How Eicher rally around its customers to navigate them through Covid-19
Published On Aug 24, 2020
The company deployed its workforce, service network, and support infrastructure, ensuring that customers run trucks seamlessly across India. A 24x7 breakdown, on the go assistance, uninterrupted supply of parts, and extended warranty are steps taken to restore confidence among its customers.
Like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption in the Indian economy. Every sector of the economy is now under severe stress, as many sectors are struggling to get back. The manufacturing sector is a strong pillar of India's economy, and the automotive sector is the largest contributor to the country's manufacturing.
The trucks and transport sector in India is the lifeline for economic activities. This entails both supplying raw goods to the production units and then taking the finished goods to the consumer. However, the pandemic has caused extreme damage and disrupted the transport ecosystem. Indian truck makers are working concertedly with their dealer partners to help customers run their truck fleet at the maximum potential to keep their business afloat.
Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle (VECV), one of India's major truck makers, is at the forefront to support its customers across India through the pre and post lockdown period. The customers have counted on the manufacturer's support to secure spars, parts, and even breakdown assistance to run trucks for essential supplies across India.
With Customer Always
VECV has a strong after-sales support ecosystem spread across India, and the company has been critically focused on serving every customer during the Covid-19 crisis. According to the company, serving customers has always been a top priority with a state-of-the-art Uptime Centre based at Pithampur plant to identify and restore truck facing issues seamlessly by remote diagnostics 24x7 service support. VECV says, EOS support also remains across all the workshops, and despite workforce crunch and restricted mobility challenges, 80% of calls made on the road were resolved within 24 hours."
Further reassuring truck owners and ensuring ease of customers' business post lockdown, the company has extended the timeline for warranty by two months. VECV team and dealers are in close touch with all its customers and their teams/drivers and give them proper support to improve the uptime.
Workshops In Action
Throughout the lockdown, 90% of Eicher workshops were running and ensuring trouble-free services to customers. This was enabled through digital and contactless operations, periodic sanitization, temperature checks, and following detailed standard operating procedures (SOP) and COVID-19 guidelines in all workshops across India.
VECV restored nearly 325 workshops out of 334 by the start of July 10, and the company reached nearly 95% of daily average revenues pre-lockdown. This underlines that trucks have started running and also getting repaired, bringing in revenues and cash flow for the customers. This is extremely critical in keeping the customer transport business viable.
To ensure the safety of customers, drivers, and workshop employees, a detailed SOP is implemented across all workshops across India. Digital contactless operations are ensured at all possible activities. Also, periodic sanitization of workshops and necessary sanitization of vehicles ensured further safety of the staff, customers, and drivers.
To maintain a strict safety environment, essentially, COVID 19 guidelines have been followed with all the necessary supports such as red thermometer, PPEs, sanitizer, masks, social distancing, etc. Not only this, but all the workshop employees and workers have been educated to carry out their work safely.
Besides this, the company also connected with customers to offer site support for efficient fleet utilisation. VECV has started on-site service support in select regions as per the lockdown relaxations and after a thorough analysis of the specific area. Also, the focus is now shifted towards ramp-up of parts, lubes supplies, and vendor support.
Getting the customer's transport and logistics business back post lockdown – the timeline for the warranty was extended by two months. For the first time for the BS6 range of vehicles, VECV introduced an extended driveline warranty up to 8 years for haulage and 15000 hours for tippers.
VECV is also closely monitoring dealer-wise status on workshops operational, a number of vehicle intake, revenues, manpower availability, salaries paid or not, etc. The company has extended financial assistance to its dealers in the form of soft loans and credit periods to manage cash flow issues and also incentives to retain a trained workforce.
Eicher's modern Uptime Centre stepped-up to offer all kinds of help to customers in any situation or distress. Technical solutions are offered to the vehicles on-road 24x7 by remote diagnosis and video conferencing. This included assistance during the night- as the truck moves faster at night and needs assistance for faster deliveries.
The company also partnered with IOCL for everyday food arrangements, and also hygiene kits have been distributed daily for more than 100 drivers at Driver Pragati Kendra. In India, truck transportation is vital in restoring the supply-chain, bringing the overall economic activities back to the pre-pandemic level, as moving cargo is necessary. In this context, helping customers, truck drivers, and operating workshops to maximize potential is essential. VECV pulls all stops to help its customers to effectively steer through these challenging times.