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Freightliner LLC is North America's leading manufacturer of medium to heavy-duty diesel trucks and specialized chassis. Freightliner offers the most extensive line of trucks and is one of the largest providers of parts, service and customer support functions in the industry.
Headquartered in Portland, OR, it operates 10 vehicle manufacturing plants. Over 700 dealers and TravelCenter service partners comprise its North American service network. Through the Dealer Network, independent sales and service centers access custom applications hosted at the corporate headquarters. A wholly owned subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, Freightliner produced over 151,000 vehicles in 2000 with $9.3 billion in revenue.
Freightliner envisioned itself as an application service provider, equipping the dealer network with software to diagnose mechnical problems, research parts availability, or design vehicle specs, but was consumed by the demands of support and provisioning for the dealer infrastructure. Software upgrades were distributed to dealers on CD-ROM, but with minimal control over compliance, the system stalled time sensitive processes like parts ordering for dealers that failed to stay updated. An aging infrastructure hindered deployment of next generation web-based applications. Freightliner lacked a current asset inventory and sought more control over its CATIA support environment. It was leasing servers and workstations and needed to move to a more cost efficient structure. Freightliner needed a provider to reduce dealer infrastructure costs, improve service to the dealers and provide a high performance network and IT infrastructure to support new applications in development.
System requirements. Freightliner's needs have expanded as its 6-year partnership with T-Systems has evolved. It began with the need to transition quickly to a new support structure and upgrade over 250 dealers to a new network infrastructure. Freightliner's frame relay network gave each dealer 56k access using IBM routers and an OSPF protocol. By 1999, Y2K compliance was a top priority for 240 servers at its North American dealer sites. The dealer network WAN configuration that supported data transfers between dealers and corporate headquarters was targeted for upgrade in 2000. Outdated routers and the new bandwidth needs caused instability in the network and with trouble tickets on the rise, were increasing support costs.
The T-Systems solution
T-Systems' solution reduced vendor costs, increased operatinal efficiencies and upgraded technologies. Freightliner's initial contract with T-Systems provided for managed services support for the dealer infrastructure. T-Systems built a WAN structure, with Frame Relay to dealers over an ATM back-end equipped with redundant DS3's and replaced 14 border routers with 2 new Cisco 7200 routers. One by one, 270 existing and 90 new dealer sites were added to the new network. T-Systems replaced dealers' site routers with Cisco 3600 routers, upgraded connectivity to T1 and changed the protocol to EIGRP.
The support model included an account team at headquarters to service the dealer infrastructure and CAD/CAM application, Level 2 Help Desk support for equipment and network issues and Dispatch and Help Desk service for remote sites. Freightliner's changing technology and growth drove additional projects. In 2000, T-Systems rolled out CATIA support and training for 800 engineers and 500 workstations. To prepare for Y2K, T-Systems replaced servers at 240 dealer sites and upgraded Freightliner's operating system. T-Systems also supplied comprehensive desktop services with full life-cycle asset management and conducted a physical asset inventory of 240 US and Canadian locations.
T-Systems' Gainsharing contract allows Freightliner to outsource with predictable baseline costs and a guaranteed 75% of the savings T-Systems generates. By early 2002, despite a 99% surge in seat growth, T-Systems reduced Freightliner's cost per seat by 39%. The Cisco border routers stabilized the network platform and included internal CSU/DSU technology that decreased infrastructure costs by eliminating a component. By migrating dealers to the new network individually, T-Systems minimized disruption and limited the exposure to telecommunications expense.
T-Systems deployed additional projects with equal success. The CATIA solution created fixed support costs and service levels improved with a 70% call reduction and reduced queue time. The server upgrade was performed within the Y2K driven deadlines and received a customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5. The network upgrade was completed at 15% under budget and received a high-level satisfaction rating of 3.1 of 4. The new architecture supports VoIP and over 90 dealers have contracted with T-Systems for customized services including E-Mail, Internet Access, Web Hosting, Private Networks and Infrastructure Provisioning. T-Systems performs electronic software distribution direct to dealer servers, eliminating installation inconsistencies. With control over the dealer infrastructure, quality service delivery and improved dealer relations, Freightliner can now focus on application support and software development. T-Systems' solution enabled Freightliner to focus on what it does best, manufacturing trucks and keeping their customers on the road.
- Managed Services for network, servers and workstations.
- Increased bandwidth supports new web-based applications.
- Results-based pricing and improved service levels.
- Upgrades to T1 network access and new router technology.
- Consistency across server platforms.
- Support for 500 CATIA workstations.