First responder praises response from Cummins

The Middletown Fire Department in Media, Pennsylvania, knows residents are counting on a swift response at any time of the day or night, especially in times like these.
The Middletown Fire Department in Media, Pennsylvania, knows residents are counting on a swift response at any time of the day or night, especially at times like this.

Cummins can only power a more prosperous world if society’s most essential functions are thriving. 

Hospitals cannot lose power, semi-trucks cannot break down and first-responder vehicles need to be ready for any call. In all of these scenarios, customers depend on Cummins powered products to maintain the world’s most essential functions. There is no time for error or malfunction.

That is why Cummins Care is standing by, ready to support any service request at a moment’s notice. The Chief Engineer at the Middletown Fire Co. in Media, Pennsylvania, experienced this first hand when his department’s E-One Ladder truck was having mechanical issues in late March as anxiety was growing over COVID-19 in his community. 

Middletown Fire Department Chief Engineer Bob Tull (right).
Middletown Fire Department Chief Engineer Bob Tull (right).

Bob Tull has been a volunteer at the township fire department for 50 years and has been involved with apparatus ordering and design since 1972. With his decades of service comes many interactions with chassis providers, engine manufacturers and service technicians.

Therefore, a head-nod from a gentleman with his wealth of experience means just a little bit more. A customer visit that leads to gracious thanks and a call for continued partnership is one to be remembered. 

On Monday, March 27, some minor repairs were being completed on the Middletown E-One Ladder truck. During some standard evaluations, a tech noticed the vehicle’s oil pan appeared to be unusually wet.

The truck, which had been purchased in February of 2019, was still under warranty so Tull called 1-800-CUMMINS. Within the hour, a Cummins Sales and Service technician had been scheduled to visit the department the following morning between 7 and 8 a.m. 

Arriving at 7:05 the next day, Carlos Ocasio soon identified that the issue was more complex than initially anticipated. After a quick call, the decision was made to repair the vehicle immediately – which required having replacement parts delivered to the station that very day.

In a letter, Tull said Ocasio's service was completed “in what perceived to be record time,” adding that Ocasio was “extremely courteous and careful,” and “VERY knowledgeable about the apparatus.” Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said Ocasio was cautious and considerate in his presence, wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of distance and wiping everything down. 

Aside from performing maintenance on the ladder truck, there were a couple valuable outcomes from the day that Ocasio spent at the Middletown Fire Company. First, and most important, a first responder vehicle is still in commission to answer any critical needs. Cummins Care ensures that first-class service is prioritized for communities’ most essential operations.

Second, a customer was pleased enough by his experience with Cummins’ service he felt compelled to write a note about it. Tull mentioned in his letter that this was his station’s first Cummins engine and he “wanted to say how impressed the members of the department were with (Ocasio) and also the response from (Cummins’) organization.” 

The sensitive state of the world today calls for timely, educated and productive service. Not because customers are impatient, but because there are lives depending on the company’s products across the globe. Cummins stands by its commitment to deliver dependability during the times it is needed most.

The company can only power a more prosperous world if its most essential functions are thriving. That means responding to first responders with the help and support they deserve.  
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Shop Cummins in North America: Everything you need to know

Shop Cummins - Cummins Genuine Parts
Shopping for genuine Cummins products just got easier – and more convenient – with the launch of shop.cummins.com. 

From genuine Cummins parts to Fleetguard (and everything in-between), you'll find over 50,000 SKUs on Shop.Cummins.com

Buying genuine Cummins products from the comfort of your own home? You better believe it. Shopping for genuine Cummins products just got easier – and more convenient – with the launch of shop.cummins.com

We recently sat down with Vipul Tandon, President, Cummins Power Generation North America, to discuss the future of e-commerce at Cummins and gain the inside scoop on the recent launch of shop.cummins.com in the U.S. and Canada. 

Question: Vipul, in your own words, how would you describe the new shop.cummins.com?

ANSWER: Live, Seamless, Effortless and Hassle-free are the words that are top-of-mind that convey what we designed the entire shop.cummins.com experience around. 

“Live,” as in real time view of in-stock availability. 

“Seamless” in the ability to search for the right matching parts by Engine Serial Number (ESN) as well as offering over a dozen of our own and partner brands.

“Effortless” in the way customers can connect to support via chat, phone and email.

And finally, “hassle-free” local pick up options (where available), shipping and return too, if needed.

Question: What were some of the factors driving Cummins’ decision to expand their presence within the e-commerce space? 

ANSWER: The retail marketplace in North America has been on a journey toward e-commerce for nearly 20 years. Commercial end customers, however, have been slow to adopt their buying behaviors – still preferring to transact business over the counter (OTC), and even resorting to non-genuine will-fit parts when needed to preserve that OTC contact. 

