Mercedes PRO: New brand: Mercedes-Benz Vans systematically enhances its service offers
- Mercedes PRO bundles service offers for commercial van customers
- Comprehensive online platform for van customers within commercial environments
- New offering with regard to connectivity, mobility and transport solutions as well as fleet and holistic system solutions
- Launch in the first six months of 2017 with cutting-edge connectivity services throughout Europe
With its new strategic initiative adVANce Mercedes-Benz Vans has set out to transform from a pure vehicle manufacturer into a supplier of holistic system solutions. As such, Mercedes-Benz Vans focuses on the development of tailor-made solutions for various customer requirements which drive efficiency and productivity throughout the value chain. The company now takes a concrete step towards implementation and raises the bar for commercial van customer service by introducing its new service brand Mercedes PRO. Mercedes PRO allows various service and mobility areas to be integrated seamlessly and efficiently, thus elevating commercial customer care to a new level.
Mercedes-Benz Vans bundles all existing and future service offers surrounding the business environment of van customers under this new brand. A digital online platform provides access to existing systems and services as well as newly developed applications for everyday business activities. It offers tailor-made and comprehensive transport solutions and grants customers access to all Mercedes-Benz Vans commercial services from a single source. Starting
with connectivity services, the digital platform is scheduled to go online in the first six months of 2017. It is accessible using a personalised Mercedes ID at www.mercedes.pro. The offering will be gradually enhanced and feature a host of commercial solutions far beyond the classic van: from connectivity, mobility and transport solutions to fleet or holistic system solutions.
"Mercedes PRO also represents the agility and energy with which we intend to drive our strategic initiative adVANce forward. A mere two weeks after having made the new strategy public, we are launching a new brand on the market", Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, explains. "With Mercedes PRO we are creating a digital ecosystem that merges our products and services in one brand network. It is our aspiration to link our customers' demands to future technologies."
Starting with connectivity solution Mercedes PRO connect
The connectivity solution Mercedes PRO connect is the first service offer to be launched on the market under the umbrella of the new service brand. It will start in the first six months of 2017. It is designed for vehicle fleets in small companies as well as large fleets. With this web-based service offer the fleet manager is linked via the vehicle management tool with all vehicles and drivers. The fleet manager can manage orders online and also query at any time the location, fuel level, maintenance interval and other vehicle information in real time. The driver communicates with the fleet manager via the Driver's App on his mobile device.
As a result, Mercedes PRO connect ensures efficient communication and interaction between the fleet manager and the driver. Order and route details can be directly transmitted. This improves both the process within the company and customer satisfaction. Delays and late deliveries are reduced to a minimum. The administrative tasks within the company are also reduced. Furthermore, the solution opens up potential for cost savings, enhances sustainability and safety in vehicle operation, and increases the availability of vehicles. The new service offer can be retrofitted in Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter vans.
Mercedes PRO connect covers ten different services at the market launch:
- Maintenance Management: information on upcoming maintenance, with simple online scheduling
- Vehicle Supervision: efficient fleet management through the transmission, processing and analysis of vehicle data and a selection of vehicle warnings, minimisation of vehicle downtime
- Vehicle Operations: Transfer of vehicle locations in real time, display of and setting up geofences
- Fleet Communication: sending of messages, addresses and contacts between the vehicle management tool and the Driver's App
- Digital Driver's Log: automatic recording of tours, distances, start/destination addresses for tours, analysis of tours based on work-related and private reasons
- Eco Monitor: combined display of resource- and environment-related vehicle data to analyse driver behaviour and fleet efficiency
- Eco Coach: vehicle and driver-related analysis function for factors relating to fuel consumption, gamification as positive incentive for a driving style that, among other things, reduces fuel consumption
- Theft & Asset Management: support in case of vehicle theft and identification of fuel theft
- Safety Monitor: combined display of safety-relevant driver and vehicle data
- Safety Coach: vehicle- and driver-related analysis function for factors that impact on safety
Icons with a modern style and a simple menu structure facilitate intuitive operation of Mercedes PRO connect for the user. The Driver's App is available for Android and for iOS devices at the market launch. It is also characterised by a modern user interface and easy operation.
The demand for innovative connectivity services has been growing steadily for many years, as surveys among commercial van customers from various sectors show. Whether you look at the USA or Europe, the market is set to more than double over the next five years, according to estimates. Mercedes-Benz Vans will help its customers manage their fleets as efficiently and seamlessly as possible with tailor-made, future-proof solutions.
