Elite Support Dealer Network Raises Service Bar for 2014

Contact: david.giroux@daimler.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nov. 16, 2013 — The Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) network of Elite Support Certified dealers has agreed on new criteria for ongoing certification, promising a superior customer service experience at certified dealers. Based on successful continuous improvement practices, Elite Support focuses on enhancing dealership processes that address customer concerns, leading to higher standards of customer satisfaction throughout the DTNA network.

The Elite Support Dealer Network collected feedback from the current 122 certified dealers on initiative improvements. The ones determined to have the most positive value network-wide were added to the standard. The new standard raises the number of criteria that dealerships must measure themselves against from 127 to 135, covering areas of superb customer service, exceptional turnaround times, overall quality of workmanship, rapid diagnosis, consistent communication and robust parts availability.

“We’re very proud of where Elite Support has come in less than four years, but these new standards are not the end,” said Jennifer Stevenson, director, distribution development at Daimler Trucks North America. “This collaborative initiative between DTNA and our dealerships will continue to raise network standards so our end customers benefit from improved customer service across the whole network.”

New criteria adopted include enhanced tracking standards for Express Assessment, which is designed to deliver the customer with an accurate service diagnosis, availability of needed parts, estimated cost and estimated repair time all within two hours of the service write-up. Other additions include improved stocking of mission-critical parts, new web-based training for all staff, formalized change management team processes, and a new set of standards for truck sales and delivery processes.

Dealer certification takes an average of eight months. Some of the major steps are:
• Orientation for dealer ownership and general managers
• Completion of a self assessment by the dealership Change Management Team
• Completion of a two-day Elite Support boot camp
• Completion of a three-day Continuous Improvement Coordinator level 1 course
• Completion of all Elite Support requirements by dealership
• Validation of standards by an independent company to achieve certification
• Post certification, dealers are required to complete quarterly continuous improvement events and monthly audits along with specific monthly metric tracking
• Annual recertification

“Elite Support is a truly dealer-driven initiative, and it’s great to see our dealer network pushing to be even more competitive,” said Stevenson. “Their participation and high-level engagement is what makes this initiative sustainable for the long-term, with on-going improvements for all of our customers to experience.”

To learn more about Elite Support, visit www.EliteSupportDealer.com.

About Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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