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Volvo CE’s Building Tomorrow concept to help customers with future of construction

Established for over a century, no other company understands the concept of innovation quite like Volvo Construction Equipment. Along with its regional distributor FAMCO, the company plans to integrate its new breakthrough concept into the market and help its customers with the future of construction

One of the oldest construction machinery companies in the world, Volvo Construction Equipment has evolved into one of the most inventive equipment manufaturers and suppliers since its humble beginnings in a machine shop in Eskilstuna, Sweden, in 1832.

Founded by then 27 year old Johan Theofron Munktell, who is also known to be the inventor of many types of early construction machinery, the concept of innovation embedded in Volvo’s bloodstream.

The company is now one of the most widely used construction equipment firms in most parts of the world. Last year, Volvo CE set its sights on the future with the introduction of its Building Tomorrow campaign.

Widely talked about in almost every press conference since, Volvo CE’s new campaign is an open-ended commitment to aid developments taking place in construction markets worldwide.

In a press conference in 2015, Volvo CE president Martin Weissburg highlighted how customer requirements are changing: Intelligent systems now offer increased machine productivity and functionality, along with improved asset and site management.

He talked about how innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) have enabled the company to create smart, connected machines that capture and deliver information to customers. Therefore, Volvo CE plans to coordinate and expand its approach to the integration of intelligent systems.

Four key areas emerged as top priority and Volvo CE swore to carry them out with perfection: fuel efficiency, machine uptime, productivity and safety.

This ambitious plan then trickled down to several regional markets worldwide including the Middle East. In the UAE, its regional distributor Al-Futtaim Auto and Machinery Co. LLC (FAMCO), embraced the concept with open arms and organised a three-day event for local and regional customers to share the good news. (Click here to read about FAMCO and Volvo CE’s Building Tomorrow event)

Understanding Building Tomorrow

“Volvo CE is trying to build machines that will ‘build tomorrow’, by using the valuable input of its customers and end-users,” says Ahmad Halwani, regional general manager – construction and agricultural equipment at FAMCO.

“Basically, Building Tomorrow is a partnership. It’s a gesture to show our customers, we are here to support you.”

The concept is simple, yet impactful. Construction machineries, vital to any construction project, need to be up-to-date with the times. Halwani says that all Volvo CE is trying to do is showcase its adaptable machinery and help with building a better tomorrow.

Impressed with the three-day event in Ras Al Khamaih, Halwani says such customer events aren’t uncommon.

“Early last year, FAMCO organised three customer events (not entirely dedicated to Volvo CE), it was the launch of three main branches across three main cities. The turn up for those events was astounding, almost 1,500 attendees.”

Building Tomorrow sort of takes the customer-comes-first policy to the next level, and customers could not have taken it in any better. Halwani reveals: “When we introduce new machines, especially in collaboration with Volvo CE, we usually get a very positive response.”

As a result, FAMCO never sells just a machine, but the “whole package”. Halwani explains that if there is an interested buyer, the discussion usually includes details such as aftermarket, availability, warrantee, packaging, service contract, and financial options.

“We see that most customers have a tendency to lean towards those companies that provide support not just a product. And if the machinery is performing well and under an acceptable cost, it is definitely a win-win situation.”

The team aims to support customers while giving them technical peace of mind and guaranteed productivity, according to the regional GM.

Even though Volvo CE may not have the lowest price tag, it isn’t the most expensive either. With an aim to promote cost-efficiency, the company has noticed customers coming back for the level of value it provides through products and added services.

“Customers want to see full involvement from the distributor, they not only want to purchase a machine but the whole support system.”

New age, new customers

The year started on a flat note with falling oil prices, tightened government budgets and no project releases. Halwani says that despite the pressure, FAMCO looks forward to potentially launching some plans this year.

As things shift around in the market futuristic construction sits right on the horizon, and customers find themselves looking for increasingly more innovative products.

Halwani observes: “Competiveness in the market can be felt all the way from the top, from project owner, to the main contractor, and sub-contractor to equipment supplier. Everyone can feel the pressure.”

The market has been tough, with limited budgets and high expectations. Customers, too, have never been as informed as they are now, and have never been as careful with their investments.

As deep pockets run shallow, Halwani assures that at FAMCO, they are not traders but advisors to the customer. “We take into account the customers’ projects, and try to make the correct selection of the machine, or group of machines for the specific projects. Our advice is very crucial for the customers because if they select the right machine, they will be able to execute the job appropriately and on time.”