The joint Mack/Volvo Uptime center is located on the Volvo Group campus in Greensboro, N.C.

The joint Mack/Volvo Uptime center is located on the Volvo Group campus in Greensboro, N.C.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America now share a brand new three-story building on outskirts of Greensboro dubbed The Uptime Center. The 123,000-square-foot facility co-locates personnel from every customer support function, and connects them, separately, to Mack and Volvo customers and dealers with the latest telematics, communications, and case management tools.

The operational teams responsible for customer uptime at both companies had been in different locations in Greensboro. A key benefit of the Uptime Center is that uptime support employees now can frequently and easily interact with one another face-to-face, allowing increased flexibility and faster response times.

"Bringing these professionals together under one roof allows them to collaborate and prioritize more quickly and effectively," said Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. "We owe it to our customers to make our superior service and support even better. They don’t make money if their trucks are not running."

"The Uptime Center facilitates the balanced mix of technology, live expert support and proactive communication we need to quickly deliver solutions that directly impact customers’ bottom lines," said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales and Marketing. "It’s yet another signal to our customers that Mack’s got their backs."

At a press event held Dec. 9 at the new complex, officials from Mack and Volvo explained the advantages of having all the telematics response teams under one roof, along with groups of product experts to handle more complex problems.

"The Uptime Center benefits the customer by bringing all of our aftermarket experts under one roof," Nyberg says. "We can gather all the support people and their expertise immediately when we have a case. And it gives the ability to find the parts the customer may anywhere in our dealer network to get the customer back up and running quickly."

Nyberg says the advent of telematics has already reduced diagnostic times by more than 70 percent and cut repair time by 20 percent.

Mack's Roy noted that he has already seen a dramatic difference in how dealers manage the roadside service process. He says dealers are now getting the downloaded data from the truck and assessing the problem while the truck is still on the road. When it arrives at the dealer, they grab the QR code from the door and hand the technician a work order. They already know what the problem is, they know what parts are needed and they can get to work on the problem almost immediately.

"Dealers are looking how they can change their process and adapt them," he says. "It makes them more efficient and more profitable, and it gets the customer out of the shop faster."

Mack Uptime solutions managed through the Uptime Center include:

• Mack One Call agents offer critical support to customers experiencing planned or unplanned service events, including scheduling service and repairs. Mack OneCall agents address and respond to potential service events as they are proactively identified through the Mack GuardDog Connect telematics solution. Using ASIST to provide service management structure, OneCall agents communicate with the customer, dealer and, if necessary, other Uptime Center colleagues to ensure the repair service is completed with as little inconvenience as possible.

• Mack ASIST is Mack’s web-based fleet service management platform that ensures timely information sharing, communication and tracking of a service event among the customer, dealer and Uptime Center staff.

• Mack GuardDog Connect -- Mack’s proactive diagnostic and repair planning system monitors fault codes that could potentially shut down a truck or lead to an unplanned visit to the dealer. GuardDog Connect enables quick diagnosis of issues, proactive scheduling for repairs and confirmation that needed parts are in stock and ready to install, all while the truck is still on the job.

• Reliability -- As the main point of contact for field-based personnel, these experts are responsible for identifying issues, developing service information and delivering service campaigns to resolve the issue.

• Dealer support -- In addition to offering technical support, troubleshooting and issue resolution to Mack’s dealer network, dealer support staff also provide technical software assistance for truck diagnostic tools.

Customer Uptime agents take calls at the the joint Mack/Volvo Uptime Center recently opened in Greensboro, N.C .  Photo by Jim Park.

Customer Uptime agents take calls at the the joint Mack/Volvo Uptime Center recently opened in Greensboro, N.C. Photo by Jim Park.

These highly trained professionals operate and manage three integrated services that are core to Volvo’s commitment to customer Uptime:

• Volvo Action Service – Volvo’s well-trained and seasoned staff of Uptime experts provide 24/7 support. They can intervene proactively if they detect potential problems, and they ensure a rapid response in the case of breakdown.

• ASIST – Volvo’s service management platform offers a web-based tool for monitoring vehicle status and managing estimates, repair approvals, purchase orders and communications with dealers. ASIST documents all the interaction among customers, dealers and Volvo, including Remote Diagnostics activity, to ensure everyone knows exactly where a case stands at any moment.

• Remote Diagnostics – Volvo’s telematics-based proactive diagnostic and repair planning system monitors critical fault codes. Remote Diagnostics identifies what parts will be needed and provides technicians with straightforward repair instructions – even before the truck arrives for service. Remote Diagnostics can reduce the diagnostic time by up to 70 percent and lower repair time by more than 20 percent. About 50,000 Volvo trucks are equipped with the system, which has been standard on all Volvo-powered models since 2013.

• Dealer network -- Volvo Trucks dealers are key to customer Uptime as they carry out most of the service support required to keep trucks moving. Today, Volvo has 356 Class 8 dealer locations throughout North America. And just as Volvo Trucks is improving its own capabilities, so are its dealers, according to the company.

Since 2010, Volvo dealers have invested $411 million, and more than 50 new facilities are either planned or under way. The investments have resulted in 50 percent more technicians, including a 150 percent increase in the number of Volvo master technicians. Service bay capacity has risen by 34 percent, while spare parts inventories are up 37 percent and the number of parts department employees has increased 68 percent.

Roy says the Mack dealers, too, have been busy gearing up to provide better service capability and expanding service capacity. Since 2010, Mack dealers have invested more than $400 million in their facilities, adding 35 percent more bay capacity, with a 162 percent increase in the number of Mack Master Technicians. Parts availability has increased by 69 percent, the number of hours available for service is up 62 percent and there has been an 82 percent increase in parts department employees.