Do you expect any supply difficulties in the second half of the year?
We are going to have container availability challenges. However, we are trying to meet this with improved forecasting and reinforcements to our local inventories. We are also increasing time frames for receiving and expediting orders as much as possible. This challenge is affecting all segments across the board, and we anticipate the situation to ease up in early 2022.
What are some of the pleasant surprises you are seeing?
We have been able to maintain fill rates in the upper 80 percentile since the beginning of the year, which means we are meeting our customers' demands very well in spite of logistical challenges.
Even though we are showing certain key sizes lower than we'd like, we are doing everything in our power to continuously improve our fill rates and customer satisfaction. Challenges always bring about opportunities for growth and betterment.
Nexen recently launched Nexen Tire Garage, a digital one-stop shop containing marketing tools and resources for Nexen dealers. What was the strategy behind this development?
As mentioned before, the pandemic brought about opportunities and urgencies to ease our customers' burdens as much as possible. The strategy behind Nexen Tire Garage is to provide our dealers with easy access to all of our major resources, programs and tools.
We have also launched a few new programs to aid our customers' outreach to consumers in digital, socially distanced and innovative ways. Ensuring our dealers can easily access existing and new assets was the priority to develop this one-stop shop.
This toolbox of offerings, so to speak, is still new, and we are seeing month-over-month increases in click-through rates and overall usage. For anybody that has not checked it out yet, we would just like to remind them that this is meant to be a resource whenever needed.
It's an easement to access tools from Nexen Tire to save them time and get them back to the important parts of their business.
Another recent innovation has been your new enhanced mobile app. How is that innovation being received? Have you gained traction from consumers using the app? What type of engagement are you seeing with dealers?
The Nexen Tire App is a great resource for dealers and consumers alike to attain Nexen product information, augmented reality features, Nexen resources and so much more.
The app has been received well for all of these features. The highlighted offering of the Nexen Tire app was to connect consumers currently in the market with Nexen dealers in their area and request an appointment. We believe the pandemic has slowed the adoption of this feature, but we still anticipate much opportunity from this functionality.
In the meantime, while we all work to get back to our "new normal," the app is still an incredible offering for our customers with many other functions.
Nexen's new social media platform N'Social allows dealers to increase their social media audience, bolstered by Nexen-provided content. How is this program going? How will it help save dealers time and increase sales?
N'Social is a groundbreaking feature for Nexen dealers to engage with their audiences via social media with practically no effort at all. We provide content, images and copy for all major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Any and all Nexen dealers are eligible to partake in this program and receive the turnkey content, absolutely free. It takes about five minutes to set up a profile and connect the business' social media pages.
From there, all posts can be automated, or if preferred, dealers can set a calendar and modify posts to meet their unique messaging.
Nexen Tire provides four to six posts a month, diverse in content, and includes dealers' unique details, such as address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.
This helps dealers with top-of-mind awareness for consumers currently in their area looking for tires, with, again, little to no effort on their part.
N'Social is being very well received so far and we're excited to see this program expand in the coming months.
Of all the innovations Nexen has launched over the last year or so, which is the one must-have for your dealers?
This really depends on which customer segment we're referring. We have launched so many programs in the last year, each speaking to a different priority of the dealer's business.
Nexen Tire Garage provides tools, resources and assets to all dealers. N'Social provides content for retailers to reach consumers. Nexen Tire App is for consumers, dealers and distributors to access multiple facets offered by Nexen Tire.
Nexen Network is a waiting room entertainment experience for retailers or wholesalers to add their own personal messaging and content for their respective audiences. Our tools are targeted to meet the varying demographics we serve, and to also be flexible to meet their unique needs as well.
How will the recent Commerce Department ruling on antidumping duties on passenger and light truck tires made in Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam affect the company?
As with any duties in the past, this will affect the tire industry for years to come. It's still too early to see what will be the final impact.
Nexen will always adapt to the ever-changing environment in order to support our customers and shareholders.
What kind of trends are you seeing in the market? How is your company reacting to them?
The current trend is dealers simply trying to find tires wherever they can, considering low fill rate challenges. With Nexen Tire sitting above 80% with fill rates, we've been able to improve on our market share in 2021.
In addition, all manufacturers have reported higher volumes to be expected; supply will continue to be a focus for 2021.
What sector offers the most growth potential? How have you addressed that?
Light truck has shown the biggest gain for Nexen Tire. We are continuing to improve our supply and be competitive in this sector.
Do you expect to roll out any additional products in 2021? What will they be and what sector will they serve?
We will be announcing product launches at SEMA this year. Stay tuned.
Most every tire maker has raised prices multiple times over the past six months. What has been the overriding factor in these increases?
There are two primary causes to price increases over the last six months.
The cost of logistics and raw materials have both increased. These two main factors have overshadowed the recent impact of the ADDs.
Do you expect any major investments in the next six months or year, in either personnel, distribution facilities or capacity expansions?
We continue to follow our current investment strategies in regards to increased capacity and increasing our staffing to support the growing business. We continue to invest also in our current staff as the world comes out of COVID.
What are some of the challenges of the industry going forward? What keeps you up at night?
Ensuring we are meeting our customers' demands is always challenging when shipping and supply are an issue.
Nexen's focuses and priorities are always to meet our customers' needs.
We take pride in our fill rates and exceptional quality; these attributes keep us ahead of our competition while supporting our customers and consumers.