Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles
and the Value Chain
The values which a company and a brand represent are
about more than looking good on paper. Mercedes-Benz Commercial
Vehicles have been shaped over more than 120 years by focused
development in quality, reliability, safety and cost-effective
transport solutions – these are all brand values which are firmly
rooted in its history.
reliability have always been key factors in the development of our
products. Opting for the right technology at the right time paved
the way for the company’s success,” says Kobus Van Zyl, Vice
President Commercial Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
The commercial vehicle
sector has been marked by strong cyclical fluctuations for decades,
and Daimler fully understands rapid market declines.
processes make us well equipped to deal with such situations. We are
aligned to a global organisation and follow internationally accepted
business practices. Our focus at the moment is not just on
short-term crisis management measures, our ultimate goal is to
maintain and improve our competitive position - we want to learn
from the current recession and be better equipped than we were
before the crisis,” adds Van Zyl.
The effective control and management of a company’s
fleet has never been more important. With rising fuel, vehicle and
maintenance costs, and increased time pressure, fleet managers need
to operate their fleets in the most economical and efficient way
possible. With the relevant up-to-date information provided by
FleetBoard, fleet managers are able to make informed decisions
The new generation Actros trucks come standard with
the FleetBoard telematic system and users have free use of the
system for the first four months. FleetBoard SA will, during the
trial period, also be in contact with the customer to monitor the
“Our three-year parts supply plan, from 2007 to
2009, was founded on four key elements – cost efficiency, people
support, stock availability solutions and well-trained personnel to
operate within their sectors of the business.
Throughout our structure we developed a new
operation, a new way of doing business, with new processes, but
always held together by a generic business plan and with the
necessary financial structures in place to support this while
keeping the customer requirements as the central focus,” adds Van
Significant progress has been made in the
improvement of service levels to meet customer demands. This remains
a continuous improvement strategy to support both customers and
dealers in the quest to further reduce vehicle downtimes.
“Our dealer network is an important key in our
business partnership and this is why we have continued our
investment in resources despite worsening market conditions. The
success of our training, sales and service and maintenance
programmes, all set to global standards, can only be achieved
through adhering to processes and best business practices,” says Van
Zyl. “Our dealers play a crucial role in the provision of support
along the entire value chain.” adds Van Zyl.
Ongoing partnerships with all the 44 strategically
placed Mercedes-Benz dealerships, throughout Southern Africa, is an
essential part of the value chain for Mercedes-Benz.
CharterWay represents a new approach to commercial
trucking where trucks perform as true mobile assets rather than
depreciating ones. CharterWay is a unique solution for truck
transport operators with the right operational and financial
credentials to secure a suite of vehicle leasing, maintenance and
servicing products, tailored specifically for the truck fleet owner.
Supported by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, CharterWay
effectively transfers the risk of truck ownership from customer to
“With a fixed cost per kilometre CharterWay
operators can now enjoy a much needed degree of financial certainty
in these unpredictable times and really focus on their core
businesses,” adds Van Zyl.
Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles has long
recognised the critical role drivers play in the overall supply
chain. A new breed of driver is needed to fully capitalise on the
many technologies our trucks possess, to enhance vehicle efficiency
and improve road safety.
“Our vision to provide development and personal
growth opportunities throughout the driver training programme has
seen thousands of heavy-duty truck drivers’ graduate from our
courses. Our training methodology has matured over the years and is
now recognised as the best in the country and is fully accredited by
Daimler AG and with all the relevant Setas (Sectoral Education and
Training Authorities) locally,” says Van Zyl.
Benefits of our
“We are obsessed with Uptime and Lifecycle costs –
all for the benefit of our customers. We firmly believe that with a
streamlined approach to vehicle
purchasing, financing, servicing, maintenance, management and
replacement, the Mercedes-Benz value chain will continually extend
its power to satisfy the customers’ needs for trouble-free
transport.,” concludes Van Zyl.