And the Silver Spark Plug Award Goes to…Peter Savage!

Procede Software is proud to celebrate customer Peter Savage, Director of Quality and Implementations, Clarke Power Services, and winner of the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2020 Silver Spark Plug Award.

Earlier this year, when the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council announced the four winners of the 2020 Silver Spark Plug Award at their annual meeting, Peter Savage, Director of Quality and Implementations at Clarke Power Services, was surprised to hear his name called. “At first, when they began introducing me for the award, I had no idea they were talking about me,” Savage recalls. “Then, all of a sudden, I thought, I think I know that guy they’re talking about!”

The charter of the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TCM) is to improve transit equipment, its maintenance and maintenance management. The Council develops Recommended Engineer and Maintenance Practices and shares them with fleets, OEMs and component suppliers. The Silver Spark Plug Award is given annually and recognizes TMC members who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to improving the industry. Savage describes what it means to him to have received this prestigious award: “When they announced my name, I was surprisingly emotional. I am still waiting for my feet to hit the ground. The pride I feel in being recognized by people I admire in the industry, and the validation that the effort has been recognized by them, is a feeling I cannot adequately express.”

A History of Service to the Industry

Savage is humble about the award, saying, “I saw people with the Silver Spark Plug on their lapel, but didn’t think I had done enough to deserve such an honor.” In truth, he has done a great deal over his career to earn it. Savage first started attending TCM events 15 years ago, and on the advice of his mentor, Kenneth Calhoun, he dove in headfirst. For Savage, “The work has always been what was important.” He was instrumental in developing a new Study Group for Service Providers—the first of its kind at TMC—and enlisted the help and support of fleets, service providers and associate industry experts to grow it.  Later, he served as Chairman of the group before being elected to the Board of Directors a few years ago.

A Commitment to Delivering Value and Expertise

Clarke Power Services has grown considerably since it was founded in 1964. Today, the organization comprises a family of brands that includes Clarke Heavy Duty, Clarke Powered Solutions, and Vehicare.

They are authorized service centers for Detroit Diesel, Allison Transmission, Vehicare Fleet Solutions, MTU, Perkins Engines, Mercedes Benz truck engines and WheelTime, and provide services at 23 full-service, brick-and-mortar shops and more than 150 mobile trucks across 9 states.

Savage, who joined the company 18 years ago, has grown right alongside Clarke. Over the years, he has managed the Sales and Marketing team, managed the Corporate Headquarters facility in Cincinnati, and oversaw the integration of the Vehicare brand and Sterling Truck Parts and Service at the Cincinnati location. Today, Savage’s role within the Clarke organization is twofold. First, his team is responsible for developing, maintaining, and implementing standard operating procedures for all brands. Second, they are responsible for managing and tracking all new implementations for fleet management customers. The team strives to meet customer expectations for a smooth transition, consistent communication, and delivery on the promise to improve operations.

Through all these years of change and growth, Savage says one thing has remained consistent, “Clarke has always been and will always be focused on providing outstanding value and the highest level of expertise and integrity to the trucking industry.”

Driving Technology Excellence

Over the years, the transportation industry has changed, and part of that has been an increased focus on the role of technology. Savage has been instrumental in driving that change, both in his service to TMC, and in his role at Clarke. Savage was part of the team that led Clarke’s transition to Excede DMS. Over time, Excede DMS has become what Savage describes as “bedrock”—a foundational tool for Clarke and one that is integral to the work that Savage and team do.

Savage further explains, “Excede DMS has helped us improve consistency throughout our organization.  We’ve been able to adapt it to work in all aspects of our development projects. As Clarke continues to innovate and offer new products and offerings, the Procede team has always partnered well with us to determine solutions.”

Clarke and Savage have a far-reaching vision for what they refer to as “Precision Maintenance,” which entails maintaining vehicles in such a way that they consistently operate in a state of peak performance.

For now, they are focused on predictive maintenance, and Excede DMS plays a role there, too. As Savage explains, “Our goal is to identify potential failures before they happen, so we tap into our growing database of repairs, based on Year, Make, and Model of the vehicles, and develop plans to help customers ‘see’ areas of potential failure. This helps our customers plan better and deliver products more consistently and safely while lowering costs and increasing uptime.”

Savage goes on to say, “Excede DMS is a fantastic product, but the people and support are top-notch! Throughout our journey, the Procede Software team has partnered closely with us to propel the industry forward with new ideas and products.”

Leadership in a Global Pandemic

When the pandemic began, Clarke was deemed an essential business, and has remained open at all its locations. Following CDC guidance, the company put together a broad-ranging team to develop safety strategy and protocols that protect both employees and customers. Knowing that other companies might be resource challenged and unable to develop the extensive plans necessary to keep their own employees safe, Clarke, Savage and team shared their work with both customers and the broader industry. Savage describes their efforts, saying, “we have been working tirelessly to make sure vehicles are on the road, maintaining the supply chain, and getting products on the shelf and delivered to end users. I have really been, and continue to be, so proud of our associates and all their hard work to keep each other safe.”

A Future Focused on Customer Innovation and Service

When asked what the future holds for Clarke Power Services, Savage explains, “We have a tremendous team of people working for Clarke and an ownership group that supports us in all sorts of different ventures. We will continue to maintain our customer success focus and work within the industry to identify additional areas and products for our customers to assist them in reaching their goals.”

At Procede Software, we’re humbled to be a part of that future vision: “I can tell you one thing for sure, we will continue to partner with Procede Software and Excede DMS will continue to serve as our technology ‘bedrock’ as we innovate to satisfy our customers and deliver world class service in everything we do. I am proud to work for Clarke, appreciate Excede DMS, and look forward to being able to grow and enhance our company. Our future continues to be bright.”

Congratulations, Peter, from Procede Software, on winning the Silver Spark Plug Award. You might have been surprised, but we were not. Your extraordinary commitment to improving the industry is reflected in everything you do!