NEW YORK (Feb. 16, 2001) — Goodyear´s strategy to restore the company to healthy profitability — unveiled Feb. 14 to analysts in New York — includes a pledge to get dealer fill rates above 90 percent this year, according to Robert Keegan, Goodyear´s chief operating officer.
The company expects to have all its independent dealers ordering through Xplor — its proprietary business-to-business ordering and inventory control system — by mid-year, Mr. Keegan said, up from 75 percent now.
Moving all ordering on-line will help Goodyear improve its market forecasting and order fill rates while saving the company $50 million to $100 million in working capital, Mr. Keegan said.
Additionally, Goodyear said it now has 400 "sizable" dealers in the U.S. participating in its G3 brands — Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly — marketing program, and the number is growing steadily.
The growth in G3 dealers coincides with what Goodyear Chairman Sam Gibara calls a consumer "flight to quality," providing the company broader exposure to its targeted customer base for higher-value-added flag brands. This, in turn, will allow the company to make more efficient use of its marketing resources, Mr. Keegan said.
Goodyear continues to look into ways to improve what it feels already is the most diverse distribution base in the industry. In addition to G3 growth, Goodyear sees opportunities to increase its penetration in the mass merchandiser and wholesale club channel, while also signing up disenchanted Firestone dealers, Mr. Keegan said.