ATLANTA — Combining two legacy brands, such as Goodyear and Bridgestone, into a cohesive joint operation is a challenge that requires collaboration and logistics.
Just ask TireHub L.L.C. CEO Peter Gibbons, who has spent almost a year getting the wholesale joint venture off the ground, after Goodyear and Bridgestone Americas Inc. created the $600 million, stand-alone company based in Atlanta.
Since opening for business last July, TireHub has consolidated several distribution centers in certain markets where Goodyear and Bridgestone's Tire Wholesale Warehouse (TWW) both had operations. TireHub also opened locations in San Diego and Baton Rouge, for a total of 68 distribution centers. The company also added employees for a workforce of more than 1,200.
One of the challenges of creating a joint venture was combining sales forces and employees loyal to one company and having them work together for the new enterprise, according to Mr. Gibbons, who said TireHub calls its employees "hubbers."
He said with such a venture, every situation is new and every situation requires collaboration, noting the cooperation from employees and customers have been "fantastic."
"We like to say, 'Hubbers deliver without being asked.' And that attitude has helped us get through that start-up phase — where everything is new, everything is a first — to grow and succeed," he said.
"We've taken the best of both worlds, taken the best of both companies, and using that to create something that is quite unique to TireHub," Silvia Wilks, TireHub's vice president of operations, added.
"We talk about saying 'yes' to our customers. We like to say yes and help our dealers grow their businesses, and we know we can do that by being approachable, adventurous, relentless and speedy. Those are the four maxims that we operate on. … We've had great energy around TireHub from the start."
She said those four pillars are what set TireHub apart from other wholesale operations.
"First and foremost, we are focusing on our customers in markets where we've got locations situated currently," Ms. Wilks said. "We're making sure that we're serving them consistently, and we're making sure we give them access to best-in-class products that they need when they need them.
"We've been working very hard to increase our deliver frequency. That delivery cadence in some geographic areas, we're now delivering to customers within a 25-mile radius four times a day. So that's our minimum standard as we're operating across the country now.
"Our focus is really on helping our dealers to win and grow their businesses. So we're looking at geographic areas where we see opportunities to better serve the customers based on the needs of the market.
"TireHub is being really great about seeing the bigger picture. This is our opportunity to change the tire distribution industry and to really do it differently and to do it our way," she said, adding, "We continue to evaluate what we need to do next that might be different, that the customers might be looking for, to improve our service and our delivery."