AKRON-Rain, snow, sleet or dark of night, and now on Goodyear tires.
Goodyear and the U. S. Postal Service announced they have formed an exclusive alliance under which Goodyear will be the sole supplier for the USPS' fleet of more than 200,000 ground vehicles for the next 10 years. That's nearly 1 million tires that cover more than 1 billion miles annually. Per the agreement, the Postal Service would buy about 235,000 tires each year.
``This is an ideal business agreement, connecting the nation's provider of postal service with the largest tire maker in America,'' said John Polhemus, president of Goodyear North American Tire. ``While Goodyear has served for many years as one of multiple tire suppliers to the USPS, this decision to select Goodyear on an exclusive basis certainly underscores the confidence this government agency has in our products and service.''
Prior to the new deal, Goodyear had been one of the Postal Service's three suppliers, along with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Michelin North America Inc. Neither spokesman from Goodyear nor the USPS knew what percentage of the service's business Goodyear or the other companies had, though the Goodyear spokesman estimated it at ``about half.''
The Postal Service spokesman said it was formerly up to individual regional vehicle maintenance people to decide which brand would go on their respective vehicles. The new agreement will eliminate that decision-making process.
The new deal was open for proposals, which were received from several companies, the USPS spokesman said. He added that Goodyear's proposal was ``the best of the lot.''
``Over the past two years, our procurement people have been focusing in on supply-chain management,'' he said. ``It's basically one of our central thrusts to reduce costs through strategic sourcing, and leveraging our buying power because of the volume we can buy and using that to create long-term user partnerships.''
He was not sure whether the deal with Goodyear will save the Postal Service any money, but added that Goodyear's ability to do electronic business, which saves on paperwork, worked in the tire maker's favor.
``They were graded on their ability to conduct electronic commerce and ability to work with us on everything else,'' the spokesman said. ``Goodyear came in tops.''
Part of the agreement includes the Postal Employee Eagle VIP Discount Purchase program, which provides a Goodyear/USPS credit card to postal workers. Participating Goodyear and Gemini dealers will provide qualified USPS employees with discounts on auto service and tire purchases, beginning later this year.
In addition to Goodyear tires, the Postal Service purchases more than 100,000 retreaded tires annually, and that will not change. ``Not that I'm aware of,'' the USPS spokesman said, noting that Goodyear is responsible for the bulk of the retreaded tires on postal vehicles.