Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles of­fers a glimpse into its pre-de­liv­ery in­spec­tion process, some­thing man­u­fac­tur­ers usu­ally keep top se­cret. Cobey Bar­tels writes

Owner Driver - - Contents -

Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles of­fers a glimpse into its pre-de­liv­ery in­spec­tion process, some­thing man­u­fac­tur­ers usu­ally keep top se­cret

AS MORE TRUCK MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS bring their assem­bly op­er­a­tions Down Un­der, Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles (PCV) is tak­ing it one step fur­ther by digi­tis­ing their pro­duc­tion process us­ing ‘the cloud’. It’s all part of their re­newed pre-de­liv­ery in­spec­tion (PDI) process and PCV’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kevin Dennis says it’s all about tak­ing the PCV brands to new heights in Aus­tralia. “We are now de­liv­er­ing the best Western Star and MAN trucks we ever have in the coun­try,” Dennis says. “We’re talk­ing here about value and ben­e­fit for deal­ers and cus­tomers.”

Ul­ti­mately, the cus­tomer gets a con­sis­tent high-qual­ity prod­uct, with trans­parency from the fac­tory all the way to the dealer show­room.

The two cloud-based soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions be­ing used are ChekRite 2 and ChekMate, both of which are in use by ev­ery­one through­out the assem­bly and de­liv­ery process.

ChekRite 2 is used to com­plete ve­hi­cle check­lists, for work­ers at the fac­tory through to tech­ni­cians at the deal­er­ship level do­ing fi­nal pre-de­liv­ery checks.

The ChekRite 2 soft­ware in­te­grates with ChekMate, the other side of the equa­tion that pro­vides real-time per­for­mance data and in­for­ma­tion on the ve­hi­cles and checks be­ing un­der­taken.

The use of the two apps al­lows com­mu­ni­ca­tion from be­gin­ning to end be­tween ev­ery­one that in­ter­acts with the ve­hi­cle, so any fault or is­sue can be traced back to its source in­stan­ta­neously.

“It takes away man­ual process, it takes away the need for hard copy record keep­ing and it pro­vides us with a sig­nif­i­cant amount of data we can use in the busi­ness,” Dennis says.

“The good thing is, the feed­back from the deal­er­ship is in­stant. We get that in­for­ma­tion straight away.”

With ev­ery truck that gets to a dealer be­ing qual­ity au­dited and as­sessed in real-time, Dennis says the scores have been used to im­prove the end prod­uct.

All in­te­ri­ors are now be­ing de­tailed and ad­di­tional at­ten­tion is be­ing given to ar­eas like step align­ment, cab door align­ment, rout­ing and clip­ping.

This all comes af­ter feed­back through the cloud soft­ware sug­gested th­ese were ar­eas that needed to im­prove.

“I was with a cus­tomer re­cently who we sold two Western Star trucks to and he was pre­dom­i­nantly a buyer of other brands, but he ac­tu­ally com­mented that they were the best trucks he’d seen de­liv­ered in a long time,” Dennis says.

The talk of qual­ity is echoed by Penske pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions man­ager Shane Val­lely, who is re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the re­newed PDI process.

“It’s al­lowed us to take a fresh look at how we process ve­hi­cles … we are now rein­vent­ing how we process the ve­hi­cles be­cause we have tools such as ChekRite,” Val­lely says.

“There is no doubt the prod­uct has im­proved in terms of its qual­ity, just by bring­ing the PDI process in house.”

PCV say this new process al­lows for a ‘best in the in­dus­try’ prod­uct and af­ter walk­ing around the 140,000 square me­tre Wa­col fa­cil­ity in Bris­bane, it’s clear the pro­duc­tion line has been im­pacted.

Screens through­out the pro­duc­tion line display in­for­ma­tion and as tech­ni­cians build the trucks, they in­put data that is shared in real-time across the cloud net­work.

The ul­ti­mate goal was to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble truck to cus­tomers, but in do­ing so the PDI cost for deal­ers has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced, mak­ing for a more com­pet­i­tive prod­uct.

“The im­pact all along means a more con­sis­tent qual­ity of prod­uct, and it en­ables us to min­imise cost­ing – it ul­ti­mately ben­e­fits the cus­tomer,” Dennis ex­plains.

“The pro­gram has been to­tally and ut­terly em­braced, the deal­er­ships have been sing­ing the praises of the sys­tem.”

With the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the MAN brand and Western Star’s sus­tained mar­ket share in Aus­tralia, the im­proved process spells a new era of qual­ity and con­sis­tency for PCV.

Be­low: Penske Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles’ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kevin Dennis

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