YOUNTVILLE, Calif. – Daimler Trucks North America on Wednesday revealed what the OEM called “several significant updates that will positively impact the customer experience.”
Enhanced digital solutions, a new parts distribution center and a new retail strategy will benefit customers at every touch point and will help Daimler realize its vision of achieving 24-hour or less repair time, a Daimler official said.
“Our customers have diverse products and businesses, and we want to help them be successful by providing solutions that create efficiencies and value,” said Stefan Kurschner, senior vice president of aftermarket for Daimler Trucks North America. “Our goals are ambitious. At the heart of everything we do is communication, speed and transparency, and our evolution positions us to achieve our goals.”
Kurschner said Daimler and its network have collaborated to develop new systems and processes to create the ideal customer experience, noting that recently, Daimler’s Elite Support network – which has more than 280-certified dealers – spearheaded an effort to narrow the repair-time window to 24 hours.
“Raising the customer experience bar is clearly part of our culture. Our Elite Support initiative has been in place for nearly 10 years, and those dealers are laser-focused on continuous improvement,” Kurschner said. “The commitment to excellence is standard at Daimler, and our vision will push that commitment forward.”
Digital solutions that enhance customer communications
Maximizing uptime and creating a superior customer experience starts with clear and timely communications.
“Keeping customers informed every step of the way during a service event is one of the most important things we can do,” Kurschner said.
The new Daimler Service Tracker is a web-based, mobile-compatible application that enables customers to track their service in real time, on demand. Customers can opt to receive notifications about the repair status of their vehicle, review and approve estimates, and communicate in real time with the service location.
“The flow of accurate and timely information throughout the repair process is essential, and our team wants to use digital tools and available data to cultivate communications,” Kurschner said. Service Tracker provides customers real-time information so they can make the best decisions for their truck, driver and load.”
Service Tracker is a component of Daimler’s suite of uptime management tools that streamline communications between customers and the dealer network. Express Write-Up, UptimePro and Uptime Performance are among the data-driven applications that work together to help dealers initiate, execute and manage their service processes.
Enhanced supply chain
In early 2019, Daimler will open its 10th parts distribution center in Maricopa County, Arizona, which encompasses the greater Phoenix area. Phoenix was selected because, together with the other parts distribution centers, it supports Daimler’s ability to provide next-day delivery to more than 90 percent of its U.S. dealer order volume. Daimler’s existing network already reaches more than 80 percent of the U.S.
“Selecting the Phoenix area as a PDC location was more than just picking a dot on a map. Parts availability and quickly delivering those parts to dealers as well as fleets who have their own service shops is crucial to keep the technicians at work and getting vehicles back on the road faster,” Kurschner said. “Phoenix’s ideal location will improve service for many of those dealers and fleets.”
The facility in Phoenix will be the fourth parts distribution center opened by Daimler in just over two years. Daimler has also recently opened new parts distribution center in Des Moines, Indianapolis and Dallas.
“Having and delivering the right parts for our customers when and where they need them, as quickly as possible, is essential to uptime and achieving the 24-hour or less repair turnaround time,” Kurschner said. “Our expansive service network and strategically located parts distribution centers are critical to that goal.”
New parts, retail strategy for Alliance Truck Parts
With more than 15 new product lines from Alliance Truck Parts scheduled to launch over the next several months, as well as new retail locations both in dealerships and at stand-alone locations, Daimler’s product strategy is positioned for growth in the all-makes parts segment.
“We already have a strong product portfolio that extends over 50 lines. Now, between the new product lines and our strategically-architected retail approach, Alliance will not only be the all-makes brand of choice but will provide an exceptional retail experience that meets customers where they are and when they need us the most,” Kurschner said.
Kurschner noted that by 2020, Alliance will launch more than 80 product lines, many new stand-alone retail stores will open, and several dealer storefronts will be established.
“We have the industry’s largest network, and we have an impressive depth of products and service capabilities, but we’re just getting started,” Kurschner said. “Our commitment to all of our customers, especially Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit, Thomas Built Bus, and Freightliner Custom Chassis, drives us to keep raising the bar. And that will never end.”