By Dave Zielasko, Tire Business staff
ROSEMONT, Ill. (Jan. 22, 2014) — Wholesale tire distributor K&M Tire Inc. has updated its online ordering system to make it more mobile and user friendly.
The Delphos, Ohio-based distributor showcased the newly improved Weblink 2.0 during its 2014 Dealer Conference Jan. 16-17 at the InterContinental Hotel in Rosemont.
Bonnie Marlow, K&M assistant program/marketing manager, said the company launched the latest version of the ordering system in October through select dealer customers. The program has since been turned on as an upgrade option to the first version of the system, Weblink 1.0.
“Dealers are signing up right now,” she told Tire Business.
Weblink 2.0 offers a number of improvements over the previous iteration, including the ability to read the size of the screen being used and then adjust to it.
This feature, for example, recently allowed a dealer to place an order on a handheld device while standing in the dealership’s stockroom, rather then having to write down the information and later type it in, Ms. Marlow said.
Another upgrade is a shopping cart feature that permits users to put multiple items into the shopping cart before orders are placed. Weblink 1.0 does not offer this feature, Ms. Marlow said.
The newer version also allows toggling among accounts—allowing a company to customize the system if it has multiple users and wants to control which areas they can access.
Weblink 2.0 also has an option that shows the costs of financing. For example, if a tire dealership offers deferred financing, the ordering system can break down this information by six months or 12 months, so customers will know what they are going to pay.
Ms. Marlow said quite a few of K&M’s customers already have placed orders through Weblink 2.0, although not as many are doing so using a mobile device. But she expects that to increase.
Another advantage of the system is that it allows users to see K&M’s tire inventory “right away,” and to locate a tire at any of the company’s 16 warehouses along with the number of days it will take to have the tires shipped to them.
“It’s pretty instantaneous,” Ms. Marlow said. “You can see the order before you place it.”
About 60 percent of K&M’s orders come in via Weblink, according to K&M Vice President Cheryl Gossard.
Tire dealer Tony Smith, owner of Smith Enterprises in Angola, Ind., called the K&M Weblink system phenomenal. “When you look up inventory and it says they have four tires in Delphos, they’ve got them,” he said. “…When their inventory shows they have it, they have it.”
To reach this reporter: email@example.com; 330-865-6131.
Titan International and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce seeking relief from OTR tire imports from China, India and Sri Lanka. What’s your opinion?
|I wholeheartedly support their action – something needs to be done.||
|I think it’s a bad idea that could inevitably tie the hands of domestic tire makers.||
|I oppose any duties against tire importers—they only raise costs for distributors and make it harder to obtain inventory.||
|I’m kind of on the fence and not sure what’s right, but need more information before deciding.||
|I don’t really care whether or not relief is granted.||
|Total votes: 78|