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New Flyer Industries aims to provide the best possible value over the life of its buses. Recently, the manufacturer has gone beyond the typical bus sales and maintenance to support its customers, focusing on aftermarket activities, such as providing parts and services, intelligence, maintenance support and customer training.
"We don't sell a bus and wait until the customer comes to us for services," Hans Peper, executive vice president of customer services, says. "We're committed to support our customers for the life of the bus. It's not a service offering, it's our responsibility."
The company's efforts are intensifying because its customers are dealing with increasing pressure on their operating budgets and looking for efficiency gains. "We are working intensely with our customer base and see the relationship changing," Peper says. "We're helping them in their mandate to provide public transportation."
Bundling parts and services
Over the last few years, New Flyer has become a one-stop service parts company for any bus operator with Genuine New Flyer parts, OEM parts and Kinetik parts, its private label line of original equipment parts. Due to the new economic reality for its customers, there is a great need for efficiency gains and operating cost reduction. Therefore, the current focus is on the recent launch of the new aftermarket service called Supply Chain Solutions.
As part of this new service package, New Flyer provides supply solutions for its customer's maintenance area, such as material planning, forecasting, stocking, consignment and even storeroom management. Combined with this is the ability to provide reliability and maintenance engineering, using the bus manufacturer's knowledge and experience, actual customer's material usage is reviewed and optimized to each unique customer maintenance environment. New Flyer was recently awarded aftermarket supply solutions covering these types of services at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Baltimore.
This total aftermarket package of material supply and service solutions is customized and designed to help each customer reduce their maintenance and operations costs — every customer is different. "For example, in the parts organization we're packaging parts in kits that coincide with maintenance schedules to help the maintenance staff reduce the maintenance down-time of their buses," Peper says. "It's no longer about incidental part fills."
As part of the manufacturer's primary goal to provide support over the life of the bus, one of the new service offerings is to provide an entire supply chain solution to make the process more efficient for customers.