“They can know everything about sales, but it they don't know inventory management or marketing strategies, they fail,” he said. “Tire manufacturers are only successful as long as their dealers are successful.”
Both tire manufacturers and tire dealers can increase their success by listening to what customers tell them about their tires — and not just listening but asking, said John Evankovich, director of tire and battery center operations at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Sam's Club subsidiary.
“We need to meet the needs and wants of the consumer,” he said. “We can see their needs, but their wants are more hidden.”
Mileage, snow traction and meeting the driving conditions in different environments are all especially important topics to tire buyers, according to Mr. Evankovich, but it's up to dealers to make sure they know specifically what customers think about their tires.