Responses from Stephen Roy, President, Sales Regions Americas, Volvo Construction Equipment
Looking Ahead at IFPE 2017
Are there any particular technologies you are looking forward to seeing at the show?
I am looking forward to seeing those technologies and innovations that will help our customers be more productive and efficient but my main focus will be meeting with our customers and dealer partners to ensure we are focused on what makes our customers more successful.
What will you be showcasing? Anything new?
Although any new product launches remain confidential until the opening of the show, attendees can expect to see the new EC750 Excavator and A60H articulated hauler. Similar to our recent Xploration Forum in Sweden, Volvo will also showcase its award-winning Volvo Co-Pilot system, which is designed for use on machines as diverse as excavators to pavers. Volvo Co-Pilot is used to deliver a new generation of intelligent machine services, such as Load Assist, Dig Assist, Compact Assist and Pave Assist. Volvo Co-Pilot with the assist-functionalities help operators to produce higher quality outcomes, in less time and with less effort.
What forward looking technologies do you anticipate seeing a lot of at the show?
I suspect there will be a lot of machine control and productivity technologies, jobsite productivity technologies as well as alternative fuel technologies.
Brexit, BRIC and the Global Landscape
There has been significant consolidation across the global landscape. Has this effected your business model or considerations for expansion?
The slowdown in Brazil has been a challenge for the industry as a whole but we are adjusting our business to meet the current market needs.
The introduction of new service packages, such as telematics, Load Assist, Dig Assist, Compact Assist and Pave Assist allow Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) to maintain a closer relationship with the customer throughout the ownership life cycle. These smarter machines and connectivity allow Volvo CE to participate in the day-to-day operations of our machines – allowing them to work at their optimum level while providing efficiency and maximum uptime. I see an increased focus in this in the years ahead.
The Political Climate
What impact does the 2016 election have on the industry and your business?
While there may some uncertainty caused by the election cycle, I believe in large part that if customers have a need for equipment and services they are going buy those things necessary to grow or maintain their business.
Challenges on the Horizon
What new challenges have arisen that effect the way your company designs or manufactures its products? How it does business? How it goes to market? How it differentiates itself from the competition?
We are in an exciting era for the industry. On the one hand there’s low demand and overcapacity of supply, which in turn leads to greater competition and the competitive challenges that brings with it.
The upside is the flight to quality. Customers want the best products they can receive. Couple that with exciting new technology, which allows greater flow of information, and the result is the ability to complete jobs to higher quality using less time and fuel – and more safely. Machines are now more reliable than before and with the onset of telematics and manufacturer monitoring systems, uptime has seldom been higher.
Volvo CE has a history of innovation in its corporate DNA and this puts it in a good position to benefit in important industry changes, supported by its global distribution network.
What new challenges do you see the industry as a whole facing, and how is your company looking to address/provide solutions with which to solve those challenges?
Volvo CE has set itself the ambitious Tripe Zero target of zero emissions, zero downtime, zero accidents. This is a long-term ambition but the industry as a whole should work toward this objective.
Has the rate of technological advancement (such as the rapid emergence of data products) had any impact on business decisions, development, or product performance and client expectations?
It’s fair to say that a revolution is happening in terms of connectivity and technology in all our lives. Customers are increasingly demanding manufacturers respond to that heighted demand and meet this expectation. With the technological advancements, manufacturers are able to offer a host of smart solutions that help machines be more productivity, more efficient, safer and better for the environment while helping to boost customers’ profitability. As mentioned above, Volvo CE has innovation in its corporate DNA and will continue to innovate to benefit customers.