UD Trucks makes local impact
08 August 2011
Since taking responsibility for UD Trucks Corporation’s entire sub-Saharan region in January 2010, UD Trucks Southern Africa has been working hard to develop and strengthen its footprint across the region.
A key focus area is the roll-out of global quality standards in dealerships across Southern Africa. Thus, UD Trucks Academy in Pretoria forms part of the UD Trucks Global Competence Development project, tasked with developing and implementing global best practices for its dealerships in all regions.
UD Trucks Southern Africa’s dealer network already has to adhere to stringent quality standards, and is continuously measured across all disciplines, from parts to sales, service and admin, to bring customers only the best service and after-sales support.
“In a highly competitive market, we believe the key differentiator is the level of service provided to customers, no matter the size of their fleet,” said Johan Richards, CEO of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “That means that our customers can expect the same world-class quality service, no matter where they are in southern Africa.”
UD Trucks Southern Africa has dealers in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Richards said by matching customer business insight with the global expertise in the company, UD Trucks keeps aiming to get the fundamentals right in South Africa and across the region.
Dealer staff are therefore continuously trained to keep abreast of the latest developments within the industry, and to service customers in a passionate, professional and dependable manner. As a result, staff are enabled to solve problems faster and assist customers in finding the right solution in the shortest time.
“The emphasis has moved away from purely training staff for the sake of training, to helping each person develop their various competencies to reach their full potential in their specific job role,” said Richards. “As a result, our customers are dealing with competent and well-informed staff.”
“We believe that 70% of learning should take place on-the-job, and are therefore moving the focus away from a purely classroom based approach, to a combination of self-study, on-the- job coaching and classroom training. Managers... are taking on the responsibility of training their staff,” said Richards.
“This means that our dealer staff all across the region are able to develop their competencies and skills to a level of global quality.”
To support the increased demand for competence development in its export markets, the company is also introducing a train-the-trainer concept. This approach ensures that more people can be reached in a shorter time, and also eliminates the problem of language barriers.
He said that this new approach provides the company with the chance to establish a “competency development network” across the southern African region.
All of these activities will be supported by the UD Trucks Academy in Pretoria, which is Merseta-accredited and offers high-level training in sales, parts, technical skills, driver training and advanced leadership to dealers and customers.
“Trucking forms an integral part of the regional economy and it is of great importance to ensure that the wheels of industry and business continue to rotate effectively and productively,” said Richards.
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