MAN Truck & Bus South Africa recently celebrated its 2016 Dealer of the Year (DOTY) Awards at a luncheon held at its new corporate headquarters in Modderfontein, Johannesburg. Despite tough trading conditions within the extra-heavy truck market last year, both MAN proprietary and privately-owned dealerships, numbering 26 in South Africa, registered robust enterprise-wide performances while exhibiting distinct areas of excellence that augur well for the organisation’s plans for future market-share growth.

MAN’s DOTY Awards form part of the organisation’s global Network Development programme which strives to improve overall customer satisfaction throughout its value-chain, from point of sale, to vehicle financing, to vehicle servicing and support, to parts supply and the resale of used vehicles.

The 2016 DOTY Awards spanned 10 categories to include back-office functionaries. According to MAN Truck & Bus SA Managing Director, Markus Geyer, “It is important for us to acknowledge not only those people who deal with customers on a daily basis, be they in the workshop, parts department or sales office, but also our people who operate in the background in our purchasing, finance and central service departments. These highly competent and committed people make significant contributions to improvements in service delivery and customer satisfaction. Without their support, nothing would happen at the point of sale.”

The categories included dealership and individual awards, adjudicated on performance against benchmarked targets in respective operational areas.

Ian Seethal, Head of Network Development, Marketing and Communication at MAN Truck & Bus SA stated that, “All audited metrics in the Awards’ scoring process are monitored on a cumulative basis according to specific criteria, with results released quarterly and dealerships ranked according to their achievements in every aspect measured. The rankings are then converted to a total score, the highest determining the winners in each category.”

The enterprise-level categories included Service Dealer of the Year, Parts Dealer of the Year and overall Dealer of the Year, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between vehicle sales and integrated aftersales services (vehicle servicing, technical support and parts supply) in the drive to improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction, added Seethal.

Audited internally and independently by Ipsos, a leading independent Customer Satisfaction research house, Seethal stressed the emphasis placed on customer satisfaction scores in determining its DOTY winners.

“Improving overall dealer productivity and aftersales efficiency to elevate customer satisfaction are the key objectives of the MAN Network Development Programme. The Customer Satisfaction component of the Awards is weighted at 40% across our Service and Parts operations. Our Network Development team visits dealerships on a regular basis to discuss performance and assist in respective areas and disciplines, be they technical, commercial or administrative.

“The Awards are not just about meeting or exceeding sales targets but doing so in a way that builds genuine market intelligence through the capturing and processing of accurate data on all business processes in the dealership value chain. In the final analysis, with customer satisfaction as the primary focus of the Awards, business performance is correspondingly improved,” Seethal said.

Independent MAN dealer, Hatfield Truck & Bus won the prestigious Dealer of the Year Award, with runners-up, Alpine Truck & Bus and Port Elizabeth Truck & Bus (both privately-owned).

The Service Dealer of the Year Award went to Hatfield Truck & Bus, while Port Elizabeth Truck & Bus and Pinetown Truck & Bus lifted the two runner-up accolades.

Alpine Truck & Bus won Parts Dealer of the Year with runners-up, Kimberley Truck & Bus and Hatfield Truck & Bus.

The individual awards for top-selling MAN Truck and Bus personnel were hotly contested, with Bus Salesman of the Year awarded to Gary Aliphon, with runners-up, Gerhard van Wyk and Lourens van Stander.

Top honours in the MAN Truck Salesman category went to Runga Moodley, with Henk Dique and Quentin Theron in runner-up positions. The MAN TopUsed Salesman of the Year Award went to Emile Matlou with runners-up, David Pretorius and Elliot Twani.

The Volkswagen Truck Salesman Award went to Ryno Blignaut with Roelf Lewis in the runner-up slot. In the new Sales Manager category, top position was awarded to Tiago Dias, with runners-up, Dion Otto and Greg Erian.

MAN Financial Services awarded its top Business Development Managers with Rudi Le Roux in first place and Hester Page and Renier Meyer in runner-up positions.

The Chairman’s Customer Service Excellence Awards went to joint-winners, Claudio Fernandes and Gerhard Hepburn. Nivadni Mooloo, Lyle Everton and Deon Otto garnered runner-up awards in the category.

“The results from our 2016 DOTY audits clearly show that we have all the necessary ingredients to be successful, from our new headquarters here in Modderfontein extending across our retail dealer network. Our truck technology has reached a point of maturity where tangible operational benefits are being brought to our customers, while our bus products continue to hold market leadership positions.

“I am fully confident that our efforts will take MAN Truck & Bus SA to the next level with significant improvements in market share, bottom line performance and customer satisfaction. It is our MAN people who make the difference in these challenging times, through honest hard work and by taking ownership of their duties with passion and accountability. The 2016 DOTY Awards have proved unequivocally that by improving vehicle uptime through streamlined aftersales processes, overall customer satisfaction ratings can be significantly boosted,” Geyer concluded.