Terex AWP targets aftermarket, including competitors' parts

By Murray Pollok09 March 2009

Tim Ford, Terex Aerial Work Platforms

Tim Ford, Terex Aerial Work Platforms

Terex Aerial Work Platforms (Terex AWP) is expanding its after sales service activities, including a new parts operation that will stock competitive brands, extended warranties, a broader financial services offering, and an expansion of its North American refurbishment network using Terex Utilities facilities.

As part of the new ‘Genie 360' customer support programme, Terex AWP has signed up to the SmartEquip online parts ordering system.

Speaking to Access International at the Rental Show in Atlanta, Terex AWP president Tim Ford said the initiatives would help customers through the current difficult market conditions; "We are working with customers to find ways to help them preserve cash, typified by our financial solutions, which are much improved and broader than a year ago."

Mr Ford said other initiatives included using some of the 14 Terex Utilities facilities to expand its network of refurbishment facilities in North America; "We are working aggressively to use these facilities for refurbishment...Our aim is to turn this into a global service...but we will crawl before we walk, we want to make sure we get it right."

The company will also break with tradition and expand its parts offering to include 300 parts from competitive manufacturers JLG, Snorkel and Skyjack. "It's a recognition that customers in most cases carry more than one brand - we believe we can service customers more broadly...we've undertaken this with great care and caution", said Mr Ford.

Although this extended parts offering will be offered initially in North America, Terex AWP's vice president of global services, Siva Balakrishnan, told AI that the inventory would be increased to over 1500 parts by the end of the year and offered in Europe as well.

These additional parts, as well as Genie and Terex parts, will now be available to order online using the SmartEquip online portal. This is technology that gives major customers - rental companies in particular - the opportunity to order a wide range of OEM parts through a single portal. The solution will be available initially to Genie customers in North American to be followed by a worldwide roll-out later in 2009.

Initiatives in the Genie 360 project include expanded online training and extended warranties. Terex ‘Xtend' warranties will allow customers to extend their service protection by between one and four years, and will be available on the current standard 1-3-5 warranty (one year for electrical and base machine; three years on hydraulic components, five years on structural).

Meanwhile, Mr Ford said low confidence remained in Terex AWP's main markets in Europe and North America, and said he backed Terex AWP's parent company statement that the division's sales were likely to fall by between 35 and 45% in 2009; "There is a great deal of uncertainty about if and when credit markets are going to be in less rough seas...Everyone is holding back because they are not sure that the crisis is behind us."

He said it was difficult to say whether the various stimulus packages would "help us reach bottom, or if it is giving us uplift". He added that it was his impression that European rental companies were currently even more downbeat than US renters; "That's what I'm hearing."

Mr Ford said the company's strategy to manufacture in local markets - in Europe, North America and Asia - remained, even if work schedules were "significantly down". Work on the new Chinese facility is ongoing, but at a slower pace, while Terex has "hit the pause button" on plans for a new eastern European facility. It continues to manufacture in the UK and Italy.

Mr Ford said he believed that after three rounds of lay-offs Terex AWP was now sized appropriately for the 2009 and 2010 market, and that he hoped further redundancies could be avoided; "The thing that I feel most pressure [about] is when I stand up in front of staff after reductions have been made. We're losing good colleagues. I don't like doing that, and I don't want to do it again", said Mr Ford, "What motivates me is to deliver the best results we can, because I don't want to disrupt people's lives."

On his decision to attend the Rental Show, Mr Ford said; "Genie has supported the industry for over 30 years. It would have been an easy decision to pull-out, but I don't know if it would have sent the right message to the industry and to customers".

Terex, however, will not be at Intermat; "Intermat is a different show", said Mr Ford, "I understand - though I have never been there personally - that it is not Bauma and it's not Conexpo."

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