THE CONCEPT:

MACKTRAQ for Windows (M4W) has been designed to take the idea of truck selling to the next level, because spec'ing a truck is only a small part of actually selling a truck.  In the first phase, MACKTRAQ will include a specification and configuration tool capable of arranging proposals in a simple format similar to working with paper files.  File folders created at certain times for certain customers can contain a variety of components including several quotations for various model trucks, Mission Analysis reports, Sales Assistance requests, GS-3 changes to in-house orders, GS-4 shipping changes, Option Requests, and so on.  These components are saved in a Customer Folder that has an inherent hierarchical structure that allows simple tracking of deals with particular customers.

For example, a customer folder can be created to include components for a fleet deal that encompasses quotations to different divisions of a company.  The structure could appear as follows:

CUSTOMER FOLDER:  ABC Trucking Company - August, 1998
        QT - CH Bulkhaul day cab
                SA - Sales Assistance request for 5% - rejected
                SA - Sales Assistance request for 4% - approved
                OR - Option Request for Meritor/Wabco air dryer
                G3 - Paint Change from Green to Blue
                G3 - Tire change to 275/80R22.5 Goodyear
        QT - CH Linehaul 50" Sleeper
                SA - Sales Assistance request for 4% - approved
                OR - Option Request for Meritor/Wabco air dryer
                G3 - Paint Change from Green to Red
                G3 - Tire change to 275/80R22.5 Goodyear
        QT - LE for refuse division
                SA - Sales Assistance request for 4% - approved
                OR - Option Request for Meritor/Wabco air dryer
                G3 - Paint Change from Green to Black
                G3 - Tire change to 11R24.5 Goodyear
        QT - RD for refuse division
                SA - Sales Assistance request for 4% - approved
                OR - Option Request for Meritor/Wabco air dryer
                G3 - Paint Change from Green to Black
                G3 - Tire change to 11R24.5 Goodyear

Each quotation could have customer information either the same as or different than the Customer Folder name.  This way, if a customer folder contains information for divisions of the same company, each quotation could be a component within a general file while still maintaining its own identity.

The screens in M4W are arranged in such a way that the printing, transmitting and file-management functions become much more streamlined.  Where in DOS each feature was handled separately, in Windows these are handled on one screen from within the Customer Folder.  A simple click of the mouse allows the user to print, transmit, etc. with incredible ease.

Navigation through components of the Customer Folder can be achieved in several ways, the best of which is the new "tree" appearing on the left side inside each Customer Folder.  By expanding or compressing the tree, all components within the folder can be viewed easily.  Other new features have been added to make M4W easier to use.  The "Internet Browser" interface is similar to the Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, in that visual references on the screen emulate a browser setup.  As the Internet becomes such an important method of distributing and gathering information, the goal is to get sales personnel familiar with the browser concept.

Through the last 5-1/2 months of development and testing of M4W, the product has evolved significantly to not only provide new flexibility, but also to be ready as technology moves ahead.  Although the initial release of M4W is just one part of the 'entire package', steps have been taken to plan for expansion of the product with future releases.  The first two releases of the Windows will be 'backward compatible' with the DOS version, however, that will change after December, 1998.

THE FUTURE:

By moving to Windows, M4W allows things that were simply not possible in DOS.  After support of DOS is terminated in 1999, the M4W product will become even more user-friendly because the limitations of DOS will not be a factor in creating the underlying programming in Windows.  We anticipate that data will be more accurate and more readily available and flexibility of the product will be increased tremendously from a specification standpoint.

Current plans include incorporating interactive customer interviews that will help sales personnel determine the correct truck for their customer.  A redesign of the underlying database will open the possibilities for even faster navigation through a quotation.  The inclusion of 'smart data' will enable the program to guide the user to decide what items should be on a quotation.  And this is only the quotation portion of M4W.

Multimedia functions and powerful Internet tools will be finding their way into M4W with future releases.  The ability to post quotations to a web site or Email a quote to a customer or another dealer will be just a mouse click away.  Pulling down the latest data from Eaton's, Goodyear's, or another supplier's web site or new CD-ROM will be simple.  Adding full-color Mack data sheets to a proposal will be as simple as clicking on the component in question and asking to add it to the printout.  Plant tours, walk-arounds, competitive comparisons, marketing and sales training, and much more will all be available on the M4W system.

In the future, a sales person carrying a laptop computer with M4W loaded on it will be a mobile sales and marketing machine.  A wealth of knowledge can fit on a single CD-ROM, and access to the Internet increases flexibility immeasurably.  M4W is looking toward the future and preparing the Mack Trucks sales force to hit the ground running!

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Pentium 200 or higher
  • 32Meg RAM
  • 125meg Free disk space
  • Resolution capability of 800x600 and High color (16bit) with Small Fonts
  • Windows95, 98, or NT
  • Note: M4W will not run in resolution lower than 800x600 or any resolution with large fonts.