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New Volvo Immingham Customer Support Centre opens

The expanded Volvo Construction Equipment facility in Immingham has been officially opened by Chris Rees, the President of Volvo CE in Europe and Anders Barreng, the VP of Sales in Europe. Volvo customers in the Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire area can now benefit from having a much-improved Customer Support Centre situated on the same site as the company’s established New Machine Preparation Centre.

The smart new Customer Support Centre at Immingham now sets the standard for the planned upgrading of other Volvo CE support facilities in Great Britain. It represents a vast improvement over the previous facility in Barnsley which it has replaced.

Having decided that its Barnsley base was no longer appropriate for the future business, Volvo looked at alternatives and decided that expanding Immingham to become a fully-fledged Customer Support Centre was the best option from both practical and cost perspectives. Ten office-based positions have transferred to the new facility in order to maintain operational continuity and, most importantly, local back up continues unchanged through the established network of field-based service engineers.

Volvo’s National Service Manager Glynn Redshaw says, “The telephone has moved but field support is unaltered because our strategically placed mobile service engineers continue to travel to jobs from their homes within the area.” It is indicative of the importance placed by Volvo on providing good technical expertise that the headcount at Immingham includes twelve mobile engineers.

Amongst the personnel based at the Immingham depot are two Service Co-ordinators whose duties include monitoring CareTrack equipped machines in their area. The CareTrack telematics system, now included as standard on all larger Volvo excavators and wheel loaders as well as articulated haulers and graders, provides invaluable management information, security features, remote troubleshooting, alarms and warnings. The Service Coordinators find the system invaluable in ensuring that scheduled services are always carried out on time.

The man in charge at Immingham is Kevin Stones who has moved from Barnsley to continue as Customer Support Centre Manager – a role he has held since 2006. Kevin first joined Volvo’s Barnsley depot in 1987 as a workshop engineer. After promotion to workshop supervisor he was selected to establish and run the new Immingham facility on a green field site only five miles from the docks where the majority of Volvo machines now enter Great Britain.

The enhanced dual-purpose facility at Immingham covers a six-acre site with a nine bay workshop and two internal wash bays – one for new machines and the other for ‘dirty’ units coming in for repair. The three bay repair workshop is equipped with a 6.0 tonne capacity overhead crane to handle components such as engines and transmissions during machine overhauls.

There is also a parts store with some 1000 line items. This provides fast-moving parts to local customers as well as the items such as tool kits and beacons needed to complete the inventory on all the new machines being prepared on the site.

To equip the building for its enhanced role as the local Customer Support Centre, Kevin Stones supervised the erection of a front extension that provides extra office space, a proper reception area and a trade parts counter. In carrying out this work, he and Glynn Redshaw paid particular attention to creating a pleasant working environment for the staff and a welcoming atmosphere for visitors.

Within the extended office complex is a fully equipped conference room that can comfortably seat up to 20 people. Customers wanting to hold their own management meetings in the area have already booked this useful facility. It has also been used most effectively as the venue for a business meeting staged by the Yorkshire branch of the Contractors Mechanical Plant Engineers (CMPE). The office complex has a Compass Training Room where Volvo staff can carry out self-learning as part of the company’s online training scheme. This is particularly useful for engineers who need to keep abreast of the latest machine developments.

Immingham is the central holding area for buckets and attachments for Volvo Construction Equipment in the UK. All attachments are fully tested and the engineers at Immingham are well versed in carrying out all the thorough examinations required under current legislation. The company is particularly proud of its ability to conduct testing and inspection in accordance with the demands of both LOLER (the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) but also PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment). This work can be done either at the depot or on site - a big benefit to many customers.

The expanded Immingham facility has been fully operational since the end of last year. Staffed by a total of 43 people (including the field-based engineers) it has all the resources needed to fulfil its twin roles as the local customer support centre and the national new machine preparation centre. Glynn Redshaw says, “We have made a big investment in this site and that clearly sends out the strong message we are here to stay and that we continue to provide full product support.”