Recognised focus on quality paves the way for reduced downtime

Dedicated to delivering a quality service, Escalation Technician, Colin Woodcock receives golden spanner in recognition for his outstanding achievement.

In a bid to truly maximise uptime, along with the launch of the next generation product last year, Scania launched to its network a programme for escalation technicians in the UK. The vision was to enhance diagnostic capability in the network and deliver a faster response to VORs. Independent dealer TruckEast fully embraced the programme from the start, with two of the UK’s twenty-seven escalation technicians positioned within their group; Colin Woodcock and Brian Sundalskliev.

Across the UK, the role has introduced a first line of escalation in the event of a technical VOR in a workshop that is difficult to resolve. As part of the programme, not only do the team of escalation technicians receive enhanced training but they also come together for annual conferences containing any product updates on the horizon. At the latest conference, held at the Loughborough training centre, three technicians were recognized for their outstanding achievements over the last year; attention to detail, quality focused and going the extra mile.

Each winner was awarded a 17mm golden Snap-On spanner; the size reflecting the year of the achievement. Northampton-based Colin was recognised for his focus on reporting quality deviations found within the Scania product. His investigative nature means that even the most minor deviation is flagged, which has a positive effect on product quality for Scania customers.

Having worked with the Scania product for seventeen years, Colin’s work ethic is to get it right the first time; a trait that naturally led to being put forward to be an escalation technician originally.

“When my name came up within the awards, I was shocked and so proud to be acknowledged for what I do”, comments Colin. “For me, it’s just good practice, any engine, any problem found, I create a case file - attach supporting documents, write a good explanation of the problem and of course take photographs – after all a picture says a thousand words,” he continues. All cases logged are sent to the technical centre at Loughborough, where they are relayed to the factory whilst remaining as a key resource for the network.

“That resource is so useful, if we ever have a complicated job, as well as looking into the vehicle’s history we can access past case files to look for similar faults. Ultimately, this means reduced downtime for our customers,” states Colin.

Already looking to the future, TruckEast are firm advocates of the programme. Regional Aftersales Director – East, Martyn Clipston comments,

“It’s been a big investment for the business, with additional technology coming in at £4,500 per escalation technician, plus continuous training. It all adds up, but every penny has been worth it! We’d definitely consider adding further escalation technicians going forward.”

Since the beginning of the programme, each escalation technician was armed with a Toughbook laptop including a dedicated app that links to both the technical centre in Loughborough and directly with the factory in Sweden. The app provides the ability for direct video streaming and remote diagnosis where necessary - which has drastically reduced time on more challenging scenarios. Having the additional level of escalation within the group has seen a shift in process at TruckEast. Depot managers review VORs and any job flagging as a complicated diagnosis will now have an escalation technician involved. Using the experience of someone who sees an issue day in, day out and being able to share that knowledge has proved to be an invaluable asset.

“The scheme works for us as a business, the results are direct proof – we’ve seen reduced downtime on more complicated jobs, increased first-time fix and cost savings, both on our bottom line and for our customers,” affirms Regional Aftersales Director – West, Graham Broughton.

Across the industry, it’s known that even the best vehicles are only as good as the backup and support behind them. At Scania, a core value within the network is to put customers first. The evidence of this already in place is reflected by the customer service provided, including 24/7 roadside assistance and extended workshop availability. The focus on reducing downtime through the introduction of escalation technicians is another means to keep business moving and demonstrate this commitment to their customers.