TAMPA, Fla. — Volvo Trucks has announced a new approach to aftermarket support for its products, including two years of free access to its MVASIST platform.
As part of the overhaul, MVASIST will henceforth be known simply as ASIST.
“We are announcing a new aftermarket support suite of services under the Volvo Trucks Support Services umbrella,” David Pardue, Volvo Trucks vice-president of aftermarket solutions told Trucknews.com at the Technology & Maintenance Council meetings. “This allows us to take previously separate, individual activities we’ve done in the past for parts and service and extended agreements and bring them together under one common umbrella.”
Key to the organizational changes, ASIST will now be offered free of charge for two years on new Volvo trucks. The ASIST communications platform allows fleets to better communicate their service requirements with dealers, in many instances eliminating phone calls and creating an online filing cabinet for service records.
Pardue said fleets that have been using ASIST rave about it, but the uptake has been slower than Volvo would like because it’s a difficult concept for dealers to communicate to truck buyers.
“We’ve had very favourable response from customers who use our ASIST software,” he said. “It’s largely been liked, but not understood. It’s a difficult sales message at the dealership so now we’re putting it out there (for free).”
ASIST also is available as an aftermarket product for existing vehicles, Pardue added, and is sold on a subscription basis once the initial two-year trial expires.
Steve Hayes, a software platform expert with Volvo, demonstrated ASIST to Trucknews.com at TMC. He said in the event of a breakdown, fleet maintenance managers typically waste a lot of time playing phone tag, waiting on hold, leaving or listening to voicemail and looking up service records written on notepads and stored in filing cabinets or boxes.
“I don’t care how sophisticated they are, it’s the same process,” he said of small and large fleets alike. Hayes cited one study that indicated a common maintenance-related event requires five phone calls and 32.5 minutes on the phone, 20 minutes of which is spent on hold or listening to or leaving voicemail.
Hayes pointed out Mail Contractors of America conducted in internal audit that found an average of US$300 is spent just managing documents when an event occurs.
With ASIST, customers are able to customize the program to their own needs, so Volvo dealers can adhere to the customers’ preferences. It also provides records of all communications, which are conducted online, and displays the initial estimate and final invoice so fleets can be assured they are not overpaying for services.
Hayes also said ASIST eliminates he said-she said disputes, which “are very common in the industry. They’re the roots of most complaints.”
Pardue said Volvo is hoping that as more fleets have the chance to experience ASIST, they’ll see the benefits. He also said the changes now make big fleet-type access to resources available even to one-truck operators.
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