Like any organization experiencing rapid growth and change, there will be growing pains. Proton is experiencing this first hand, not just with supply issues of the very high in demand Proton X50, but also shortage in spare parts supply for its service centres.
To Proton’s credit, the company has taken a very brave move to publically acknowledge the shortcomings in its after-sales services.
At today’s announcement of Proton’s February 2021 sales performance, Proton said it recorded its highest ever market share since September 2013, at 27.1 percent.
However, the company also admitted that much needs to be done to improve its after-sales services.
Proton Edar’s CEO Roslan Abdullah said, “Proton admits that some aspects of our business have not been able to keep up with our recent successes. While we have dramatically moved forwards in product quality, brand image and the technology offered in our cars, our after-sales service has not made the same leap. This situation was exacerbated in 2020 by firstly Covid-19 and then our decision to invest in a completely new back-end ordering and delivery system.
“As a result, we have experienced integration issues and customers requiring accident repairs as well as regular servicing have faced delays. We are working on these issues around the clock to overcome them in the shortest time possible but for now I urge all Proton owners facing delays to please contact our customer care hotline at 1-800-88-8398,” added Roslan Abdullah.
This confirmed WapCar.my’s earlier report that the shortage of spare parts is due to technical issues related to a recent upgrade of its IT system.
Many service centres are reporting intermittent shortages of basic spare parts like engine oil, oil filter, air filter, and spark plugs. Warranty claims and accident repair related jobs are also taking longer than usual.
Last year, Proton’s IT team did a system migration and after that, many things went wrong. With the crucial IT backbone linking Proton’s Parts Centre and its service centres nationwide down, Parts centre staff and dealers who are struggling to stay on top of things are forced to do parts ordering and invoicing manually.
As you can imagine, parts orders often get lost this way and when parts are delivered out, it’s very difficult to track their delivery status.
However the upgrade was necessary because Proton’s parts inventory management system software dates back to 2003 and the software vendor no longer provides support for it.
Proton 10-year strategy required the company to completely overhaul several operational areas in order to succeed.
For example, of immediate importance was to improve product quality and today, Proton quality scores have improved to the point of almost matching those of its partner, Geely. The distribution network was also drastically changed and today, the company has the most 3S/4S facilities in the industry and has moved its focus to a wholesale rather than consumer driven business.