Aftermarket

Commentary: New Initiatives to Improve Parts and Service Offerings

August 2016, TruckingInfo.com - Editorial

by Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Contributing Editor - Also by this author

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Denise Rondini
Denise Rondini

In recent months it seems like more OEMs, component suppliers, dealers and independent parts and service providers are making major investments to better position themselves to be the location of choice for fleets’ maintenance and repair needs.

The latest such announcements came from Vipar Heavy Duty and from Paccar.

Vipar Heavy Duty is rebranding the former VIPro TruckForce Service Center program to the TruckForce Service Center program, a North American network of heavy-duty service centers.

Jennifer Kron, Vipar’s marketing specialist, explains that “The rebranding simplified the brand while still speaking to the market served: the ‘truck’ and the power of a service network — the ‘force.’”

However, she explains, this is about more than changing a name. “The TruckForce Service Center program offers a stronger focus on technical and product training, utilizing resources from supplier partners as well as webinars and other training opportunities.”

Members of the network will get additional technical training and business training to help them run a successful shop.

“Access to extensive and ongoing training ensures TruckForce Service Center technicians are equipped with the information they need to provide the highest level of service for all customers, be it an owner-operator with a single truck or a large fleet,” Kron says. “These new marketing initiatives help shops communicate with their customers, providing important industry information to keep them and their customers informed.”

She believes fleets will also benefit because these locations will perform service using a full range of branded parts. “This allows [the service centers] to focus on what they do best — keeping their customers’ equipment on the road.”

She adds, “Branded products bring along with them extensive research and development, field support through manufacturers, warranty and many other value-added components that give fleet operators peace of mind and in many cases contribute to a lower total cost of ownership than price-point products. Price-point products may seem less costly in the near-term but often wind up costing more in total due to shorter lifecycles and more frequent replacements.”

As the program’s footprint of locations expands, Kron says fleets will have access to a network of service facilities that offer quality branded products with a focus on best-in-class service.

The other announcement was from Paccar Parts about the grand opening of a 160,000-square-foot parts distribution center in Renton, Wash. (Daimler Trucks North America and Hino also opened new, larger PDCs this year.)

The Paccar PDC serves 91 dealerships throughout the Northwestern United States and Western Canada. It opened in April and is one of 17 the company has worldwide, with the capacity to store 38,000 different aftermarket parts for all makes of trucks, trailers and buses.

“Looking forward, the $32 million operations investment in the new Renton facility will continue to positively impact our dealers and customers,” says Laura Bloch, assistant general manager for Paccar Parts. “With a shipping accuracy of 99.98% and a regional order fulfillment rate for stocking items of 96%, the Renton PDC will continue to provide quality parts and service that is unmatched in the industry.”

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