In the past several years, OEMs have invested in their dealer networks, launching premium dealer designations, triage truck lanes to address smaller fixes and improving overall service. Let’s take a look at what each truck company brings to the service table.
International Truck’s fleet service offerings come under the OnCommand by Navistar banner. For example, OnCommand Service Partner is a dealer-provided maintenance and repair program that offers fast repair estimates posted to an online portal, fixed labor times for specific repairs at all International dealers, and expedited service.
The OEM also offers OnCommand Repair Advocate, a concierge system connecting customers, dealers and Navistar support groups via a web-based case file system to expedite repairs. In addition, participating Accelerated Service locations in the International dealer network guarantee a full diagnosis, a detailed evaluation of any repairs needed and an estimate within two hours of a truck’s arrival at one of their facilities.
“Outsourcing maintenance to an OEM dealer network can provide fleet managers with the assurance that they have access to OEM-trained technicians who adhere to the most up-to-date service standards,” says Cory Just, Navistar’s director of field service. “Fleets should look for service networks that are large enough to take care of their vehicles’ needs wherever they travel, along with consistent and high performance standards across the system.”
Kenworth’s PremierCare Gold Certified dealer network offers a range of services designed to help fleets maximize productivity. One such service is ExpressLane, through which dedicated technicians provide a repair diagnosis and estimate within two hours of a truck’s arrival. Kenworth dealers are also using the OEM’s TruckTech+ remote diagnostics system to enable diagnoses before a truck arrives. Dealers in the network also offer PremierCare Roadside Assistance and certified locations have extended evening and weekend hours.
The TruckTech+ Service Management platform and the SmartLinq Service Management solution from Peterbilt are built on a Decisiv platform that is integrated with the PACCAR Solutions portal. The systems provide fleets with real-time access to the status of truck repairs and service being performed at dealerships, and improve uptime by streamlining communication between customers and dealers to expedite the servicing of the vehicle.
Through the PACCAR Parts Fleet Services Program, Peterbilt is also enabling customers to streamline maintenance management with customizable tools and reports, and web access with technical support. The system tracks all aspects of a service call, and uses mapping technology to locate the nearest dealer or independent service provider best situated to assist.
Also available is Peterbilt TruckCare Roadside Assistance for towing, starts, tires, mechanical repairs and preventative maintenance services. In addition, the OEM has launched a North American-wide rapid assessment service called Rapid Check, which provides diagnostics at Peterbilt dealer locations in two hours or less.
Demanding more from dealers
In 2012, when Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) launched Elite Support, a collaborative program with its truck dealers, Freightliner and Western Star branded dealerships began focusing on providing rapid diagnostics, improved turnaround times and consistent communication for fleets using their service offerings.
The Elite Support program, nearly three years in the making at that time, began with a small group of pilot dealers. Today, the Elite Support network includes 262 locations. To become Elite Support certified, dealers must complete a stringent process that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in service and parts programs and provide technical and operational training. The process to become certified typically takes eight months.
An Elite Support dealer’s commitment to fleets includes providing a preliminary diagnosis and communication to the customer within two hours of a truck’s arrival, and time and cost estimates and regular updates as the service status changes. Much of that communication takes place via Uptime Pro, which enables dealer management systems to send email and text messages to customers and log responses automatically in a repair order. The dealers also maintain inventories of critical parts and implement practices to schedule the most qualified technicians to perform the work.
DTNA dealers are also using Express WriteUp, a mobile application that allows service advisors to wirelessly create a complete repair order. When a vehicle arrives at a service location, the service advisor can obtain all necessary vehicle data by scanning the VIN or QR code that is located on the truck’s door pillar. The application instantly loads all warranty coverage information, repair history data, and Detroit Connect Virtual Technician details.
ASIST is the service management platform in place at the North American dealer network of Volvo Trucks and at the OEM’s Uptime Centers. The web-based system consolidates all maintenance events and communication in one place and allows fleets to monitor vehicle status, receive electronic estimates, approve repairs, issue purchase orders and communicate directly with dealers, regardless of a truck’s location.
Across North America, Volvo Truck dealers are also redesigning service bays and adopting standardized processes and workflows to speed up repair time through faster diagnostics and more efficient service. To be certified as a Volvo Certified Uptime Center, dealers must implement numerous modifications to their service processes, including designating uptime bays for repairs taking less than four hours, as well as revising service workflows to speed repairs.