TO ASSIST DEALERS and their customers in managing parts and service purchases, Mack Trucks Inc has introduced a powerful new system called MV Preferred.
“The overall goal of the effort is to further automate the transaction process to enhance efficiency and accuracy, as well as ensure that customer-specified spending controls are achieved,” says Tom Kelly, Mack vice president of marketing.
A key aspect of the MV Preferred program is the capability to automatically validate purchase orders and invoices, which improves transaction accuracy. It also saves customers valuable time and ensures that they have maximum control over parts purchases and service transactions.
MV Preferred also streamlines the back office functions of reporting, invoice reconciliation and processing, and consolidation by automatically making sure essential information is correct from the outset of a transaction.
MV Preferred is being offered at no cost to fleets with 50 or more trucks. Customers can sign up for the program at their Mack dealer.
Every fleet that opts to enroll in MV Preferred is given a unique identification number, which they provide to their Mack dealer when ordering parts or service. The dealer then checks the customer's profile online to ensure that the order process meets pre-established criteria — confirming, for example, whether the customer requires a purchase order or a purchase order number for a parts purchase. The order cannot be entered unless all of the customer-required information is included.
The program also verifies the correct price for all purchases. Every invoice provides a record of all transactions made against a customer's account. Purchase activity and history can be checked 24 hours a day online as well.
In addition, MV Preferred gives customers the ability to set parts or service spending limits for individual terminals. This information is entered into the fleet's profile and is available to all Mack dealers in the MV Preferred program.
Partnered with Karmak
“It allows customers to purchase parts and service over the Mack dealer network,” says David Pardue, director for business development for North American Parts Sales and Marketing. “It works sort of like a charge card, offering customers options to have validation of certain information. You can set up a profile and have a transaction in a real-time mode.”
Mack has partnered with Karmak Inc and ADP Dealer Services to integrate MV Preferred into their management systems, so that the program validation is automatically available to dealers when entering parts or service transactions.
Says Richard Schien, chairman of Karmak, “When an MV Preferred customer walks into a Mack or Volvo dealership that's set up for the program, as soon as they get ready to bill out anything to that customer, the program checks the price with the database. One of our big deals at Karmak was trying to figure out how to make it happen, and happen fast enough that the customer at the counter is not standing there saying, ‘OK, so great, when are we going to get an answer on this?’ We're firing this off via the Internet through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and doing the checking, and we're getting sub-second response-time answers. That's really awesome.
“If the price is incorrect, it corrects the price on the customer's invoice and also notifies the dealership that the price in their system was wrong.”
Schien says Mack made it easier for Karmak by involving his company in the design from the very beginning.
“What happens often is that manufacturers — especially OEMs of trucks and trailer manufacturers — design their own idea about how something should happen, and then come to us and say, ‘OK, here's what we plan to do — now figure out how to interface that into your system and make it work for us.’ As opposed to saying, ‘Here's our problem. Can you help us design an overall plan? We have these objectives we need to meet, but we understand you may have one way that might work better than another.’ ”
Pardue says it took 18 months from the time of the first meetings to the point where they tested the program with dealers.
Mack is one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, and Mack vehicles are sold and serviced in more than 45 countries worldwide. All Mack manufacturing locations are certified to the internationally recognized ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems.
Mack is a member of the Volvo Group, a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. With annual sales of approximately $31 billion, Volvo business areas include heavy trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace, and financial services.