Reading Truck Group is no stranger to the work truck industry. The iconic READING-etched tailgate on Reading service bodies can be seen on just about any worksite or utility fleet and on any interstate or country road. Last month Reading announced a rebrand. Here to give us insight on the business decision is Reading Truck’s president, Alan Farash.
MWS: CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE STRUCTURE OF READING AND HOW IT WILL CHANGE WITH THE REBRAND?
FARASH: Reading Truck is comprised of our manufacturing operations, located in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and our national distribution and upfit centers, of which there are currently 20 locations. We acquired more businesses within the last year with an objective to expand our ability to provide upfitment with distribution and service capabilities on a nationwide scale.
The objective of the rebrand—Reading Truck—is to enhance our customer focus and combine all things work-truck related under one brand. We are actively working to improve the customer experience with what we call “customer centricity.” We asked ourselves how we could be more customer centric in our day-to-day activities across all of our locations to improve the customer experience and to become easier to do business with. We also sought to more effectively leverage digital platforms such as improving our website and ecommerce. All in all, the rebrand doesn’t change the structure of Reading; it simply puts the focus on the customer through the consolidation of our brands to deliver a one-stop shop to better serve our customers.
MWS: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR READING TRUCK IN 2022?
FARASH: Honestly, we expect 2022 to be a challenging year with the lingering effects of COVID-19 and bumps in our supply chain. There is a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for trucks and our products, and we’re prepared to support that demand from a manufacturing, distribution, and service perspective. However, I expect to see the market begin to normalize in the second half of the year.
MWS: WHY CHOOSE A READING BODY OVER OTHER TRUCK BODIES ON THE MARKET?
FARASH: Reading has been around since 1955. We have a strong heritage and a strong history of building quality products for our customers and being able to support those customers. We also have a nationwide support network. At Reading Truck, we’re not just concerned about the life cycle of the product the customer buys—we’re also focused on improving that experience through the life cycle of the customer relationship. We have many customers we’ve been doing business with for 30, 40, and even 50 years. Needless to say, that customer relationship is very important to us, and we’re very focused on continuing to improve that relationship. That’s why it was so important to us to do this rebranding—the customer needs to be the focus of everything we do.
MWS: SPEAKING OF THE REBRAND, WHAT ARE CUSTOMERS SAYING ABOUT IT?
FARASH: The customers I’ve spoken to have said the rebrand is an outward representation of the things that Reading has been doing differently over the last few years. Even though we’ve been around awhile, we recognize that there is always an opportunity to improve. We embrace feedback, and the rebrand was a result of listening to our customers to be focused on doing a better job, being more responsive, and being more supportive of our customers.
MWS: MOVING FORWARD, WILL THERE BE CHANGES IN THE WAYS CUSTOMERS INTERACT WITH THE BRAND?
FARASH: We’re making it easier for the customer to have access to the right people and information at at the right time while leveraging the digital tools that are available to them. We want to streamline the way our customers get parts, schedule service, and find the right contact that can meet their specific needs. We’re improving the overall customer journey through digital transformation.
MWS: WAS THE MOVE TO DIGITAL A PRODUCT OF THE PANDEMIC OR HAD IT BEEN IN THE WORKS LONG BEFORE?
FARASH: It wasn’t brought on by the pandemic, but rather by the need to do a better job communicating with our customers and with anyone looking to purchase a Reading product. An improved digital experience allows current and potential customers to easily find us, and it allows us to make our messaging clear, consistent, and concise.
A lot of what we’re doing is looking into the future and responding to the changing needs of our customers through forward thinking to get ahead of the curve. We want to provide our customers with access to digital tools that will help our customers grow their business.
MWS: HOW IS YOUR TEAM FEELING ABOUT THE REBRAND OF READING?
FARASH: Even though we’ve been around for 66 years, everyone on the team is committed to the company and excited about the future of Reading Truck. We are excited to offer a better experience for the customer—because that’s what this rebrand is all about.
For More Information
Alan Farash is the president and COO of Reading Truck. From company culture to operational excellence, Farash sees every touchpoint as critical to Reading’s success. Since joining the company, his primary responsibilities have included establishing important organizational infrastructure, evaluating and optimizing operations and manufacturing practices, as well as developing and implementing the company’s strategic business and growth initiative plans. Find out more, visit www.readingtruck.com.