An Economical and Efficient Maintenance and Service Scheme
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THE servicing of Morris-Commercial vehicles after they are in the hands of operators is a problem to which Stewart and Ardern, Ltd., distributor for the Metropolis of MorrisCommercial products, has devoted considerable attention. _ The provision of adequate stocks of spare parts, for all models is, of course, a sine qua non, but the company goes much farther than this and any visitor to the Acton premises, or to any of the other depots of the company, cannot but help being impressed, not only by the extensive nature of the service given, but by the clever and systematic manner in which it is organized.
. • When a commercial vehicle is sold, the first [Magnanimous offer of the company is free technical tuition and free driving lessons. Quite pitobably,
• the purchaser, can either already drive or .bas trained drivers in his employ, but it is of value specifically to instruct him or his driver in respect of the particular points of the actual vehicle bought. The buyer having taken delivery, the service department is immediately notified, and he receives a letter from the service manager, Mr. W. N. Collins, M.I.A.E., M.I.M.T., also-special literature and three service-schedule cards in the form of business-reply folders, which require no postage stamps.
' In the letter, the service manager points out that . the advent of the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, has increased the impoitance of returning the vehicle periodically to a Stewart and Ardern depot for thorough examination, and states that the company will he pleased to carry out, free of charge, the adjustments and maintenance work enumerated in schedule A of the first card, which work should be arranged immediately 500 miles have been covered.
The letter further points out that the scheme is not intended entirely to B36
obviate the need for the periodic maintenance described in the manual issued by the maker, but rather to supplement it and give the buyer the benefit of expert advice at regular intervals. particularly during the early life of the vehicle.
The service technical department has been specially organized to advise on any matter on which the owner may not be familiar, and no detail is too trivial or involved to receive interested and prompt attention without charge.
The second and third cards contain schedules of adjustments recommended to be carried out at 2,500 and 5,000 miles respectively and at a very moderate cost. In each case, the owner is pairs, which includes practically anything likely to prove necessary at any time and for all models. Owners of large fleets arc granted special discounts on the prices give,n.
The operator is also able to hire a vehicle up to 8 tons capacity at a standard rate of 10s, per day; all he has to do is to arrange a temporary transfer of his insurance, whilst an owner who purchases a vehicle elsewhere is offered this facility at £1 per day.
At Acton, the service depot is never closed by day or night; it was 'even open over the whole Jubilee period and Christmas Day, whilst, at the other depots at Croydon, Tottenham, Golders Green, Ilford, etc., the service department is open every day, except Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The free adjustments after the first 500 miles can be carried out at any Morris agency throughout the country, debits being passed to Stewart and Ardent, Ltd., by the agent.
A large stock of all major units is kept for replacement purposes and, where a complete overhaul is required, the company replaces the unit by another which has been factory-reconditioned and is guaranteed for six months. This unit the operator retains permanently, unless it be changed later for another in circumstances of a similar nature. '
Handling Guarantee Claims.
Guarantee claims are handled by the company, no matter where the vehicle was bought. For instance, a man from Leeds whose vehicle breaks down in London can go to Acton and the service department will undertake the submission and progress of his claim, just as if be had taken it to the agent from whom the vehicle was purchased.
We have already, referred to the matter of replacement parts. Actually, the stock amounts to £20,000 for commercial spares alone, and 10 depots are supplied, two vans per day calling upon. all of them, the parts being obtained from the main stores on a 'daily requisition.' Much,., heavy, and tedious work on • commercial vehicles ',.can be avoided by employing special tools and, at Acton, the cou%pany. keeps an extensive . stock of these, Which may be borrowed by any Morris dealer, either free or at a nominal charge, according to the value of the individual items required.
. Servicing Procedure.
When a vehicle arrives at Acton for servicing, it is met by a tester-feceptionist, who diagnoses any cOmplaint, whilst a record of mis call. and the time demade in the reception -Office. -Par-fielders of the work to be -done .are then written out sin a job sheet,, carried in aLamson Paragon register, Which retains' one copy; but other copies are available, of which one goes to the client and acts as a receipt for the vehicle, another to the costing office and a third, with a further sheet attached which acts as a works and test report, passes to the shops. When the work is completed, this last pair of sheets goes to the test department, where the work is checked and tested by experts who do nothing else. The job sheet is then signed by the tester and the foreman.
It will be realized that, with a large number of vehicles going through the works at the same time, it would, without special Organization, be difficult to check their progress, and it often happens that a customer will telephone to know how the work is getting On and he requires a satisfactory reply without delay. To facilitate this, there are attached -to each job sheet when it goes to the shops, tear-off slips, which are sent to the record office and entered into the regis
ter. These locate the position of the vehicle at any time and house telephones are then used to communicate with the foreman of the particular section concerned for the details required.
We were interested to find that, in the stores and record office, the equipment is Boots Business System, and we illustrate one of the cleverly arranged vertical-leaf files, which do so much to facilitate the work of the staff. • , Much more could be said about the clever costing and filing system, which not only enables every job to be accurately priced and permits the closest checking, but constitutes what . amounts to a history of each vehicle, so that, on any subsequent visit or in the case of any complaint, the whole of the work done by the service department can be ascertained in a few minutes.