Case: Volvo Trucks
Volvo Trucks is the Swedish subsidiary in Volvo Group – a leading global manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles and engines.
Customized system solutions for Volvo Trucks
- Better control over revenue streams and costs.
- Fewer errors and greater control of cost distribution and inventory.
- Simplified inventorying and better search functionality.
- Extensive functional improvement of statistical reporting.
Volvo Trucks was in need of a simpler system to enable automated work tasks that was adapted to their operations, and which they could grow in, and with, over time.
Volvo Truck Center in Södertälje, Sweden, has about 25 employees, where six of these work with used parts. Seven people work with used parts at the Kungälv branch. They buy trucks for deconstruction to take spare parts for sale.
Customers can order their spare parts from the Volvo Truck Center in Södertälje, or the Kungälv branch for their trucks. To meet customers’ demand for used parts, Volvo needs to buy used vehicles from resellers or insurance companies. Then the vehicles are deconstructed by Volvo Truck Center staff. Gustav Törnqvist is service manager running the Södertälje facility.
“At Södertälje,” he relates, “we take apart about 40 trucks a year. Kungälv does about the same. In all, this creates volumes of spare parts that must be traceable, which places tough demands on IT support.”
The entire vehicle and each spare part taken from it are assigned an object ID before being stocked. Some parts are improved before they are placed for sale at a reseller's portal. The reseller then sells the parts to end customers.
”This has totally changed how our sales department works,”
- Gustav Törnqvist, Service manager at Volvo Trucks department in Södertälje.
Custom system solution
The activity-specific requirements required a SaaS solution.
“We were looking for something simple – a solution that could be expanded based on our current, and future needs. We wanted to be able to grow without needing to change our system,” concluded Mr. Törnqvist.
This IT support lets us register the cost of the purchased truck, and refurbishment, washing, and each step as an expense. The truck is stocked and it is assigned an object ID.
This lets staff see all the main components of the truck. When it is deconstructed, each part taken from the vehicle is registered using the vehicle's object ID. So, you can always tell which truck any part came from.
The system categorizes the spare parts according to Volvo’s function groups. Softadmin® therefore shows the same item number and function group as Volvo has. The purchase cost of the truck is also allocated to all the spare parts taken from it.
“When the stock managers sets a price and clicks OK, the part can be searched in our customers’ portal. This brought a complete change to how our sales department functions. Now, our customers do much of the work themselves,” notes Mr. Törnqvist.
Continuing, he says, “We get significantly fewer phone calls about stock balances or products. Rather, when they do call it's to make an order. The guys keep saying ‘the phones are so quiet,’ but we’re still selling all the time, letting them do more qualified tasks. The system bought us time and now our sellers can work on other things.”
The system creates several benefits, and Mr. Törnqvist is especially pleased with the find function and statistics module that Multisoft developed in close cooperation with the Volvo Truck Center.
The system shows all purchasing, sales, inventory, stock value, inventory turnover rate down to single products, the customer and supplier registers, and more.
“We can even find scrapped parts to see their history. The find function is exceptional where we can essentially search on anything. Which customers buy what parts, what they paid, how many gearboxes were sold during any specific period, and the types of tool boxes – that's just a few examples!” notes Mr. Törnqvist, continuing,
“This is important since we can use it to help us with purchasing. Using this data, we know which trucks to buy without relying on pure gut feeling – the decision is data-driven.
Moreover, not all staff need to, or should, access all these data and functions. The system allows creating different user types which enables assigning different types of access to various employees.
“The statistics module is fantastic and we can continually develop it. We can see differences from year to year, why things went well, and why not. And the kinds of discounts we’ve offered. We have now increase turnover and can keep track much better,” says Mr. Törnqvist.
He concludes, “The basics of the system are easy to learn. It takes only a day. I like being able to assign various permissions to different people and then add functions over time. For example, perhaps a new seller shouldn't be able to issue credit invoices from their first day, only regular invoices. Volvo Truck’s reseller portal is directly linked to Softadmin® – where they can sign into the system.