Reliability Driven MCI sets course for business excellence

Unveils Coach Critical Parts program and still going green

Over the last year Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumberg, IL, introduced a company-wide business excellence program focused on continuous improvement. It included teams of executives, engineers and plant employees tasked with taking a fresh look at all stages of MCI’s production, sales and service cycles to determine ways to fast forward quality and innovation and better customer response.

MCI — Reliability Driven™
Earlier this year the company set the groundwork with a new campaign called Reliability Driven to anchor the new programs and initiatives that continue to focus on building reliable coaches and delivering dependable support service. The company says the new logo and tagline help sharpen its vision and message for 2012.

“Our new campaign communicates what customers and the industry can expect from MCI today and in the future,” says Patricia Ziska, MCI vice president of sales and marketing. “We base it on the principle of continuous improvement, in which teams establish processes to boost product quality and spur innovation.”

MCI points to the most recent improvements to its flagship J4500 motorcoach. The company recently celebrated its 6,000th motorcoach to come off the Model E-J manufacturing line, a specially-built J4500 that went to the Shriners of British Columbia and Yukon to serve its Care Cruiser fleet.

Coach Critical Parts
MCI says it has invested more than $7 million in parts inventory, including $4 million in approximately 1,500 critical parts such as windows and brake components, to ensure operators have the parts they need at the time they need them for nearly all coach makes and models. “It is paying off,” says Stan Dzierzega of MCI Service Parts. “Fulfillment rates are at an all-time high.”

Dzierzega and Scott Robertson unveiled Coach Critical Parts in February at UMA Expo in Long Beach claiming it to be like no other in the industry. The Coach Critical Parts Program guarantees that critical parts will be in-stock and shipped the same day if ordered before 4 p.m. Eastern time to help keep coaches on the road and producing revenue.

MCI says it is making the promise to have one of the 10,000 critical items listed in stock and ready for delivery, or operators will receive 50 percent off the cost of the part up to $150, credited to their account.

All 22,000 unique OEM and proprietary MCI parts are housed in the company’s 365,000-square-foot distribution facility in Louisville, KY, the same location where the MCI  team of parts customer service and technical support representatives take customer calls. Operators can also order parts online at any of the MCI Service Centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Nearing the 80th anniversary of the company – Harry Zoltok founded a company in his Winnipeg auto repair shop that would eventually become Motor Coach Industries – MCI stands as North America’s leading motor coach manufacturer of what many consider to be the most reliable coaches on the road.

Left to right) Brian Gillis, vice president at Ambassatours Gray Line, Chato Patterson, OEM account manager, Allison Transmission and Pat Ziska, MCI vice president, sales and marketing join the Children’s Clean Air Network founder Ron Zima in support of cutting emissions and saving fuel.

MCI continues to go green
Staying true to its green commitment, MCI is also supporting Idle-Free for Our Children, an anti-idling organization associated with the Children’s Clean Air Network. The grassroots group promotes the cost savings and clean air benefits of idling limits. In February during UMA Expo the company and co-sponsor Allison Transmission honored Ambassatours Gray Line of Halifax, NS, Canada, for its emission-cutting policies in cooperation with Idle-Free and the Children’s Clean Air Network.

Since joining the network two years ago Ambassatours has experienced substantial fuel savings and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by an amount equivalent to the weight of six motor coaches, says Brian Gillis, Ambassatours vice president of charters.

“While drivers sometimes do have to idle coaches, Ambassatours encourages each driver to limit the practice to an average of five minutes a day and uses GPS systems for tracking data,” he says. “It adds up in a company that runs a fleet of 72 coaches.”

MCI recognizes organizational leadership in going green as presenting sponsor of the UMA Green Highway Award
Coach USA reinvented intercity travel with the launch of in 2006. The carrier recently earned the 2012 United Motorcoach Association Green Highway Award for its environmental stewardship and green achievements. Established in 2008 and presented during UMA Expo, this award recognizes companies that demonstrate organizational leadership in reducing carbon emissions.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), sponsor of the Green Highway Award, made the presentation in February during the Vision Award ceremonies at UMA Expo 2012.

John Oakman, senior vice president fleet, maintenance & procurement CoachUSA accepts the UMA Green Highway Award sponsored by MCI from Patricia Ziska, MCI vice president of sales and marketing.

“We congratulate Coach USA on its accomplishments,” said Patricia Ziska, MCI vice president of sales and marketing. “The efforts of Coach USA and benefit the entire industry and the visibility of motor coach travel as the greenest way to go.”

Coach USA continues to update its fleet with newer coaches featuring the latest clean-diesel engine technology and emitting near zero emissions. The company is also testing new technologies that offer 4 to 6 percent reductions in fuel usage, and it equips its fleet of 1,642 coaches and buses with GPS systems that trigger alerts through the company’s command center when idle-times are exceeded.

Coach USA’s organization-wide environmental efforts include upgrading its facilities with energy-saving lighting fixtures and adding LED lights at its parking lots, moves that are furthering its already impressive 20 percent reduction in energy usage.

Coach USA explains on its website and in communications how motorcoaches when filled to capacity are on average seven times more energy efficient than single-occupancy automobiles, releasing the least carbon dioxide per passenger mile when compared to any other mode of transportation. At its subsidiary, ridership has steadily increased at a rate of 38 percent year over year.

“We’re committed to furthering our environmental practices and educating the public on motor coach travel as a green and affordable alternative to automobiles and airplane travel,” says Dale Moser, president of Coach USA. “We’re honored to receive this year’s Green Highway Award.”  BR