25 May 2011

Dealer Planet, Chile

Last September, before Round One of VISTA 2011 had even commenced, Chile’s VISTA leader Harry Opitz was determined to see a Chilean team reach the world final. “Expectations are very high,” he said at the time. “We have trained our people so they can perform at a very high level. Our technicians have a lot of motivation and conviction that they can win.”

Nine months later, that goal has been reached with Dealer Planet becoming only the second Chileans team ever to reach the world final. The team consists of Rodrigo Duque, Service manager; Marcos Cisternas, Parts sales; Wildo Guerra, technician; and Jorge Molina, technical consultant. They come from the Chilean capital Santiago and qualified after finishing first in the Latin America semi final in Curitiba, Brazil last month.

“We’re a strong team because it is a balanced team. Each member specialises in an area that is part of our everyday work in aftersales,” says team leader Rodrigo Duque. “Our team is made up for a technical consultant, spare parts executive, a technician and a service manager.”

Few markets have taken VISTA 2011 as seriously as Chile, who have invested a lot of time and resources into making their teams as successful as possible. Saul Hernandez was a member of the first Chilean team to reach the world final in 1999, and now acts as a technical leader and trainer for VISTA. “Dealer planet is a multidisciplinary team, composed of professional people with sense of responsibility, commitment and quality, as well as a huge love for the company.”

Throughout the competition Saul has put each team through strict preparations, which Dealer Planet will continue between now and going to Gothenburg. This will include the usual preparations such as learning more about European products, new technologies, and improving weaknesses that were identified in previous rounds. How unlike most other teams, Dealer Planet’s training also includes a host of non-technical areas. They will be educated on how to handle stress, a psychologist will assist them with relaxation techniques and working under pressure, and they will get lessons to improve their English skills. In addition they can also rely on an extensive team of support from aftersales, human resources, communications and competence development. “We can be world champions, and we are preparing for that,” says Harry Opitz.

Such widespread support and extensive training just shows how important VISTA is for Chile, and for Harry, the ramifications of having a team make it to the world final are huge. “The success achieved so far, strongly marks the professionalism and commitment of our organisation,” he says. “This event will leave a positive mark on our organisation and will give us the strength needed to continue to grow and be number one in customer satisfaction.”

But no one is more satisfied than the members of Dealer Planet themselves, and who can now take their place amongst the best technicians and workshop personnel in Volvo Trucks’ global network. As Jorge Molina say, “It’s a personal triumph but also a triumph for the company because it validates us a group within the Volvo global network.”