Quality Management: Delivering the Right Upfit, Every Time
By Jason Lipes
April 7, 2021
This article is part of a series on Wheels’ dedication to continuous improvement to deliver exceptional business results for clients. For additional insight into this commitment, read our first post in the series, “Continuous Improvement: The Importance of Partnerships.”
At Wheels, we’re always looking for opportunities to improve your experience. While we’re experts in providing fleet guidance for your organization, you’re the expert in the needs of your business. Ensuring there is a clear method of information sharing is crucial for us to deliver on our service promises. Concise and ample documentation is one way we accomplish this goal.
The Opportunity: Standardizing Truck Upfitting
Recently, our truck operations team identified an opportunity to improve the upfit process. Equipping vehicles with the necessary tools for their application directly tie into drivers’ on–the–job efficiency. Therefore, capturing accurate requirements upfront is a must. To standardize and streamline the process, the truck operations team held a wKaizen Event in May.
The Process: A Kaizen Event
The team was comprised of truck consultants of various tenure and experience levels, fleet consulting managers, and a member of our process and quality management team. While mapping the current process state, the team learned there were many divergent variations of the Truck Source Document (TSD), the form consultants use when collecting truck build specifications. Some of these variations were required due to the diverse fleets we manage, yet other versions were unnecessary. This resulted in an inconsistent experience and created opportunities for Wheels to streamline the experience.
The Solution: One TSD Per Application
At the culmination of the event, the team created a standard set of documents that would be used by all truck consultants. In total, 15 variations of the TSD were identified. Before finalizing, each type will go through an internal vetting stage (with customer review) to ensure we get feedback on the new documentation. This new standardized document will guide truck consultants and your team in identifying commonly overlooked requirement details, such as mounting locations, colors, preferences, etc.
Additionally, through the Kaizen Event we identified a new workflow for the form that provides ample opportunity for review and detail confirmation.
Now after a truck quote is requested from Wheels, your team will receive the TSD. Your review and approval of this document will ensure Wheels has accurately captured your truck needs and requirements prior to receiving the quote from the upfitter.
The New TSD Process:
- You inform your truck consultant of their sourcing and upfitting requirements, including preferred model, interior and exterior color, bedliner, bed mat, floor plate, tailgate cover and more.
- We compile that information into the TSD and send it to you for review while highlighting any questions that may not have been answered to ensure no detail is missed.
- You may identify any improperly interpreted requirements, if any, before receiving a quote.
- The truck consultant compares quotes and finalizes the TSD to validate all requirements are included in the quote.
- Lastly, if any requirements won’t be met by the quote that information will be communicated to you.
To provide suggestions on how we can better serve your truck upfitting needs, please reach out to Terry Aiken, the director of truck operations at Wheels, email@example.com.
If you would like to partner with us on a continuous improvement project, please reach out to Jason Lipes, senior director of solution services at Wheels, at firstname.lastname@example.org.