Mercedes PRO connect use cases: communication optimised, customer satisfaction increased
The digital services from Mercedes PRO connect are not isolated solutions. Thanks to sensible networking they substantially increase efficiency and productivity in everyday use, combined with a high level of convenience. Various use cases demonstrate why:
RIGHT-ON-TIME. The fast delivery solution. The fleet manager of a fresh food delivery service is emailed an urgent customer order at 10.50 a.m. A catering business in a nearby town needs fresh vegetables by 12 noon. The perishable goods must be transported from the warehouse to the caterer within an hour. The fleet manager checks all the available drivers using Mercedes PRO connect. He first opts for the driver who is just five kilometres from the warehouse. However, he then notices that the chosen van does not have enough fuel.
To rule out any possible delay, the fleet manager locates another driver. The driver is seven kilometres from the warehouse and has enough fuel in the tank. The fleet manager sends him all relevant information, including delivery date/time and the customer's address with contact, via Mercedes PRO connect. The driver sends the fleet manager a message via the Driver's App to confirm the order. He transfers the address directly to the navigation system on his smartphone. The fleet manager immediately calls his customer, the catering company, and confirms that the ordered goods will arrive on time. In the case described, services such as Vehicle Operations, Vehicle Supervision and Fleet Communication play an important part.
Without Mercedes PRO connect the fleet manager would have to call each driver, ask him for his current location and see whether he can complete the order. Presumably, he would not be able to contact every driver straight away and – depending on the response – detours and additional delays would be inevitable. This would jeopardise the tight delivery schedule and possibly also the quality of the goods and, in turn, ultimately affect customer satisfaction.
CHECK-THE-FLEET. Complete maintenance management. A fleet manager in a heating engineering company has a large fleet. As a result of the busy schedule, one of his fitters does not pay enough attention to the condition of the vehicle. The active maintenance display "Service A in 1500 km" has been ignored for quite a while now. When the driver goes on holiday, a colleague takes over the van. After just a few kilometres he notices a warning in the display "Service exceeded".
The fleet manager arranges a service appointment the very next morning. The service engineer finds worn brake pads during the vehicle check. Since the service appointment was not completed on time, the brake discs are now also worn and need to be replaced – extra time and costs that could have been avoided. The more extensive maintenance work also means the vehicle is out of service for longer than planned. Orders must be rescheduled, customers' waiting times increase.
Mercedes PRO connect offers targeted, predictive maintenance management for the entire fleet to prevent these kinds of incidents. The fleet manager sees the maintenance requirements of all his available vehicles before the particular displays light up. The service partner promptly emails the fleet manager a quotation for the particular service scope A and the fleet manager can arrange an appointment in the workshop online via Mercedes PRO connect. There are neither unexpected costs nor delays.
THEFT-CARE-SUPPORT. Assist in case of theft. Mercedes PRO connect also provides support if a fleet vehicle is stolen. Fleet managers and drivers can trigger a missing-vehicle message as soon as they discover a vehicle has been stolen. Once notified, the Mercedes-Benz hotline calls the fleet manager. The service staff can assist the police to find the vehicle quickly thanks to GPS data. The Mercedes-Benz hotline also provides support with other services in case of theft. Mercedes PRO connect is also extremely useful in cases where fuel is stolen. Mercedes PRO connect allows the fleet manager to check his drivers' driving behaviour and confront employees where fuel consumption is inexplicably higher than usual. If required, the fleet manager can receive warning messages, say if the level of fuel in the tank goes down significantly even though the vehicle has not moved, and can trace who last drove the vehicle.
GO-FOR-BUSINESS. Optimise business efficiency. Even in small businesses, inventory taking and annual budgets take a great deal of time and effort. The logbooks are often analysed under tremendous time pressure just before the year-end. Missing fuel receipts make the job more difficult. Estimates and assumptions often find their way into the annual budget (revenue, personnel, targets, etc.).
Mercedes PRO connect makes it easier to optimise operations and helps operators and fleet managers to retain an overview of all tours and vehicles. The fleet manager can set clear rules relating to the driving style and routes (geofencing) in order to reduce fuel and maintenance expenditure. The solution also flags up due workshop appointments.
ECO-AWARE-DRIVER. Eco-friendly driving support. Mercedes PRO connect allows drivers to actively analyse their driving style on the Driver's App. An anticipatory driving style and early upshifts reduce fuel consumption and costs substantially. Drivers can also be given clear instructions for environmental goals. Mercedes PRO connect also monitors the fuel consumption of the individual vehicles.