Market Overview

TMC20: Michelin Looks To Take The Pain Out Of Trailer Repair

TMC20: Michelin Looks To Take The Pain Out Of Trailer Repair

As Michelin transitions to a mobility and technology company,it's offering more services that leverage scale and digital capabilities to drive down fleet costs. The latest is its Services and Solutions arm, including a new Digital Services Platform that features a trailer-maintenance program.

The announcements of both the business segment and maintenance program came on Sunday at the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in Atlanta.

The Services and Solutions business is built upon four pillars: (1) connected mobility, (2) fleet management, (3) tire services and (4) digital services platform.

"We are trying to support our customers in this changing world with innovative solutions that go beyond the product," said Ralph DiMenna, global director of Michelin Services and Solutions. "With so many solutions now data-driven, it helps us transform our company into a data-driven [one] and it helps our fleets transform their businesses into data-driven [operations]."

The new maintenance program, Michelin Mechanical Care, is the first offering under the Digital Services Platform. More will follow, DiMenna said, and Michelin will also start shifting current offerings to the platform.

"It is a platform that is transforming our industry by improving the efficiency and productivity of our customers and enabling them to maximize their profitability," DiMenna said.

For fleets, that means the ability to optimize asset utilization, drive administrative efficiency and maximize uptime. Service providers will see benefits from streamlined administrative tasks covering everything from scheduling to billing to improved overall customer satisfaction.

The Michelin Mechanical Care program provides fleets with outsourced maintenance for trailers. Offering light mechanical maintenance, the service is backed by Decisiv's Service Relationship Management (SRM) technology and available through Michelin's nationwide Commercial Service Network.

Fleets using the service will see standardized procedures and recommended practices, standardized labor pricing based on accepted industry standard repair times, and asset visibility and consolidated invoicing that includes real-time tracking and streamlined billing for both fleets and service providers.

Michelin will offer annual Department of Transportation inspections through Mechanical Care, as well as preventive maintenance and repairs for brakes, wheel ends and tires, lights, electrical, mud flaps and body repair. DiMenna said that in some cases, the provider might offer additional heavy-duty repairs.

The program has been piloted over the past year with about 30 Michelin network locations and between 10 and 12 fleets, DiMenna said. More locations will be rolled out as fleets demand the service.

Trailer maintenance is a vexing problem with fleets based on the duty cycles of trailers throughout North America. From drop-and-hook applications to trailers running coast-to-coast over weeks and months, fleets can find it difficult to route a trailer through to their own facility for repairs or preventive maintenance.

"That is a complex problem today," DiMenna said. "Where are the trailers? What is the work being done on those trailers? This digitizes that."

Running a single nationwide network will help fleets to have increased visibility in trailer maintenance, more options for preventive maintenance and lower overall repair bills. DiMenna said Michelin is attempting to offer "a one-stop digital shop."

The program uses Technology and Maintenance Council standardized codes for repair times, and DiMenna said that if a repair takes longer than that recommended timeframe, the fleet will not be charged extra.

"From the time [the repair] starts to the time it ends, that is the time. That is our guarantee," he said, noting that scheduling the repair time is not part of that promise. "The other part of that guarantee is that if it goes beyond the allotted time, [the fleet] would not pay for additional labor if a service provider can't do it in the allotted time."

The other pillars of the Services and Solutions segment are: connected object and data-based business models, fleet management that focuses on optimization of fleet operations and includes NexTraq and Michelin Energy Guard products, and tire services including Michelin OnCall and Michelin Tire Care.

Image by gianfrancofalcone from Pixabay


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