Situated on the service road east of the M1, the new Gold Coast Isuzu facility has arguably the best exposure of any truck dealership on the Gold Coast. Some 140,000 vehicles pass by each and every day and the resplendent lighting and signage is certainly a sight to behold, particularly at night. Crucially, access from the motorway either north or southbound couldn’t be easier, taking little more than a couple of minutes.
Once inside the premises an undercover service reception breezeway enables the customer to disembark from their vehicle and comfortably walk to the service counter regardless of weather conditions. That’s the beauty of this site in stark contrast to the cramped confines of the previous premises. Everything has been designed to heighten the customer experience when visiting the dealership.
Undoubtedly, the piece-de-resistance is the cleverly configured double-sided consoles which supply the technicians with every fluid needed for servicing a truck along with waste oil and coolant disposal, hand washing facilities and filtered water for drinking. The system has been designed to ensure everything is at the tech’s fingertips to maximise efficiency of the service operation.
The system was devised by Service Manager, Greg Robbins, who is rightfully proud of his new ‘baby’. Greg has been with Frizelle’s since ’93, six months after the company took on the Isuzu franchise. Before that he worked for Poyser Trucks, the Isuzu dealership in Bendigo, Victoria.
As Greg shows me around the workshop he proceeds to explain the considerable thought and planning that went into the workshop prior to its construction.
“Quite some time ago Isuzu recognised the need to keenly focus on customer service and satisfaction due to the advancements in technology that were making the products of all the manufacturers more similar,” Greg relates. “This was the reason why the company came out with Isuzu Care principles and practices.”
A good example of enhanced efficiency can be seen in the spare parts warehouse which serves the retail outlet on one side and the workshop on the other.
“The workshop control office has access to the back end of spare parts so all the repair orders (RO) are raised the night before and parts are pre-picked so the technicians can hit the ground running in the morning,” says Greg.
The spare parts department is headed by Steve Picton who is delighted with the newfound space to showcase the parts and accessories he sells, describing the old facility as a postage stamp by comparison.
“It’s really what we needed because we couldn’t do any more down at Nerang, we were stymied because we really wanted to do more but didn’t have the room,” says Steve. “That’s all changed now, big time. It’s all go. We’ve doubled our staff numbers from four to eight and will be putting on another two in the next few months.”
Moving back to workshop layout, when it came to the design of the consoles, Greg says the company drew on its lengthy experience as a multi-brand car dealer.
“We analysed the workshops that our car network has as well as what the heavy truck network does and we came up with the concept of these consoles with one for every four bays,” says Greg. “These incorporate a computer terminal, two-way radio to contact spare parts and myself, hand washing and drying facilities, filtered water and the hose reels supplying each type of lubricant.
“We use relatively small volume oil drainers which incorporate a pump so they can be quickly emptied. Because each technician is working in one bay we can have smaller oil drainers emptied more often and still be efficient. We believe this concept is fairly unique for a truck workshop.
“We came up with the concept of the consoles and HDR Workshop Solutions from Toowoomba designed, built and installed them and also did the entire workshop fit-out. Their workmanship was brilliant and they were very proactive in making sure the job was done right. Our company has used them for other workshop fit-outs so they came highly recommended.”
While there is the full length service pit, there are also 12 electric truck lifters which Greg says are sometimes more useful than the pit.
“I’m a real fan of these lifters because a lot of the newer trucks have more serviceable components within close proximity of the wheels which can be harder to access from the pit,” he says.
As for workshop staff, Greg says initially 12 techs and 6 apprentices will be employed on a day shift from 7am to 5pm, while further down the track as workload needs dictate an afternoon shift could be added.
While it’s early days and the team is still growing into its new home, there are clear signs that this is just the start of a long and successful chapter in the life of Gold Coast Isuzu. The combination of a prime location, lots of room to grow and a skilled and dedicated staff will enable Frizelle’s and PWG to keep raising the bar in synch with the brand it supports.