It didn't take long for Bill Sharp, Goodyear's top North American Tire executive, to make his imprint on the company's tire supply situation. After apologizing to dealers last February for the firm's deplorable fill rates, which had fallen to as low as 25 percent in some instances, Mr. Sharp and his staff went to work to solve the problem.
To accomplish this end, they ramped up production at Goodyear's Gadsden, Ala., plant, which had been slated to cease tire manufacturing. They streamlined operations by eliminating 28 percent of the company's product codes, increased tire imports from Europe and Brazil and dedicated one day each work week to addressing product supply issues.
In less than four months, Mr. Sharp and his team have returned the company's fill rate to between 80 and 95 percent.
While all of its supply deficiencies obviously haven't been resolved, such quick results should encourage Goodyear's dealers.