Caterpillar Case Study – Lst Q
How should the dealership overcome all the Gap 3 issues that they faced in order to insure consistent delivery? Concerning service performance gap (gap-3) some key issues have been identified during gaps assessment by dealer advisory panel. Below issues are mentioned with recommended actions to resolve those issues and close gap-3. First issue was related to lack of qualified mechanics and limited sources to find new ones.
Since qualified resources is a critical factor in quality of service delivered especially if we are taking about pure service contracts such as CSA, caterpillar should identify major recruitment agencies which usually have contacts of highly qualified technicians and engineers specialized in differed well known equipment. In case qualified resources needed, caterpillar can help their dealers to obtain required competences. Usually such demands occur at high load time and such resources can be hired for short term contracts. From the other side, permanent resources should receive continues technical and non technical training.
Such trainings can be put in broader frame of personal development plan with clear objectives. Employees should be motivated to accomplish this plan though linkage to employees bounce and managers should be encouraged to help their subordinate and control the whole process. Second issue was the lack of teamwork and proper communication among different departments that make provision of service difficult. To resolve these issue dealers must focus on improving interfaces between departments such as sales, service and logistics.
Required improvement can be achieved enhancing the current operation processes or design a new ones incase processes are not exist. Dealers should understand that they may have to make re-organization if necessary to achieve efficient operations and good interfaces. Sales will not be able to capture new opportunities without service feedback about current customer pain and services department will not be able to deliver quality without having required spare parts on time and so on. Third issue was that dealers don’t have reliable information system for their own CSA related database as well as customers equipments data.
In order to ensure quality of service delivery though CSA, caterpillars dealers should have reliable database about customer equipments , this database should be updated on regular bases to have most updated status of the equipments, their service intervals and any additional maintenance needed that should be suggested to customer. The database must be containing as well schedule for field maintenance for different customer equipments and locations. Dealers should replace current slow information system with fast and robust one.
Caterpillar customers contribute to service performance gap (gap-3) by following practices: * They did not tell dealers where their machines are physically located on their property. * They forget to inform the dealer that their machines have reached the service interval and were due for service. * Customers wanted their machines maintained and inspected with little advance notice. To avoid these situations that contribute to service performance gap following recommendations should help: A. Dealers should continuously aware customers on the importance of communicating their requirements correctly to help caterpillar to deliver quality.
It is a good idea to send -within the scope of CSA – monthly or quarterly an overview about services delivered and the problems encountered, indicating the root cause of the problems and recommendations to avoid them in the future. Such practices will encourage customers to communicate properly and make customers management committed to control their subordinates so as to utilize CSA appropriately. B. Well established communication channel between dealers and their customers will help a lot in enhancing the quality of information received that is needed to carry out service tasks.
Additionally required information will be received promptly. This communication channel could be a user friendly software tool that customer can access and leave his service requests, prerequisite data needed by dealer and his feedback after service has been accomplished. The SW tool can be linked to dealer centralized information system we have talked about that make putting a service request or leaving a feedback a pleasant experience with drop menus and nice attractive customer machines historical data displays and reports.