Growing organically and through acquisitions, Dobbs Truck Group, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, now has 25 locations.

Shop profile: Focus on technology and service drive growth at Dobbs

June 6, 2023
For Dobbs Truck Group, a forward-thinking approach to service management technology is part of providing an unmatched level of customer service and improved productivity.

As the director of service at Dobbs Truck Group, it’s not lost on Jonathan Gipson that one of the five pillars in the company’s #DobbsValue foundation is "S"–for Superior Service. “We’re keenly focused on managing service events in a way that provides transparency,” he said. “That leads to a better and more consistent customer experience regardless of where your truck is being serviced.”

Growing organically and through acquisitions, Dobbs Truck Group, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, now has 25 locations. The privately-owned parent company includes Dobbs Peterbilt, which operates 17 facilities in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington; and Western Truck Center, a Volvo, Mack, Hino, Autocar, and Crane Carrier dealership with facilities in California. The company offers new and used trucks, parts, service, body shops, and lease and rental fleets.

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Technology plays a key role in the service operations across all Dobbs locations, Gipson noted, and he credits the solutions with helping the company’s service locations decrease dwell time and increase service revenue.

In place today are OEM-branded Decisiv SRM (Service Relationship Management) platforms, including PACCAR Solutions Service Management (PSSM), ASIST from Mack and Volvo, and Hino Case Management. Autocar service events are managed in Decisiv SRM as well. The SRM technology is also integrated with the two dealer management systems in place at Dobbs Peterbilt and Western Truck Center facilities, and a labor time estimating guide.

“Decisiv SRM is the standard we use in our operations across all OEM networks,” Gipson said. “The platforms serve as a single source of collaboration and communication with customers and between our locations. They help us solidify our integrity by enabling consistent best practices for customers.”

In the fall of 2021, after TruVideo joined the Decisiv SRM Ecosystem, Dobbs incorporated the company’s inspection video technology in their SRM applications across all OEM platforms. Access to videos is provided by a link in SRM Case, the core of Decisiv’s suite of SRM applications that allows users to create and manage end-to-end service event workflow between multiple participants on any computer or mobile device.

“With TruVideo, our service locations and customers have a more detailed view of repair needs,” Gipson stated. “That facilitates the ability to rapidly review and approve estimates, which contributes directly to a reduction in downtime. In the future, we will also use the integrated Decisiv SRM-TruVideo capability as part of our quality control inspection process that follows all repairs.”

TruVideo is now used at Dobbs dealerships in several ways:

  • Service advisors complete a walkaround of all vehicles as part of the check-in process. The video is then linked to SRM Case when a service event is assigned to a technician.
  • Technicians use TruVideo on mobile devices as they perform an initial inspection. The video is then included in the initial estimate sent to customers for approval.
  • The Dobbs Truck Group centralized warranty team is also using SRM Case data and TruVideo to show damaged components as part of a claim. Using the Instant Chat messaging function, warranty personnel can send a request to a service advisor or technician, attach a video, and receive the service case number.

Dobbs Truck Group credits the use of Decisiv SRM and TruVideo with providing for a more streamlined and efficient estimate approval process.

“With Decisiv and TruVideo our customers see what’s needed immediately as part of each estimate so they can respond more quickly,” Gipson said. “The integration helps bridge the communication gap with customers. We’ve had a 100% positive response from our customer base, especially smaller fleets, because the video technology speeds up inspections and approvals which improves the overall service process.”

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Gipson also pointed to increased shop throughput at Dobbs locations while the number of repair orders has been steady, the company has not added any technicians. Among the metrics he shared are the following:

  • In Dobbs U.S. Southern dealerships, direct labor showed a 38% increase over the past year.
  • In Dobbs Western U.S. facilities, monthly labor hours billed increased 21% year over year.
  • In the first quarter of 2022, labor sales per Dobbs technician rose nearly 50%, compared to the quarterly average in 2021.
  • In just one of its locations that opened 74 cases in Decisiv SRM in April, service events managed in SRM Case that included TruVideo generated $3,812 more parts and labor revenue on average.

“Our work-in-process rate is lower because we’re getting jobs through the shop faster, which adds capacity for our customers,” Gipson said. “In addition, OEMs grade us on dwell time, so this capability is a huge boost to our standard of excellence.”

With its growth, Dobbs Truck Group estimates it will handle about $50 million in labor sales and five times that amount for parts annually, and it credits the use of Decisiv SRM and the TruVideo integration with boosting service revenue by lowering dwell time during service events.

“We’re focused on ensuring that our ongoing expansion incorporates an unmatched level of customer service,” Gipson stated. “One way we’re doing that is by managing service events as a technology-forward company.”

About the Author

Seth Skydel

Seth Skydel, a veteran industry editor, has more than 36 years of experience in fleet management, trucking, and transportation and logistics publications. Today, in editorial and marketing roles, he writes about fleet, service, and transportation management, vehicle and information technology, and industry trends and issues.

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