Thursday, July 9, 2009

INDUSTRY NEWS: Scania introduces used parts solution

PARTS and components make up a substantial share of the maintenance costs of any vehicle — even more so in a heavy commercial unit. When most, if not all, of these items are imported, as is usually the case, the costs can become prohibitive to small and medium operators.

Scania Southern Africa has introduced an approved used parts programme into its dealer network that piggybacks on its already well established parts delivery operation. Clifford Marchbank, national service director for the company, says the new Scania Approved Parts operation will provide a range of refurbished used bolt- on parts and components to customers at roughly half the price of new equivalents.

“Components are sourced largely from our stocks of unsold used Scania trucks,” says Marchbank. “Selection of parts for refurbishment is based on historical demand. We can offer customers a range of small to large components, from alternators, turbos, compressors and radiators to cabs, diffs, engines and gearboxes.”

Every used component is thoroughly checked to ensure perfect operational condition, essentially giving it a second life. All approved parts are available through any Scania dealer in Southern Africa via the Scania Online Service Network. This is a computerised online link which enables any Scania dealer from Cape Town to Tanzania to source customer information such as warranty and maintenance contract details, and order new or used parts from a central parts warehouse in Denver, Johannesburg that holds stock worth more than R40m .

If a part is ordered before 13:00, it will be delivered by overnight courier to a customer the following day. In the unlikely event a new or used part is not in stock, it is flown out from Sweden and delivered to the customer within seven days.

Scania’s new and approved used parts distribution operation ties in seamlessly with the company’s toll-free call centre. Also based at Denver, the call centre is manned 24 hours a day by qualified personnel who can handle calls from customers and drivers. If a driver is stuck on the road, the operator can try to fix the problem over the phone by getting a diagnosis from the driver.

If the problem cannot be solved over the phone, the operator co-ordinates a breakdown reaction, either dispatching a Scania mobile technician or initiating a tow recovery to the nearest Scania dealer workshop. There, the technicians can access the online network for the vehicle’s service history, warranty status and maintenance contract details.

“Besides new Scania trucks and parts, Scania Southern Africa can now also offer approved used trucks and approved used parts, with warranties, at significantly reduced prices,” adds Marchbank.

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