Following Isuzu’s record breaking 2008 and 30 years as number one in the Australian truck market along with the retirement of local supremo Phil Taylor it is time for new boss Andrew Harbison to take the baton and keep Isuzu ahead of the pack.
Harbison’s role as Isuzu’s director and COO has seen him propose his vision for continuing market supremacy as his first task.
Having served a 13 year apprenticeship beside Phil Taylor, Harbison has been central to IAL’s operational transition plan for some time, and officially took the reins as the Australian leader at Isuzu on 1st March.
He has sketched-out some of the challenges for participants and specifically OEMs and the solutions outlined to overcome them referring particularly to the pace of change in business and facing the transport industry.
“Covering-off from an internal, human resources perspective, it’s a pleasure to say that IAL is extremely well-placed to continue delivering industry-best road transport solutions to Australian businesses,” said Harbison.
“This is what we do, and we’ll continue to do so to a very high standard,” he said.
“We also have some of the best and most experienced people working with us at IAL, and on that note, I’m delighted to announce that our current Company Secretary and Business Planning Manager, Mr Paul Evans, will be elevated to the role of Director and Chief of Corporate Services.
“Over the last two decades, Paul has played a key role in helping shape and deliver the country’s most professional truck dealer network. This has been critical to our long-term success and Paul’s rise within our organisation is definitely well-earned.”
From the 1stMarch the Isuzu Australia Limited’s new board of directors will comprise managing director Ms Hiroko Yaguchi, director and COO Andrew Harbison, director of administration and CFO Hiroaki Kudo, Directorand chief of corporate services Paul Evans, director and Isuzu Motors Ltd. representative Yasuyuki Niijima.
Focussing on the broader industry, Harbison noted that a key Isuzu Trucks’ strength, its close customer relationships, would be even more critical in the face of the rapid pace of change.
“We’ve built our success on the quality of our customer relationships,” Harbison said.
“Isuzu is known for providing the best mix of product, most appropriate to the needs of Australia road transport operators, and then comprehensively supporting that product and our customers.
“IAL will continue to deliver on the fundamentals of what made us so strong, and with our partners, Australia’s largest and most professional truck dealer network, we’ll continue meeting the changing needs of our customers.
“At the heart, the role of transport will remain critical to all aspects of our daily lives and Isuzu is there to deliver,” he said.
Isuzu Trucks has a strong track record of responding to and indeed, leading industry change.
“With the changes that we know are coming, we’re making sure that we continue to provide the number one truck and engine product, and the comprehensive ‘whole of life’ support as trusted partners to our customers.”
With an ethos built around established competencies, coupled with bold plans for the future, Mr Harbison identified key areas of development for future Isuzu Trucks success.
“The next 30 years will present a starkly different operating environment to the last 30 years. As we embrace and respond to the rapid pace of business and technological change, we will leverage our experience and knowledge to develop the transport solutions for the future.
“There’s certainly no surprises with some of our objectives over the coming years as we work to continue to grow and execute our market leadership strategies, namely, to sell more trucks, more parts, and more industrial engines.
“These are of course some staple business strategies that we will continue to implement well and with renewed hunger.
“As for the increasing impact of new technologies, Isuzu is well positioned here also,” Mr Harbison said.
“A critical factor in the technology approach is data. The more informed we are, the better we can respond to develop the programs and services our customers need. Data drives business. It underpins everything.
“As the long-term market leader with a deep understanding of our customers’ businesses, we are in a privileged position to be able to develop high-value insights and act on these to benefit Isuzu Truck owners and operators,” he said.
A supporting strategy in helping to implement some of the organisation’s plans is the brand’s approach to its customer relationship management or CRM, a key deliverable according to Harbison.
“I have personally been working on our CRM strategy for many years now and firmly believe we do it better than any of our competitors.
“We must continue to question and test our understanding of what our customers and the industry needs and keep challenging ourselves to better our offer. This has got us to 30 years of market leadership and will bolster our performance into the future.”
Harbison indicated that the brand in Australia had never been in a stronger position and maintaining momentum at this critical juncture was a priority.
“Thirty years of market leadership is a gigantic achievement, and one that we’ve recognised and celebrated. Now it’s time to turn our gaze forward. What matters is what comes next,” Mr Harbison said.
“It is of greater importance now to continue to challenge the status quo and to test those proven fundamentals against what we know is coming.
“To achieve continued success, we need to keep challenging ourselves.”