Following the implementation of the lockdown in South Africa, GLTC has put in place a workable national aftermarket support contingency plan which has yielded greater success in the face of tough COVID-19 influenced operating conditions.

Since the start of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa, Goscor Lift Truck Company has implemented, with great success, a national support contingency plan to ensure that its customers in the essential service supply chain are well serviced during this unprecedented time.

Aftermarket Director Anthony Fouché explains that, from the start, all essential customers were contacted and assured that they would receive support during the lockdown. They were also advised of the call-out procedure that they would have to follow.

“A national daily report schedule has been put in place so that all regions can report on their daily activities. Where customers require to see management, such meetings are scheduled and attended. WhatsApp groups have also been set up for effective internal communication. Customer satisfaction is also closely monitored by the national service and administration manager. This is communicated in the daily feedback report or via the WhatsApp group,” explains Fouché, adding that these initiatives have been “very successful”.

As far as parts are concerned, Fouché says despite the disruption to the parts supply chain from overseas principals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GLTC has managed to weather the storm thus far.

“Our Parts department carries +/- 3 months’ supply of our fast moving parts, and this has ensured no disruptions for our customers. The non-stock items that cannot be moved out of our overseas suppliers’ factories have also posed no problem due to the contingency plans in place,” he says, adding that “we have given ‘robbing authority’ to the Parts Team, allowing new machines to be stripped of parts needed. However, I am happy to say this has been an exception, not a norm”.

In terms of the workforce, the entire national aftermarket team is in full force. All controllers have been issued with laptops and are set up with the necessary data / VPN so that they can access all the work-in-progress and ensure the best possible customer support.

All contract managers have been set up to receive customer calls directly and dispatch technicians accordingly. Contract managers and controllers are also in daily communication so that jobs can be closed and invoiced.

“Technicians have been split into three groups, namely field service breakdown support; preventative maintenance to service essential customers’ lift trucks to minimise breakdowns; and battery technicians who are set up to carry out battery inspections, services and repairs,” explains Fouché.

Two parts personnel are available every day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, to service technicians and branches. “We also have an inventory controller that has been set up with a laptop to continue ordering required parts stock and track shipments,” he adds.

On top of all these aftermarket support initiatives, several measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of the frontline support personnel. “Goscor is ISO certified, thus all the required health & safety procedures have been followed 100%,” says Fouché.

All support teams have been issued with gloves, hand sanitisers and face masks. Daily updates are required to keep management informed of any reported symptoms among the GLTC staff or at customer sites. All the support teams also have the required documents to travel, including the CIPC official letter.

“This is a very unfortunate position we find ourselves in, but we at Goscor have demonstrated that we are geared up to support our customers at any time,” concludes Fouché.