Mack Trucks going after highway market and increased market share

Mack Trucks has some big things planned going forward, including the re-launch of the 114-year-old Mack brand at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014  the first week in March.

The event, an international gathering place for the construction industries, is the appropriate venue as Mack is firmly entrenched in the vocational truck market, especially in the refuse segment, noted Stephen Roy, the company’s new president of sales and marketing for North America.

In a meeting Friday with a select group of truck journalists, he explained that over the last five years, Mack and its dealers (428 locations in the U.S. and Canada) have been investing millions to build not only the dealer network and facilities but “to make sure we have the right products for our customers, the right product support and the right products solutions.” The intention is to build market share.

Roy, who took his new position on January 1, has led Mack’s aftermarket business since 2008. He succeeded Kevin Flaherty, who retired after more than 40 years with Mack.

Over his more than 25-year career in the truck industry, Roy has been involved in virtually every aspect of the business, including truck sales, service, aftermarket parts, financing/leasing and telematics. 

 

Concentrations

Being strong in the vocational and daycab, regional markets, Mack is now focusing on the highway business, having developed “a strong dealer network that has been well trained in selling to this market segment.”

That does not mean Mack will not continue its focus on the vocational and regional markets. “We are always looking to deliver improvements somewhere and we will continue to invest in innovation.”

Mack plans to introduce a new product for the curbside refuse collection later this year.

There has also been significant investment in technician training. The ranks have been increased 50 percent and now, one in every four of Mack technicians is an ASE Certified Master technician.

 

Telematics

As an enhancement to its GuardDog Connect, Mack now has geofencing around its dealerships. Geofencing establishes a virtual perimeter determined by GPS coordinates around a dealership. Any vehicle equipped with GuardDog Connect communicates with the geofence to identify each time the vehicle enters or leaves a dealer location.

Based on the Mack GuardDog maintenance monitoring system that strengthens communication among the truck, driver, customer and dealer, GuardDog Connect is a telematics solution that 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. 

GuardDog Connect “is not a Big Brother,” said Roy. It is there “to assist our dealers” to ensure they get vehicles repaired and back on the road in a timely manner.

Going forward, the company will expand solutions and services based on telematics and connected vehicle technology because “it gives us much more opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive for improving vehicle uptime for dealers and fleets.”

Roy feels a next phase of this will be to help fleets understand the life expectancy of components to help them avoid on the road issues.

Mack has partnerships with PeopleNet and Telogis to flow gathered telematics information to help fleets achieve gains in operational efficiency and productivity by more easily analyzing and utilizing the data collected.

Roy said Mack is using to telematics data to see how its trucks, by vehicle model, are performing. This information is analyzed by engineers to better develop products or, if there is an issue, to find a solution much sooner.

“The predictive side will grow to the point that OEMs will be able to advise a customer on what configurations and options they should spec for a specific application to get the most advantageous operating costs.”

By October, Mack hopes to have completed its Uptime Center – a command type center with personnel from various corporate service and repair departments, assigned to teams for various regions, to help expedite truck repairs, whether in a dealer shop or in a fleet.

 

Mexico

Mack has been investing in Mexico and plans to grow its vocational business there as well. Recently, it introduced its highway products to there.

“We are very well positioned with our products and our dealer network, and have a complete way of supporting our customers because of the engagement we now have from integrating our dealers and customers with our systems like GuardDog, geofencing and ASIST (part of a web-based service management system that lets fleet managers and service providers work together, in real time, to expedite repairs and maximize uptime).

 

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