Starting Early at Volvo Trucks & Heavy Equipment
Volvo Early Start
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Starting Early at Volvo Trucks & Heavy Equipment

Introduction

Volvo Trucks and Heavy Equipment is a recognized market leader, known for building products that are durable, innovative, and functional. From fuel efficient transmissions that allow customers to save on operating costs to digital enhancements that improve performance, Volvo Trucks and Heavy Equipment sets the pace.

Flagship was recently selected to begin providing services to Volvo Trucks and Heavy Equipment North America facilities. One of these facilities is located in Dublin, Virginia where the contractor was struggling to deliver acceptable levels of service. This was a major concern as their shortcomings were causing production delays that could negatively impact other parts of the business.

The contract with Flagship was not slated to begin until January of 2019 – but with production integrity being challenged, the Dublin plan couldn’t wait. They needed a contractor capable of providing a comprehensive Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) solution – something Flagship has become synonymous for. The call went out and Flagship was asked to begin work 45 days earlier than scheduled. We promptly answered the call with a solution tailored to meet their unique needs and return their facility to optimal output.

Challenges

Volvo Trucks was facing challenges on a number of different fronts. First, the leadership model that the incumbent had in place was inadequate. There was no coordination of tasks, communication was poor and the teamwork concept that’s become so much a part of the Volvo Trucks culture wasn’t being honored.

News of the pending vendor change had begun to spread. Concern was high among the staff as they started questioning their employment status and how any planned changes would impact them. As a result, morale declined significantly and the incumbent struggled to maintain a workforce large enough to support the needs of the facility.

With lack of leadership and an unstable staffing situation, the quality of facility service began to suffer. This was due in large part to the fact that incumbent had failed to build a culture that aligned with that of the customer. This caused service to fall because there was no standard to guide them in their day-to-day functions.

Last but certainly not least, production at the facility was being negatively impacted. Clean environments are more efficient environments. The poor cleaning that this facility was receiving began impacting production and the ability to meet quotas. This was troubling and the as a continued lapse in production could have posed a significant threat as other areas of their business (i.e., dealerships) are totally dependent on this facility.

Solutions

Time was of the essence and Flagship immediately began aggressively addressing key areas of concern. With regards to leadership, a seasoned professional was appointed to manage the facility with the goal of bringing order and direction to the staff. Their presence set the tone for the operation and was instrumental in returning it to desired levels of efficiency.

Flagship’s HR team was also an integral part of this process. The incumbent was still under contract, so a makeshift office was set up in a local hotel lobby where candidates were met, screened and interviewed. The Dublin labor market was challenging with near full employment (5.2% unemployment). Our HR department had thoroughly researched the market and uncovered pockets of the types of talents that were needed to staff the operation.

Our Marketing department also played a major role in the recruiting efforts. Working in tandem with HR, within 24 hours, they deployed a web page and digital flyer targeting incumbent employees and potential new hires. This put to rest any fears of layoffs and allowed for a seamless transition of service.

Much of Flagship’s success is a result of the culture we’ve created. Our goal is to build partnerships with clients whose culture align well with ours. We realized early on that many of the challenges this facility was experiencing was a result of culture incompatibility. Through research and analysis, we realized that the culture Flagship has created meshes extremely well with Volvo. In essence, our two brands speak the same language – something that can never be underestimated in situations like these.

Outcomes

Within three weeks we were able to assemble a staff capable of supporting the needs of their facility. The structure we brought to this opportunity was spearheaded by a team of seasoned leaders, capable of managing the complex mix of needs a facility of this type mandates. Through them, the frontline staff was given clear directions and understanding of goals and expectations. Most important of all, they’ve been empowered to achieve them and production levels have begun to rise.

Workers were concerned about the transition and how it would impact their employment status. We heard them, and more importantly, we listened. The website and digital flyer that our Marketing department created contained messaging that spoke directly to them and calmed their fears. Through these two pieces we were able to retain top talents and recruit others. This allowed us to seamlessly assume ownership of their facility operations without any disruption of production.

Due diligence allowed us to act with speed and accuracy. Whereas other companies wait and react to the needs of a client, Flagship is different. Our proactive approach means we’re constantly thinking ahead about the needs of our customers and how to build solutions. The research our HR staff did on the market allowed us to assemble a staff within a fraction of the time it would’ve otherwise taken. Departmental coordination was also on display as our HR, Marketing, and Corporate Support teams worked tirelessly to engage employees and address their concerns while remaining conscious of the needs of the customer.

Thus far, Flagship and members of Volvo Truck management have set a three-month timeline to gather all KPI’s and bring them up to an agreed upon standard. In the coming months, Flagship Intuition will be implemented in the Volvo Truck environment. This will give managers the ability to more quickly process work orders, inspections, job scheduling and build customized reports that offer an unprecedented level of transparency.

Culture is important and the organic growth we’ve realized through the years has cannot be overemphasized. By carefully choosing partners whose values, beliefs, ideals and cultures match ours, we’re able to deliver the results customers deserve. Situations like this require providers who are able to respond with unique value-added solutions – something Flagship has done for over 30 years, and counting.

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