Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America officially rolled out their Internet-based Mack/Volvo Automated Service Initiation System (MVASIST) at this week’s annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council in Tampa. The system is designed to streamline the service write-up process between the dealer, the fleet customer and the respective OEM.

The two sister companies will make MVASIST mandatory technology for their national network of 390 jointly branded full-line dealers by the end of 2010. To date, Volvo said more than 240 dealers are currently enrolled in the MVASIST system.

With MVASIST, the OEMs noted, all communications, estimates and related documents are linked to the service event and the vehicle involved. Customers and service providers can see the entire online communications record for each service event – known as “in-context communications” – ensuring busy managers avoid the downtime caused by voice mail and “telephone tag.”

Original work on MVASIST began back in 2003, with Mack and Volvo working in partnership with system designer Decisiv to incorporate all of these needs into a single system that fleets, dealers, and OEMs could all access through the Internet. Pilot tests of MVASIST with select fleets and dealers starting in 2005.

MVASIST works by making detailed information about each truck and fleet available to Mack and Volvo service providers the moment a truck enrolled in the system comes into a dealership. This includes vehicle identification number (VIN), specific information regarding each truck, the customer’s authorization and approval process, contact information, fleet-specific inspection checklists, preferred parts pricing and more.

The dealer service personnel use that information to generate a consistent and accurate estimate, producing a parts list based on the specific vehicle’s build record, along with a list of related operations, such as including the cost of engine coolant in a cooling system repair estimate, the OEMs noted. The estimate is then reviewed and approved online by the authorized fleet manager.

All communications regarding a specific estimate and service event are stored in the online folder to improve accuracy of service, ensuring customers and service providers are working from the same “page.” Service-related files, such as photographs and diagrams, can also be attached to the communications string, said the truck makers.