JCB Breaks Ground for New North American Customer Support Center
Executives of JCB and local officials broke ground in Savannah, Ga., last week for the JCB Customer Support Center, a 200,000-square-foot service and support center for the company’s North American operations. The ground breaking is a symbol of JCB’s increased focus on customer support, which is also demonstrated by the appointment of the new vice president of customer support, Mike Werner.
Werner has more than 30 years of experience in the construction equipment industry. He began his career with a 12-year stint at International Harvester; five of which were spent with a dealer in the Chicago area and seven years as the global technical training instructor and product support manager.
In 1986 Werner left IH to join JCB as the North American service manager. In this role he was responsible for quality control as well as field and technical service operations for the company. Werner then moved to Volvo where he served as a regional vice president. He has returned to JCB to spearhead the construction of the new center and head customer support operations in North America.
“Returning to JCB was like coming home and reuniting with family,” said Werner. “I saw the return as a tremendous opportunity to be a part of something very significant at JCB. The company is positioned for growth in this market and the new center marks an important step in that growth process.”
The JCB Customer Support Center will resemble a smaller version of the headquarters for JCB, with its familiar green façade. The headquarters building serves as the North American operations headquarters.
Since JCB is widely credited with building the world’s first backhoe, six dignitaries including John Patterson, CEO of JCB World Wide and Graeme Macdonald, president, JCB Inc. broke ground simultaneously by operating backhoe loaders rather than the traditional shovels. The six backhoes used were manufactured at the Savannah facility.
“This is a very significant day for JCB and its North American Operations,” said Patterson. “The JCB Customer Support Center will serve as a global distribution center for North America, South America and the Pacific Rim. But, at the same time, it will stand as visible proof of our commitment to customer support, particularly for our North American customers.”
While the World Parts Center at JCB’s world headquarters in the United Kingdom is the main distribution center for JCB parts, the JCB Customer Support Center will serve as the distribution point for parts sourced in America.
“Completion of the JCB Customer Support Center will enable us to improve the level of service we offer to our North American dealer network and also position us for significant market growth when the economic climate improves,” Macdonald said. “Locating the support center here in America makes both logistical and economic sense.”
Construction of the JCB Customer Support Center should be complete by the fourth quarter of next year. When the new building opens, it will free up about 80,000 square feet of space in the manufacturing facility that will be used to increase the plant’s manufacturing capacity.