Volvo Construction Equipment’s focus on uptime is based on the fact that customers only make money when the machines are running. That’s why Volvo CE is working closely with its dealers to further improve common processes and systems that will provide service technicians with more efficient access to information and support than before – ensuring shorter resolution times for the customer.
Volvo CE has a longstanding reputation for building tough, hardworking machines, but no matter how durable the design, there will always be an occasional technical issue. To safeguard customers’ completion and profitability targets, it’s up to Volvo and its dealers to get machines back on the job as quickly as possible.
Solving machine issues instantly is such an important contributor to customers’ success, that Volvo has placed uptime at the heart of its latest strategy in Sales Region EMEA. Using digitalization tools, such as telematics, as one enabler of improving efficiency and waste, the company is adopting an extended enterprise view to be even more proactive in the support to customers.
"In today’s tough business climate, Volvo and its dealers have to further strengthen their common approach. We have to collaborate on everything we do – with common processes and systems – to deliver the slickest service imaginable for our customers," Aram Mahmoud, director of product support for Volvo CE Sales Region EMEA.
This year, Volvo CE has embarked on two specific projects to ensure mechanics have access to the right information and support when they need it. The first is called First Time Fix and aims at identifying the root cause of an issue as early and as quickly as possible.
At the moment, Volvo CE is working together with SMT Netherlands as a pilot dealer on this project with the aim of rolling it out to all its largest dealers in future.
As part of the project, Volvo CE and SMT Netherlands will define a diagnostic guidance document. This is a comprehensive set of questions to guarantee that those interacting with customers on an issue get all the detail they need in order to understand what has gone wrong and the right course of action to fix it.
"With First Time Fix, we want dealers to be able to understand issues immediately and be prepared with the right parts and tools to make just one visit to the customer. Case solved," Mahmoud says.
Volvo CE is also working on a new case handling system for all Volvo CE products. Its purpose is to speed up the quality improvement process by using a unique tool to integrate systems and collaboration between dealers, and Volvo’s regional product support and product Maintenance teams. This ‘one communication platform’ enables mechanics’ feedback goes upstream in the process all the way back to Volvo R&D.
When a machine component is behaving unusually and the issue is too complex for a dealer mechanic to solve on their own, they can enter the case into the systems’ app on their phone. They upload photos of the component and fill in as much detail as they can, which then goes to the dealer site. If this issue cannot be solved at the dealer site, the case can then be escalated in the same system to a product specialist at Volvo.
"Previously, when there was no common case handling system, there was a potential for information to get lost along the way, or not even be added in the first place. Communicating via one system now allows for greater transparency in the problem-solving process between Volvo and the dealers as we can see how many cases are open and how long they have been active," Mahmoud explains.
Training is ongoing and the plan is to launch the system to all EMEA dealers at the end of September. The system went live for selected pilot dealers on 11th June.
Volvo CE currently has a large number of connected assets in the EMEA region. Connected machines hold huge potential as an enabler to streamline Volvo processes and tools in order to maximise uptime.
"If Volvo CE and the dealer already have a wealth of data on individual machines – how they are performing in terms of fuel consumption, cycle times, campaign status, software updates and idling hours – then we have a massive advantage before we even visit the customer. Such data allows us to build up a thorough picture of possible root causes and be fully prepared for the task ahead," Mahmoud concludes.