February 12, 2013

Calling 2013 a year of growth when “preparation meets opportunity,” Ottawa Trucks told its annual gathering of North American dealers in January that new products, marketing initiatives and sales tools are in the pipeline to further strengthen the company’s position as the leading manufacturer of terminal tractors in North America and the world.

In the keynote address to 80 dealer representatives at the Jan. 15-17 meetingin Naples, Fla., David Wood, North American Director of Cargotec USA, Inc. / Ottawa Trucks, said a comprehensive strategy is in place to help dealers sell even more of the industry’s “legendary” yard tractors and continue to provide the highest level of service to customers.

“Ottawa Trucks has spent two years carefully assessing their capabilities and opportunities to re-invent itself as all companies, especially established industry leaders continually must,” Wood told dealers. “The result is a comprehensive plan for taking Ottawa to the next level of customer value in a market that’s growing, but also becoming more competitive.” Noting that “success comes when preparation meets opportunity,” Wood said Ottawa Trucks is ready to seize the moment.

Not Standing Pat
“Based on the results from our self-assessment, we’ve written ourselves a demanding to-do list for 2013,” Wood revealed. “We’re working on a number of exciting new programs and projects focused on further strengthening our market position, helping to make our sales forces more productive, freshening our product offerings and increasing the effectiveness of our customer support after the sale.”

Ottawa Trucks remains the number one selling terminal tractor brand in North America because of its products and customer support, Wood reminded dealers. But that value is enhanced when the company and its dealer partners commit to constant improvement and renewal. That’s the achievable mission in 2013, he said.

“There’s no doubt that Ottawa is the market leader,” he stated. “We offer the highest overall value to our customers through our “best-in-class” product quality, after-sale support, resale value and undoubtedly the finest and largest terminal tractor dealer network. To maintain our dominance, we are helping our dealers stay engaged and focused on selling, supporting and renting Ottawa tractors to the maximum potential of their individual markets,” he continued.

One new way the company will begin to help dealers capitalize on opportunities is with an innovative digital sales tool. Dubbed “Ottawa Advantage,” it’s an “iPad” application that gives the dealer sales force the ability to use sophisticated presentation graphics, visuals, and text to clearly and quickly show how Ottawa tractors’ many features stack up to the competition.

“You’ll be able to walk into a customer’s office, call this up on any mobile tablet or computer, and be able to point out dozens of advantages that in comparison to the competition says ‘advantage Ottawa,’ Wood explained. “All of the hot-button issues that concern prospective customers are addressed in a ‘here’s ours, here’s theirs’ format. It will be a great tool for helping new salespeople learn more quickly, customers to understand the product better, and to cut through any confusion.”

Dealers also learned about next-generation software to specify, price and order Ottawa tractors. Easier to log into and use, new Quotemaster VIP software is the product of an Ottawa dealer task force initiative that explored, recommended and tested improvements to software functionality.

Cementing an Image
In further support of dealers, Ottawa Trucks is unveiling a new national advertising program. Marketing and Dealer Operations Manager Bob McTernan explained that an expanded print and digital media campaign will emphasize Ottawa Trucks’ superior products, brand dominance, market leadership and powerful name.

“The Ottawa brand name is as established and well-known in our markets as many common, category-leading brands are in the consumer market. It’s so well-known that it’s become a generic term for a yard tractor,” he reminded dealers.

Now, with another new initiative–Ottawa On-Demand –customers drawn to the venerable name can rent Ottawa tractors through dealers on very favorable terms. McTernan framed the new program as a way to help dealers help customers meet seasonal demands without committing to long-term leases or purchases.

Meanwhile, Ottawa Trucks is continuing to improve the features of its sophisticated website – https://kalmarottawa.com. With more manuals, 4(8) specifications, service information and dealer information, all regularly updated, the website improvements recognize the continued importance of a functional, user-friendly website, McTernan said.

New Products; Motivated Dealers
The Ottawa tractor product will also be enhanced and improved. Details on significant product upgrades and branding are expected in coming months, Wood told dealers. Meantime, he noted, customer-driven product development continues with new options including: optional higher capacitydual air compressors that will improve productivity by reducing trailer charging times by up to 60%; availability of Hendrickson HN Series rear tandem suspensions for 6×4 applications; and the new optional higher cab roof called “SkyCab” which improves visibility, ergonomics and driver comfort.

With the annual meeting presenting a clear picture of where Ottawa Trucks is heading as a manufacturer, Ottawa Trucks’ dealer Mark Maechling, president of Ottawa Trucks’ Dealer Council, said dealers are in lock-step with the program.

“I think we all left the meeting very energized to go out and represent Ottawa stronger than ever,” said Maechling, also president of Cal-Lift, Inc., City of Industry, Calif. “The takeaway is that Ottawa Trucks is the leader and we’re charging forward in 2013 with a plan to use new products, marketing and support initiatives to continue to lead the market.”

The Dealer Council, he said, is committed to rallying dealers around Ottawa Trucks’ goal of continuous improvement, and crafting a code of conduct that will distinguish the Ottawa Trucks dealer network in the eyes of customers.

Continuing an annual tradition, Ottawa Trucks also recognized top-performing dealers at the meeting. 5(8) This year’s President Awards, given to dealers who excel in multiple areas of critical performance were:

  • Alley Cassetty Truck Center, Nashville, Tenn.,
    Total New Dealer Unit Sales.
  • Yard Truck Specialists, Inc., Bensalem, Pa.,
    Total New Dealer and Dealer Fleet Unit Sales and Total Parts Sales
  • Reliable Trailer Systems, Indianapolis, Ind.,
    Largest Parts Sales Growth

The company also handed out Premier Partner Awards to dealers who showed outstanding performance on a range of criteria. More were given this year than ever.
The winners were:

  • Alley-Cassetty Truck Center Nashville, Tenn.
  • Stadium International Trucks, Inc., Liverpool, N.Y.
  • Briggs Equipment, Atlanta, Ga.
  • MasonLift, Ltd., Annacis Island, Delta, BC, Canada
  • Ottawa Truck of Florida, Inc., Miami, Fla.
  • Mid-Pacific Industries, Inc., Woodland, Calif.
  • Virginia Truck Center, Roanoke, Va.
  • Cal-Lift, Inc., City of Industry, Calif.
  • TowLift, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio
  • Norlift of Oregon, Inc., Portland, Ore.
  • Yard Truck Specialists, Inc., Bensalem, Pa.
  • Utility Trailer Sales of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah