Service Provider Issues

New TMC committee seeks to build better relationships

Chairing this task force is Gary Cummings, executive vice president, Fleet Net America, Charlotte, NC.

Customer Notification Task Force. This group is developing a process to communicate the status of customer's truck (estimated completion time, when the truck will be ready for pick up, final price, etc.) while in possession of the service provider. The goal here is to enhance a customer's and service provider's awareness and knowledge of each truck being repaired through recommended processes, communications, procedures and technology.

Ike Chunn, group service manager, Lonestar Truck Group, headquartered in N. Richland Hills, TX, is the chairman of this SPC task force.

Customer Satisfaction Task Force. It has been formed to provide a training outline that will cover the elements needed to facilitate a successful and repeatable service event from a customer satisfaction perspective. The goal is to advance, through effective training, a better mutual understanding of the needs of customers and service providers, as well as to promote procedures both parties can follow to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Serving as the chairman is Dick Von Lehman, national sales and marketing manager - service, for Paccar, Bellevue, WA.

Successful Practices Task Force. Identifying the practices that successful providers employ to achieve the highest levels of trust with their customers is the purpose of this group. In addition to collecting ideas, information and positive past experiences, it well gather proven successful policy and procedures from service providers, OEMs and transportation experts to develop guidelines for world-class service

This task force is chaired by Bob Bullard, service director, Empire Truck Sales Group, based in Jackson, MS.

Fair Bill Times Task Force. Its scope is to define and develop a standard of fair and accurate labor and repair times for service providers. It will work to come up with better ways to arbitrate issues and identify what the standards times are between the service providers and customers.

Randy Haines, service center division manager, Bosselman Companies, Grand Island, NE, is chairman.


Since its formation in February, the Service Provider Committee "has been busy working toward its objectives," says the group's chairman Voyles, and "we're off to a very strong start. A wide variety of people are helping on each task force. Those people include OEM, independent service providers, service dealers, vendors and fleet personnel."

In its meeting at the recent TMC meeting in Raleigh in mid-September, all task forces met to continue their efforts to recognize issues and come up with solutions that will work for all parties involved.

Voyles says more participation in the SPC is needed, especially participation from fleets and independent service providers.

To learn more about the committee or to participate, contact Voyles at 800-669-3454, ext. 3241 or email at


Following its meeting, the SPC held a mini-technical session to discuss the rapid assessment concept in truck repair. This approach is intended to keep fleet customers better informed through all phases of the repair process.

Rapid assessment, as defined by the Repair Assessment Task Force, is: to deliver to the customer, within two hours, an appraisal - which includes a diagnosis of the problem, an estimate of the cost of repair, the availability of the parts needed for the repair and the estimated completion time.

The notion of rapid assessment has come about over the past several years because of the chronic problem of getting trucks into the shop, said moderator of the session Jack Porter of Decisiv. A major complaint of fleets has been that service providers don't understand the impact of downtime on fleet operations and profitability. Too often, fleets are left with an inaccurate or vague idea of how long their vehicles will be out-of-service for repairs they can't perform in-house.

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