars. We keep an eye on everything and look out for our customers’ best interests. We care and help them get a good return on investment—and we are their shop,” Dreiling added.
Here are Nextran’s major service keys to keeping customers’ trucks on the road:
• Oil analysis: Results sent to truck salesman and fleet manager;
• Coolant system testing: Checking the pH with test strips because coolant can lose its concentration;
• Adjusting valves: Keep the overhead adjusted to original equipment (OE) specs; it helps the fuel economy significantly. Conduct the first adjustment after the initial break-in-period; and
• Study/determine the cause of warranty failures: Do detective work, since failures and customer feedback reveal so much.
For added customer support, the dealership’s management recently designated two product support reps and an OEM product trainer, Tim Smith, who said, “We want our owners and drivers to take advantage of the technology-rich Volvo tractor and such options as MVAsist, a management platform that takes fleet service to a higher level.”
Customers both large and small have plenty to be concerned with—moving freight, keeping shippers happy, complying with CSA, etc. They look to Nextran for solutions, and its commitment to support them is more important than ever.
“All our departments have our customers’ best interests at heart,” says Dreiling. “Our team works hard and plays well with others. It’s a golden rule and every employee [at all Nextran locations] signs his/her pledge card accepting that’s it all about keeping customers happy and their trucks running.”