Volvo CE Takes Alerts Direct to Customers

Oct. 3, 2018

Volvo Construction Equipment is gearing its machine-data solution to customer communications, investing in data analytics at the corporate level, and letting its dealers work out the details with end users.

“Our goal is to be the No. 1 uptime provider,” says Jim Bretz, director-uptime & connected services for Volvo. He says both customers and dealers face the same problems when implementing the array of machine data into fleet management: limited time, limited expertise, and limited resources to build the technology infrastructure to analyze and evaluate the alerts.

Volvo launched ActiveCare Direct as a manufacturer-directed service that pushes Volvo machine information to customers while removing the burden of building the system from both the customer and the dealer. By filtering alerts at the corporate level, Volvo intends to provide customers with only the information that directly affects uptime. These alerts, coined Priority One, are sent to the customer and dealer simultaneously. Each customer, then, determines how of if they want their dealers involved.

At a recent customer event in its Customer Center in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Volvo organized a panel that included a customer and some dealers to discuss the program. Tony Brignoli, co-owner and VP of Saltmarsh Industries, said he personally responds to the Priority One alerts and handles them for the Massachusetts contracting firm, where they do their maintenance in-house.

An ActiveCare Direct alert provides the probable cause and possible solutions, Brignoli said. “The dealer is also notified, and if it’s severe enough they will contact me immediately.”

That joint communication, says Volvo, allows its dealers and customers to determine individually how to respond to Priority One alerts. The machine tracking and communication come from Volvo; the customer decides when and how much support it wants from the dealer.

The dealer benefits from ActiveCare Direct by freeing up investment capital. Peter Gaj, a sales representative with Tyler Equipment Corp., said rather than spend on the technology infrastructure required to monitor customers’ machines, Tyler is able to invest in the technicians and tools required to service the equipment it sells.

Justin Glass, director-equipment care for Ascendum Machinery, agreed: “Volvo stepped up, otherwise we couldn’t compete.” Vince Pagano, senior VP with Highway Equipment & Supply Co., called ActiveCare Direct “a game changer.”

Priority Two and Three alerts involve machine symptoms that will not affect operation or interrupt daily work, and Priority Four alerts are used to plan servicing of the machine. These are sent to the dealer.

Although the product launched in mid-2017, ActiveCare Direct had been introduced to key accounts the previous year. By September 2018, about 20 percent of CareTrack telematics-enabled Volvo equipment was enrolled in ActiveCare Direct, the company says.

It's promotional video is below.