Vehicle uptime is a key factor in ensuring profitability for any transport operator and it’s that aspect that has helped to shape core strategies for truck brands Tata and Daewoo in South Africa.
Len Brand, CEO of Tata Africa Holdings Limited (TAHL), which also promotes vehicles produced by Korean brand Daewoo, notes that sustaining uptime is vital to success and everything the brand does, is aimed at helping its customers to keep their trucks moving.
“About 45% of Africa’s truck potential lies in South Africa,” Brand says. “It’s a vitally important market in which reliability, speed and efficiency are crucial to success. Machinery must be seen to work and to keep on working – that’s the essence of profitability.”
In the Tata and Daewoo brands, Brand believes that recently implemented changes to the dealer, parts and service networks – in conjunction with renewed focus on training initiatives, have contributed to increased sales this year, as well as helping to lift performance and delivery platforms as intended.
“We’ve introduced a modern and dynamic parts system which has helped to reduce substantially waiting time for orders about 92% of items are now readily available for picking, and we’ve also simplified the selection process, helping to eliminate incorrect choices.
“Also, we’ve entered into joint ventures and agreements with independent service providers to increase the number of technicians in the field – people who have been trained in our own, dedicated, local technical academy who are now part of our family,” Brand says.
Catering to a variety of needs
Brand says that while being in a position to keep the wheels of customers’ trucks turning is important, making sure that the right products are purchased at the outset is equally central. “It’s no good compelling a customer to buy a truck that doesn’t suit his or her business,” he says.
“Through our brands we offer a wide range from which exactly the right fit can be found, and which cater to a variety of price points,” Brand concludes.