Navistar is launching initiatives to improve its aftermarket servicing of existing and new International trucks. At the TMC Annual Meeting in Atlanta on March 18, the OEM announced efforts aimed at speeding parts delivery and enabling cellular calibration of engines on certain new trucks.
To expedite parts deliveries to customers, Navistar is establishing a new Parts Distribution Center in Memphis while also enhancing its dealer parts inventory management system to increase the breadth of parts already on dealers’ shelves.
To facilitate optimal engine calibration, customers will be able to make cellular over-the-air authorized updates to International A26 engines in new International LT Series and RH Series models built after June.
“At International Trucks, we are constantly thinking of ways to deliver more uptime for our customers,” said Michael Cancelliere, Navistar’s president, Truck. “The actions we are launching today will make it easier for customers to keep their trucks on the road by providing quicker access to key repair parts while enabling remote, cellular calibration of their engines for peak performance.”
Cancelliere noted that the twin initiatives build on Navistar’s announcement last week of inking an exclusive partnership agreement with Love’s Travel Stops, which it said has created the “commercial transportation industry’s largest service network, with more than 1,000 locations in North America.” The partnership added more than 315 locations and more than 1,000 technicians to Navistar’s International service network.
“This exclusive partnership with Love’s Truck Stop is one of the biggest announcements we’ve made in several years now,” Cancelliere said. “This solidifies the International service network for commercial vehicles as the largest in North America. This is a game changer and an absolute grand slam for us.
“More actions that benefit our customers will be forthcoming,” he continued. “Company innovations including OnCommand Connection remote diagnostics, Fault Code Action Plans and the Diamond Edge dealer certification program have already assured that nearly 80 percent of vehicles powered by our International A26 engine are back on the road in the first 24 hours, and our goal is to take that number even higher.”
To be opened later this year, the Memphis PDC will be the company’s seventh such facility in the U.S. and its tenth in North America. The Memphis location will enable Navistar to deliver parts the next day to over 95% of its dealers’ service locations. “Establishing our new PDC in Memphis will allow our dealers to place emergency orders for replacement parts as late as 11 p.m. Eastern time, and receive the parts early the next day,” said Josef Kory, senior vice president, Parts. “Designed with lean and highly efficient processes, the PDC will offer industry-leading cutoff times for next-day parts delivery resulting in greater Uptime for our customers.”
Complementing the new later cut-off time for parts orders will be new enhancements to Navistar’s retail inventory management system, which will “increase the breadth of parts maintained in dealer inventories, while reducing the depth of parts dealers need to keep in stock,” according to the OEM.
“Our new user interface has been developed to provide best-in-class parts fill rates,” said Chintan Sopariwala, vice president, Uptime Initiative. “The user interface was developed working collaboratively with the International dealer network, using an algorithm that was built in house and successfully tested at multiple locations. It provides dealers with easy access through a front-end dashboard, along with an ability to dive into the details as needed.”
These enhancements were piloted at seven different locations in the U.S. and Canada. Every pilot location showed an improvement in dealer on-shelf parts availability, with a double-digit percentage reduction in the volume of unplanned orders, which causes uptime delays, said the company.
The aforementioned cellular over-the-air authorized update capability, again to begin in June, builds on International’s introduction of over-the-air calibration using a WiFi signal. Navistar said remote engine calibration using cellular will allow customers to keep their engines “operating with peak performance and fuel efficiency without returning to home base or stopping at a dealer location for an update. In addition, remote programming of fleets’ engine parameters enables customers to control factors that deliver performance, safety, and efficiency.” Cancelliere said the new over-the-air programming capabilities “will help our customers achieve greater Uptime and lower their Total Cost of Ownership.”
During the press conference at TMC, Cancelliere also noted that the truck and engine maker has “celebrated the best first quarter since 2010 with strong results all the way around. Our net income was $11 million and that mirrors market share growth in several key segments in the industry. And we are confident this trajectory will continue.”