Quality is everything
Transpec – a 2009 Focus on Excellence Award nominee – prides itself on the fact that it is able to meet virtually any customer need. If a transport operator needs a specific trailer designed and built for a particular application, Transpec can deliver. FOCUS finds out how the company manages to accomplish this.
Established in 1985, Transpec has over the last 25 years taken on almost every body-building assignment imaginable. And with this wealth of knowledge and experience behind it, the company today prides itself on the fact that it is able to offer products that meet – and exceed – the varied needs of transport operators.
A DIVERSE COMPANY
According to Rowan Alford, financial director of Transpec, the company’s diverse nature is central to this ability. The company is not only an experienced trailer manufacturer that produces a wide range of trailers, but also specialises in the manufacturing of rigid bodies such as panel vans, dropsides, flatdecks, and taughtliners.
“Transpec is a multi-divisional company, thus it is able to provide transport operators a single port of call where virtually all of their needs are attended to,” states Alford, “For example, we can modify the wheelbase of a customer’s rigid vehicle, customise the paintwork, supply a hydraulic installation, build the rigid body and add a trailer to complete the combination.
“The company’s staff is also multi-skilled and very experienced, and this enables us to tackle a wide variety of projects on behalf of our customers.”
In order to provide this holistic service, Transpec is split into six divisions that each specialises in a particular type of commercial vehicle product. The company consists of trailer, body, tipper, tanker and chassis divisions, as well as a specialised customisation workshop.
The trailer division offers a large array of designs and produces trailers, such as lowbeds, personnel carriers, timber rigs, sugar cane spillers and flatdecks. The body division that produces all types of rigid bodies, while the tipper division mainly produce three to
19-m3 tippers. The tanker division specialises in products such as water tankers, sewer jetting units and vacuum tankers.
Finally, the chassis division takes care of all wheelbase modifications and tag axle fitments, while a specialised workshop focuses on the vehicle customisations such as hydraulic installations, abnormal load conversions and the fitment of other ancillary equipment, such as long-range fuel tanks and bull bars.
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
It has to be said, however, that while Transpec’s wide range of products and services are undoubtedly impressive, it is the way in which it is willing to tailor its products to the specific needs of an operator that truly sets it apart in the minds of customers.
“When we design a trailer, we do so in conjunction with the customer. We often start off by visiting a customer’s site in order to find out how we can apply our engineers’ expertise in order to maximise the durability and payload of the vehicle for a customer within his or her specific environment,” asserts Alford. “Moreover, listening to the customers’ needs, understanding what they want and involving them in the process are incredibly important. Good, clear communication with the client ensures that we get it right the first time.
“Transpec’s engineering team is there to provide solutions for the customer. By working together and assessing the customer’s needs correctly, we provide a pleasant, professional experience.”
According to Alford, it is also important for customers to be kept informed about production progress and, where possible, actively included in the production process.
“We encourage our customers to visit our facilities and check on the progress being made. They are free to come in at any time and have a look at how their trailers are being constructed. By involving them in the process, we guarantee that they will be satisfied with the end product.”
Of course, allowing customers this amount of access to the production process implies a tremendous amount of confidence in one’s own ability to deliver products on time and to customer’s required specifications.
“We realise that transporters have to operate under tremendous pressure, which is why we go out of our way to ensure that we deliver on time, and that we provide exactly what the client asked for,” states Alford. “Meeting deadlines with regard to product delivery and ensuring that quality is maintained is paramount in this industry.”
In order to ensure that the company can deliver a high-quality product within a relatively short space of time, Transpec is continually building up its design catalogue. According to Alford, this ensures that the company possesses a large selection of standard designs that can be utilised as a starting base for customers looking for a specific type of trailer. In many cases, the company already has a basic trailer design in place that requires minimal customisation in order to comply with customers’ specifications. This expansion of the catalogue allows Transpec to cut down on design times, and also allows it to keep up to date with new technologies and products in the market.
“Transpec has been in existence for 26 years and we are incredibly proud of the organisation that we have created, but we also feel that it’s important not to become complacent. We have to build on this success by ensuring that all of our customers are entirely satisfied with the products and services that we offer,” says Alford. “We like to think that our focus on customer satisfaction has allowed us to build long-lasting relationships with customers that have truly been mutually beneficial.”
Considering that Transpec has been nominated by the transport industry for a Focus on Excellence Award, it does indeed seem as if operators have noticed that the company goes out of its way to meet the needs of its customers.
“It is fantastic when your team’s efforts are recognised, especially when that recognition comes directly from the customers. It is a great motivator to know that you are moving in the right direction and that the industry respects what you do,” concludes Alford.