SA Team Wins International UD Trucks Gemba Challenge

11 December 2014 | Print

A team from South Africa has won the first international UD Trucks Gemba Challenge Aftermarket competition in Japan.  BB Truck and Tractor Polokwane took top honours out of 185 competing teams worldwide to become the 2014 UD Trucks Gemba Challenge champions. 

This is the first year that the challenge was conducted on an international scale, as previously it only took place in Japan.

The Gemba Challenge is specifically aimed at aftermarket employees of UD Trucks and teams consist of two technicians, one parts expert and one service expert. Gemba is a Japanese term meaning to focus on where the real work is taking place. It is all about satisfying customers’ needs through speedy response and feedback, yet still maintaining high standards.

Another team from SA, McCarthy Commercial Vehicles Alrode, also participated in the finals in Tokyo, and were true ambassadors of their dealership and UD Trucks Southern Africa, finishing eight in the world.  Second and third position went to teams from Japan.

The final round tested various skills and disciplines through practical and theoretical evaluations of the nine finalist teams. 

“The aim of the competition is to showcase the high skills levels available in the UD Trucks markets, and in the process established a measurable standard of service and skill across the world,” said Gert Ebersohn, general manager for aftermarket at UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “The Gemba Challenge also aims to ultimately deliver direct benefits to dealers in the form of improved knowledge and skills of their employees, which will subsequently lead to an enhanced service experience for our customers.

“We are extremely proud of our South African dealers’ performance in this global completion.”

In South Africa alone, 33 teams participated in the first round of the completion, who had to navigate through a stringent series of tests that relied on teamwork, co-operation and knowledge of UD Trucks products. 

“UD Trucks South Africa is very pleased with the work all the South African teams have done, but especially the two finalists,” said Rory Schulz, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “BB Truck and Tractor Polokwane is also currently the UD Trucks Dealer of the Year, further evidence of the dealership’s calibre and quality.”

According to Torbjörn Christensson, this win truly demonstrates the strength and skills of UD in South Africa.  “The team from BB Truck and Tractor did a fantastic job and worked together wonderfully as a team.”

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