Gateway Dealer Network, a Bobcat and Doosan dealership group out of St. Louis, Missouri, has developed an app that allows it to handle the steady stream of machine data from thousands of customer machines. As a pilot dealership for Bobcat’s Machine IQ telematics system, the company has been selling the telematics system to its customers for a number of years.
“Today, we have 6,500 connected Bobcats and 500 Doosans,” says Shannon Adams, road service/telematics supervisor for Gateway. “The volume of information [from the machines] started to overwhelm us. The app filters the information for the dealership.” The monitored units include both light equipment such as skid steer loaders and heavy earthmoving machines such as excavators.
The construction app, dubbed Gateway Connected Advantage, was custom designed for the dealership, which has 19 branches across the Midwest and Southeast.
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Customer machine data filters through the app and flows to two telematics customer service representatives housed in St. Louis. Adams manages both the field service and telematics system for the entire dealership.
The construction app automatically notifies the customer—via email or text—when a Doosan or Bobcat machine is nearing the hours for a scheduled maintenance service call. The customer service rep contacts the customer when the service is due. The construction app generates these service leads daily, allowing the customer service representatives to contact customers to schedule preventive maintenance calls. Service work can be done by dealer field techs (road service), dealer shops, or in-house by the customer. Customer service reps can place orders for parts when they set up the service, and those will be shipped to the appropriate location.
Field service is scheduled directly through the road service department, also located in St. Louis, so the customer service representative forwards the information to the road dispatcher. For customers who want to schedule a shop visit, the customer service representative connects them to the nearest service manager, and that branch will help schedule the appointment.
The app also filters “critical codes” that could cause machine shutdowns, Adams says. Customer service representatives route these directly to the nearest branch service manager. “They can reach out, explain that we see a code,” she says. “They try to troubleshoot over the phone, and if customer wants to have service, we set it up.”
The app also permits a level of predictive interaction with customers. Tracks, for example, have an lifespan based on hours of use. When a machine is nearing that hour usage number, the customer service representatives will check in with the customer and facilitate the order and installation of replacement tracks. The dealership also uses data to provide service contracts to those customers who look to Gateway for more maintenance-management functions.
For customers who want their own access into their Bobcat equipment, Gateway has set up a portal management system. “Fleet managers can access the tool to monitor equipment location, location history, and set up curfews,” Adams says. “The dealership can assist customers in setting it up.”