The customer is always right: Roadtec at World of Asphalt 2013

Roadtex SX-4e stabilizer at World of Asphalt 2013Roadtex SX-4e stabilizer at World of Asphalt 2013

Interesting to see the bite customer feedback is having on the OEMs.

It has of course been a factor for some time, but it was interesting to hear Roadtec’s press conference here in San Antonio at World of Asphalt. The Chattanooga company has made some significant moves in its new and upgraded equipment.

The company has introduced “Guardian,” 24/7 telematics with access to real-time reporting on hundreds of parts as they work. Or don’t work. Many of the problems the system identifies can be fixed over the Internet, others with instant emails to fleet managers or the actual equipment operator. The system can spot developing problems and head them off, and can even made predictions about when a job will be finished, allowing managers to schedule the machine’s next job.

Roadtec also offers an “Edge” warranty, three years bumper-to-bumper and it covers parts and labor. And it doesn’t matter who does the labor.

Even the venerable Shuttle Buggy, the industry’s  iconic material transfer vehicle, has been upgraded after customer discussions.

There seems to be some economic theory at work in our industry that says that when equipment manufacturers reach an advanced stage of technological development, which is broadly shared but mired in this slow economy, one major difference in sales success is how well they react to customer wants, needs and just plain old druthers.