The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 changed customer’ preference significantly. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, online commerce sales are up 40% year-over-year. The safety, ease and convenience of online shopping will continue to drive this step change adoption of e-commerce.

Cummins Genuine Parts
"The launch of our shop.cummins.com store is a step change in our value package offering to our customers." - Vipul Tandon

Cummins Sales and Service North America (CSSNA) has had a small online shopping presence since June 2018 with the launch of its Canadian online store, and July 2019 for a small U.S. online store. The store “catalog” mainly focused on select Onan parts, Fleetguard filters and allied partner products. 

In July 2020, we added approximately 800 popular Cummins parts to our U.S. and Canada online stores.  The enthusiastic response from our customers underscored the value of providing a comprehensive product offering for purchase online. The launch of our shop.cummins.com store is a step change in our value package offering to our customers!

Question: Why might someone prefer to order Cummins parts on shop.cummins.com as opposed to, say, doing so in person?

ANSWER: The last year has taught a lot of us about the advantages of working and shopping remotely. My own grocery shopping experience has my time involvement cut in half and, get this – my checkbook thanks me too for avoiding all the impulse purchases! My favorite grocery store’s app saves me effort and time that I can instead dedicate to activities I enjoy, reading a book or spending time having fun with family and friends.  

Question: What are some of the markets and segments that shop.cummins.com will initially serve, and how were these initial markets determined? 

ANSWER: Our focus remains on DIY customers and small owner operators that are most prone to the will-fit channels. And we wanted to offer the most comprehensive offering possible. So the exclusions are instead easier to answer – these are HHP engine parts, OEM unique parts (e.g. FCA), non-Cummins engine applied parts (MX), natural gas, software licenses, recon engines that have emissions PC&C requirements and generators.

We will also be offering consumer products like Cummins portable generators in the very near future.

Question: What type of parts and products will the site offer customers? 

ANSWER: We are launching with over 50,000 SKUs that can be largely categorized by our in-house and partner brands - Cummins saleable parts (new and ReCon), Cummins Onan parts, Fleetguard, Webasto heaters, Valvoline™ fluids, Power Service additives, comprehensive maintenance kits, the R2.8 Crate Engine and of course the customer favorite - Cummins licensed merchandise!

Shop Cummins Product Lines
"We are launching with over 50,000 SKUs that can be largely categorized by our in-house and partner brands." - Vipul Tandon

Question: If you could hop into a time machine, what does the future of e-commerce – maybe even e-commerce at Cummins - look like to you? 

ANSWER: The future of e-commerce has limitless potential. 

I am not a futurist, and know that much of what the “Jetsons” told us about the future has yet to come true. What I can say confidently is that our Cummins brand has been synonymous with power and innovation that our customers have come to depend on for over a century. And for good reason. E-commerce is just one more example of Cummins staying true to our innovative spirit, and wherever the industry goes we’ll be there, ready to serve our customers where – and when – they want us. 

Michael Nagel

Michael Nagel is the Digital Brand Reputation Manager - External Communications for Cummins Inc. He has more than 10 years of digital communications and traditional public relations experience, with a focus on social media marketing and digital communications. Michael earned his B.A. from the Indiana University School of Journalism - Indianapolis and currently resides in Indianapolis. 

Stranded: One tech’s 40-day island odyssey in the Indian Ocean

Rajeev Rai (right) spent much of  his island stay in a room (left) at the utility where he was working.
Rajeev Rai (right) spent much of his island stay in a room (left) at the utility where he was working.

Lakshadweep is an archipelago off the southwestern coast of India. The name translates to “one hundred thousand islands.” 

Though the title may seem quite grand, the total surface area of the union is just 12 square miles. Ten of the islands are inhabited. One received a visit from a Cummins Sales and Service technician during the COVID-19 pandemic he won’t soon forget. 

Kiltan is a coral island in the archipelago with a population just under 4,000. The island used to be part of an international trade route supplying fish and coconuts, but its economy has expanded to include government jobs, such as education, law enforcement, and transportation.

To support the island’s residents, the Lakshadweep Electrical Department (LED) has three generators providing prime power. A combination of generators from Cummins and two other companies provide electricity to all of Kiltan.

After some issues developed with the system at the end of last year, Cummins Technician Rajeev Rai was deployed from the mainland to install a new pump and injectors on March 17.

A JOB WELL DONE

Rai completed the replacement on March 18 and carried out a load trial on March 22. Extremely satisfied with its restored power, the utility wrote a gracious note praising Rai as “hardworking and very productive.” It was time for him to return home. 

