GRAPEVINE, TexasGoodyear has opened its Commercial Tire & Service Network program to independent dealers in Canada and enhanced the program with several new features, the tire maker announced at its 2015 dealer conference in Grapevine.
Goodyear laid the foundation for its CTSN program during last year's conference, when it announced it would offer the programformerly called Wingfoot Tireto independent dealers. Initial benefits of membership included enhanced delivery commissions, network signage, preferred emergency roadside service dispatching and direct mail programs, among others.
Since its launch, the network has grown to about 900 participating dealers. According to Doug Whittington, Goodyear's director of commercial sales, the results of the program have been more tires sold, more customers gained and more profitability for us and those aligned with us.
Warren Croyle, brand marketing operations manager, Goodyear commercial, said the tire maker had been dabbling with the CTSN program in Canada, but this year the company is trying to integrate Canadian dealers into one unified program across North America.
This year it's been all about we want to make the program better, he said. We want to grow the program, we want to make more value for our dealers and we want them to join us, because we want to build a better, higher quality and the largest network that we can.
But Goodyear also intends to grow its list of offerings for aligned commercial delaers.
One of the biggest additions to the program for 2015 is custom dealer websites, similar to those offered to retail tire dealers through Goodyear's Tire & Service Network program.
We introduced those (websites) last year to the consumer group, and we had a lot of feedback like, Hey, why can't I put commercial tires on them?' Mr. Croyle said. We've been working with the vendor, and we've added that ability.
Through website developer TCS Technologies, Goodyear is offering dealer websites focused on retail, commercial and mixed retail/commercial tire sales.
The tire maker also has added a commercial-oriented purchasing program, another carry-over from its offerings to Goodyear retail dealers.
There's a lot of things that our CTSN dealers can take advantage of there, Mr. Croyle said. We have partnerships with a whole bunch of suppliers like Myers, GreatAmerica Leasing, Hunter, UniFirst and Mitchell 1.
CTSN dealers also can take advantage of training support offered through the Goodyear Learning Center, Mr. Croyle said. Goodyear will cover their individual license fees and Tire Industry Association (TIA) location fees in order to go through TIA's basic commercial training, which is required to be part of the network, he noted.
Dealers also will have access to additional TIA training courses.
Finally, Goodyear launched an all-digital Dealer Tool Kit, a dealer-facing website designed to serve as a one-stop shop for news, promotions, product information and related links.
Mr. Croyle said the website allows Goodyear to consolidate this material into one place, making it easier for dealers to find in the hopes that it's easier for dealers to do business with Goodyear.
In addition to these features, CTSN dealers can take advantage of Goodyear's new Smart Tech app, designed to simplify the road service process for both servicing dealers and end users. The app, available for both iPhones and Android devices, can be utilized by all Goodyear commercial dealers, but CTSN members have the option to use business investment funds to pay for related expenses, according to Mr. Croyle.
Prior to the app's launch, Goodyear's commercial service technicians had only the option to receive phone calls from fleetHQ Solution Center dispatchers and take down information by hand. The technician receiving the call had to write out detailed notes before, during and after service calls while communicating with employers, fleet customers and dispatchers.
According to Dustin Lancy, brand marketing specialist for Goodyear, this can open the door to miscommunication and lead to billing and service problems. Smart Tech is designed to minimize the potential for human error, he said.
FleetHQ will gather information from driversincluding name, address, phone number, tire type and sizeand send it directly to the technician, Mr. Lancy said.
The app interface features buttons that technicians can push to simultaneously inform all interested parties of their location, activities and progress from the moment a service call is accepted until the technician returns home. The call's roll time and other necessary information are sent to the customer electronically, and the need for writing down and memorizing information via phone call is eliminated.
This is helping the dealers out, Mr. Lancy said. The dealers are getting real-time information on what's going on with the repairs. This is the stuff that they never got to see before.
...It's giving more information to everyone overall on what's happening with each ticket when, before, there was a lot of phone calls going on, a lot of writing down information, he said.
The ticket time starts when a technician accepts the ticket and clicks on the option showing he or she is en route. The technician can add notes to a comment section if there are delays caused by traffic or bad weather.
Alternatively, technicians can choose not to accept the ticket, in which case it will go to the next available technician.
After servicing a vehicle, technicians can select actions performed on the vehicle and take and upload pictures of the tires. Images are loaded straight into the fleetHQ report.
Some fleets require that there are pictures taken on site, Mr. Lancy said. That way they have proof. This is something that not all fleets do, but some do, so we have the option of taking pictures.
Lastly, the app will remind the technician to make sure he or she has all the necessary billing information.
After returning home, the technician will click the return button to end the ticket time. In order to use the app, technicians must register a phone number and link it to a fleetHQ dealer account.
Mr. Lancy said Goodyear's goal with the app is to reduce service times from two hours and 16 minutes to less than two hours.