CINCINNATI (April 1, 2014) — Automotive tools and equipment distributor Myers Tire Supply Distribution Inc. gathered its entire sales force of more than 160 domestic representatives for its first ever national sales meeting and vendor fair March 17-22 at the Duke Convention Center in Cincinnati.
The meeting was an opportunity to train its entire sales team on a variety of key products and services, including Myers' MTS private brand tools and equipment offerings. But more than that, the meeting was an opportunity for 51 of the company's suppliers to showcase their product and service offerings.
“It's going to help us grow sales and help us add better value for our customers if we're really selling them the full line of our products and services that we have,” said Steve Michaels, director, western region for Myers. “This is the easiest way to do it. The suppliers come and they get to see everybody rather than traveling to 20 sales offices, so it's a benefit to them as well as a benefit to us.”
Among the suppliers present was Cincinnati-based Apex Supply Chain Technologies, which introduced its MTS Xpress vending machine and locker, developed to serve as an automated parts management system for tire and automotive service businesses.
Jamie Untersinger, business development specialist, fleet and vehicle maintenance for Apex, told Tire Business the system is available now through Myers and allows users to track high-use shop tools as well as for-sale items.
“We're putting this into tire shops and partnering with Myers, giving the end users and the technicians control of what items that are being vended and used day-to-day within the shops,” he said.
The locker, which can be powered either by an attached vending machine or a separate control unit, is designed for “asset management,” Mr. Untersinger said, and utilizes a check-in/check-out feature that tracks who is using tools. It can be programmed to accept employee ID numbers or cards and can provide business owners and managers with transaction detail reports.
Todd Smith, vice president and general manager of Myers, said the company has an exclusive agreement with Apex on the vending system for the automotive industry.
Mr. Michaels said the machine has a wide range of applications for various businesses within the tire and automotive service industry. Myers has several machines out at retread facilities, an area where the vending system makes sense because of high volume work.
“The benefit to the customer is they get control at the point-of-use, as well as reduced usage of about 20 percent,” he said. “Because they have control in place, they have accountability, they see about a 20-percent decrease in usage through the machine.”
But it also makes sense on the retail end, he said, allowing shops to store expensive, high-use tools and better track tire pressure monitoring system business.
“A lot of retail tire stores, they still struggle with TPMS because of the cost associated with TPMS,” he said. “Sensors are expensive, and how do they sell it? We believe the vending machine for the retail tire stores is going to help make that transition easier so they can really get the how and why when they go into a TPMS program.
“They can look at it as a profit center and not an expense,” he continued. “This vending machine is part of that solution to make it profitable.”
Myers will also be promoting the system to commercial shops, car dealerships and other businesses looking for improved control over business assets.
“Everybody's looking at cost,” he said. “…This gives you the opportunity to reduce those costs and improve visibility.”
Other products featured at the show included the ProGuard Plus, a new Coats-brand tire changer from Hennessy Industries Inc.; ATEQ Corp.'s new VT56 TPMS tool; and Myers' own private brand line of jacks.