Part 1: CAM Banking on Investments in Account Management and Continuous Development as fitter-force Looks to Leap Forward in 2021

Shortly before Christmas, Steve Daly the Commercial Director at CAM sat down for a virtual get-together with Richard Wilson, the Editor of Commercial Tyre Business to discuss the state of play for the company at the end of 2020, whilst specifically focusing on and looking at the development of their fitter-force product since 2019.

fitter-force’s Place in CAM’s Offerings

We began by asking Steve how fitter-force fits into CAM’s package whilst also looking at the history of the company and how its products came into being. For those who are new to CAM and their offerings, the company started in the fleet service space 10 years ago with their UniSerV product which was developed with their partners Tructyre and Tyrenet at that time in order to deliver a call centre function. As of today, UniSerV is a suite of specialized commercial software modules that supports connectivity and paperless operations in modern commercial tyre service operations. 

Following this, CAM had made their first venture into the world of tablet technology with a system which was proprietary to their UniSerV software. By April 2013 at the Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show), Bridgestone approached CAM about advancing the technology into an open platform. The subsequent re-write, explained Daly, was how e-jobsheet came into being and is really how UniSerV built up a head of steam.

So, how was fitter-force born and more importantly, returning to the original question, how did it fit into CAM’s actual offering? Steve detailed clearly the rationale behind the product; “fitter-force came about because we wanted a more retail orientated solution. And we needed it to scale downwards. Its default setting is to be hosted in the cloud, and it has the possibility of multi-language capabilities. We wanted the ability to manage our stock and allocate our stock with a job and push that detail via TiDaeX onto e-jobsheet.”

Steve continued, “Users have control over what is happening with their stock, and equally e-jobsheet allows you to launch a job or have the job originated on the tablet by the technician, which can come back to fitter-force, and the office user can utilise the facilities within fitter-force to reconcile the stock within fitter-force, even though the job was originated by the technician on the tablet.”

fitter-force, which, according to Daly, is based upon CAM’s acquired knowledge from UniSerV over the last decade, started by targeting the smaller dealer in terms of business size when looking at client acquisition. This clearly goes hand in hand with the fact that the system can be deployed lightly, with one mobile fitter and one depot user, which further illustrates how quickly the technology can be implemented.

Daly expanded on this, “We have started with smaller size businesses in comparison with our traditional UniSerV base and they are the target organisations that wanted to get on board with the mobile fitment trend and which were seeking a more retail orientated system.” 

The Key Advantages of fitter-force

From a technical standpoint, the e-jobsheet and TiDaeX platforms are fully integrated into fitter-force. That is to say that fitter-force allows its users complete and continuous visibility in terms of their stock position at the start of a particular job right up until the point of billing.” This is what Daly refers to as an ‘end-to-end solution´ that does not have any ´gaps´.

Further to this, the technology that has been developed which goes through TiDaeX and e-jobsheet gives contract holders the ability by permission to view the stockholding of dealers that might do work for them, such as in a breakdown service.

Crucially, fitter-force has also lowered the barriers of participation that UniSerV was not able to do, so with smaller businesses such as smaller fleet service users with one or two users in a single depot with a few technicians. This has allowed for the integration into TiDaeX and has opened up the ability for breakdown services and manufacturers to have relationships with CAM’s fitter-force users.

Daly explained, “Breakdown services and manufacturers can have relationships with our fitter-force users whereby they can view, by permission, the stockholding situation which is relevant and pertinent to the job that they need to get done by way of a commercial arrangement between the users off the system.

“In essence, fitter-force lowers the floor in terms of the size of the organisation that can be part of that network.”

fitter-force Progress Since 2019

So, how does the client acquisition picture look for fitter-force? It’s a picture that Daly paints in a positive light.

“Take up of fitter-force has been very good,” he explained. “We have seen a clear shift towards being more mobile orientated, and that is not just independents in the truck, bus and van segments. It is a trend across all categories, with a lot of those same organisations doing OTR, of course car, and agricultural work as well.

“At the end of the day you need to get systems in and get them right. UniSerV started as a large call centre system that we were compressing downwards and outwards through branch networks. fitter-force is starting at the agile retail end that we are scaling up. It takes time to get that right.”

Currently, six of seven fitter-force customers are small with the exception of one, and Daly highlighted that these are “brand new customers and dealers that were not on our books before.” This underlines how fitter-force is starting from a different point compared to UniSerV and is attracting a different client size; fitter-force is scaled up to service larger clients.

“We will have our first national dealer “live” with fitter-force in 4-8 weeks time,” said Daly. “We wanted to start small and scale upwards. That is an organisation that will be highly connected via e-jobsheet and TiDaeX.”

Turning our minds back to CAM’s 25+ UniSerV users, Daly suggests that they had a 24-month timeline in which they wanted to move these users across to fitter-force, but considering the 10-year investment in UniSerV it was always going to take some time for fitter-force to reach the point of catch up.

“We didn’t develop fitter-force to swap UniSerV users out initially, but make no mistake fitter-force was always intending to replace UniSerV, we just needed to make sure it was right for the lower end of the market which UniSerV naturally left untended, before we moved it up scale,” added Daly.

This development, which will be announced in the coming weeks, will undoubtedly be the first indication that fitter-force has arrived at the point to start the process of transitioning UniSerV users across.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in our exclusive interview with Steve Daly over the coming weeks.

About the author

Richard Wilson is the deputy editor for Commercial Tyre Business. Since 2015, Richard has worked as a correspondent for all of the titles across the Valebridge Publications Ltd Group namely: Retreading Business, Tyre & Rubber Recycling, The Tyreman and Truck and Bus News. Richard has worked on/off from the age of 16 for the company and whilst gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Business Studies at Coventry University, he developed his writing skills at the University paper and more recently writing his own independent blog.

Contact: richard.wilson@retreadingbusiness.com

Phone: (44) 1270 668 718

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