COMBINED LOCKS, Wis. (May 20, 2003) — Tire and auto parts wholesaler U.S. Tire & Exhaust (UST&E) has chosen a business software package by CarParts Technologies Inc. (CPT) to enable it to convert up to half its customer base to online ordering.
“(CPT) will help us reduce costs, convert paper orders to more accurate online orders and help us provide better service to our fast-growing customer base of tire and automotive repair shops in five states,” said Randy Groh, director of marketing at UST&E, in a prepared statement.
“We expect 20 percent of our customers to be ordering online within 12 months—with our ultimate goal being 50 percent,” Mr. Groh said. “Our research has convinced us that online ordering embedded inside our customers' point of sale will make adoption occur faster.”
UST&E is using CPT's Intelligent Trading Network system to provide its customers with application-to-application e-commerce trading capabilities, CPT said, along with the VAST auto service management system for its electronic trading and point-of-sale needs.
“UST&E will be able to reduce the amount of time their sales people are on the phone,” said Dave McCann, CPT's CEO. “They can increase sales without reducing staff by having their salespeople be more productive.
“Although many wholesalers have attempted to construct their own browser-based e-commerce systems,” Mr. McCann said, “we have found that retail service stores tend to look at their inventory on-hand first while quoting the customer. Logging into the wholesalers is often a long, time-consuming process, as is phoning the wholesaler to find out if tires are available.”
UST&E traces its roots to 1951 and the founding of Schmidt Oil Co. by Albert Schmidt and his sons Art, Ray and Bill. The Schmidts built a tire and auto parts warehouse in Combined Locks in 1958, and renamed the company U.S. Oil to reflect the range and diversity of its products and services.
Today the company has five tire and exhaust distribution centers, in Milwaukee, Combined Locks, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis.
UST&E is affiliated with American Car Care Centers Inc. and last year helped set up TreadPros, an organization of approximately 25 Midwest-based Cooper Tire dealers.