That’s when the trouble started.

The nearest port city to Lakshadweep is Kochi, which is where Rai was supposed to go to get back to the mainland. But on March 23, a lockdown was implemented due to COVID-19 and all transportation to and from Kochi stopped.

There was no way for Rai to return home.

Unable to travel, Rai stayed at the utility and monitored the generator sets as needed. Living in the utility’s workshop, he managed with few household items.

Rai did have access to the Internet, and he managed to participate in every Cummins teleconference call that he could.

HOME AT LAST

After 40 days on the island, Rai was finally able to return home.

When an employee agrees to work for Cummins, there is no box to check that says, “I will go the extra mile.” Fortunately, that just comes naturally.

The people that bring Cummins products to life exemplify integrity and excellence every day. Rai's commitment is certainly one that Cummins and its customers are indebted to.

Providing reliable power is more than high quality pieces of metal, wonderfully engineered technology and trusty applications that will get the job done. It is a culmination of company culture, innovative leadership and, most importantly, exceptional people.

Across the world, employees like Rai promise to support customers every step of the way: including, but not limited to, on an archipelago in the Indian Ocean during a global pandemic. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins team works quickly to repair buses for federal response

This photo of the team in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was taken last summer, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. The team now practices social distancing and other precautions to keep employees safe.
This photo of the team in Altoona, Pennsylvania, was taken last summer, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. The team now practices social distancing and other precautions to keep employees safe.

The team at Cummins Sales and Service in Altoona, Pennsylvania, didn’t hesitate when a valued customer was recently asked to provide 60 buses to federal officials to help with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although the transportation fleet has not yet deployed, the customer was asked to prepare the buses for deployment. Altoona is relatively close to several east coast cities hit hard by the crisis.

There was only one problem. The customer’s 60-bus fleet included eight ISX12 powered coach buses needing air compressor replacements and four more buses needing to be inspected and prepared for service.

“Our customers are our number one priority, and we take pride in helping them always, particularly in difficult times,” said Brenden Beedle, General Manager of the Altoona branch.

Replacing an air compressor can be a complicated job. They are located deep in the engine bay, where access can be very difficult.  The air compressor's main job is to supply air to the brake system and aid in multiple systems within the bus that require air pressure to operate correctly.  Without a functioning air system, the bus simply will not move.

To date, the Altoona branch has completed repairs on five buses with the remaining three awaiting parts that are expected to arrive soon. The buses will be ready as soon as they are called out. That ultimately means scarce human resources will get to where they need to go to address the growing  number of coronavirus cases.

Beedle says his team is working hard and smart, taking all recommended precautions to stay safe while they do their essential jobs. He says the team feels good to be doing its part in the midst of a national crisis.

“It is rewarding to know our customer trusts us to make sure his fleet of coach and school buses are prepared for service,” Beedle said. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Camaraderie, even virtual, is a powerful tool

Virtual camaraderie

As social-distancing and working from home become the new norm, connectivity is an even more important part of our daily routines - one that will help power us through the current pandemic. 

“Check with each other more often, call or text them; and also remind each other to be careful,” suggests Richard Evelyn, a 24-year veteran Cummins Sales and Service Technician. 

Richard lives in the New Jersey area and for the last 12 years has been helping nearby hospitals, schools, data centers and other businesses ensure their back-up power systems are well maintained and ready to operate if needed. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard has been spending more of his time at the local data centers. Connectivity has become an even more important part of our everyday routine as many more people are required to stay at home. These data centers bring us the connectivity we need for distance learning, virtual meetings, staying in touch with friends and family, streaming entertainment, and beyond.

“It is different. It is all virtual now. We get electronic authorization to enter the data center, no more paperwork and physical signatures. Once I am in, I am pretty much by myself, without one of my stakeholders meeting me in person,” Richard said about his recent visits to data centers. “I notify my stakeholders once I am done and might see them from a distance. We are all being very cautious.”

Richard is also happy to see how much his customers appreciate the effort everyone is making to keep operations running smoothly while ensuring everyone’s safety.

Beyond the visits to data centers, Richard’s daily routine at the office has also changed.

“I miss working close with my comrades. I miss sitting together for lunch, talking about our days and how the kids are doing,” said Richard, as he reflects back to his old routine. 

Camaraderie is what Richard misses the most from his routine before the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has a strong message for all of us. A message that has worked well for him:

"Check with each other more often, call or text them; and remind each other to be careful." 

The next time you are having a virtual hangout, remember the service professionals such as Richard and many others that are going the extra mile during these difficult times to ensure data centers have the power needed to keep you connected. To ensure we can enjoy the camaraderie of our colleagues, families and friends through virtual means. 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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