A NEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE SUPERSERVICE NETWORK
Goodyear Dunlop distribution network
Boosting the distribution network from 300 to 350 members in three years, from 2015 to 2017, making the network’s Point-of-sales homogeneous throughout the country as well as fulfilling all the programs and initiatives currently in progress: here is the mandate of the new management of the Goodyear owned network, new operational developments and investment
Mino De Rigo
On February 1, the change of management, with Marco Prosdocimi, new retail director of Goodyear Dunlop Italia, substituting Matteo Castelli at the helm of the SuperService network. Whose legacy after his two years in the role, was significantly displayed on many fronts, with a wide set of initiatives still waiting to produce their full effect. “ That is my job - explains Marco Prosdocimi – to make sure that all our associates within the network take full advantage, without exception, of all our programs. Because their real value is expressed only if we all benefit from them”. Here, then, is the development plan for the 2015-2017 period: on the one hand a growth in the number of affiliations, with the aim of bringing to 350 the number of members in the SuperService network, no more than 300 nowadays, taking care to maintain the level as homogeneous as possible; and then, on the other hand, the promotion among affiliates of the network’s traits, actions designed to raise the quality of the relationship between POSs and customers, the visibility and reputation of the stores, as well as the profitability of the business. "Today, more than ever - continues Prosdocimi - retail specialists are aware that it is not enough to have an efficient warehouse and competitive prices to stay in business. The clientele has changed, more informed and demanding, taking into consideration the full buying experience, ie. all the products and services that must meet the most stringent requirements. All this prompts the tire specialist in thinking whether to become a member or not, coming to realize by themselves how difficult it is to face, on their own, an ever-changing market".
A soft franchising program and a dedicated offer
The SuperService formula proposes a twin-track approach: on the one hand the soft franchise mode, and on the other, a stricter franchising form summarized by the “dedicated offer“ program. "A more pressing commitment, where the partner must devote a significant proportion of sales to brands that make up the SuperService portfolio, which includes Goodyear and Dunlop as premium tires recently joined by Fulda and Sava tires, as well as absorbing our consulting services and setting up dealer/customer relationships following guide lines based on our advanced customer relationship management system".
A strategy directed at systematically communicating with each POS’s customers, informing and advising them about new proposals and promotions, all in a framework of personal and non-massive communication aimed at enhancing customer loyalty. "The CRM platform is for us - adds Prosdocimi - an important investment and an essential part of our “dedicated offer” franchising package. In addition to this, we have introduced a new support person, a consultant who will assist franchisees, both with respect to the economic and financial management of the POS, as well as sales activities and methods: a tutor who will accompany them during the critical transition to a new horizon of opportunities". And, furthermore, the third qualifying element of the proposal, the multi-business approach: "no longer separate service programs with car and light commercial vehicles on the one hand, and heavy industrial trucks on the other, but a single interface for both programs."
Training and services for an added value
"Moreover, the approach to the heavy transport vehicle sector is well-framed, encompassing, among other things, a free Max Assistance insurance policy for damaged tires, a fuel card in partnership with API / IP designed for small fleets, and even an unprecedented support for credit management". The list of traits common to the softer franchising formula can be summed up in the training of SuperService franchisees, a push towards complementary services in each POS, the expansion of agreements and finally in promoting customer loyalty. “The key factor of this three-year program is training - says the retail manager of Goodyear - both in terms of business management, and sales techniques as well as services and new technologies. We organize two annual commercial and technical training sessions, accessible through an online platform”. Speaking about platforms, here is the new iSigess management system, assisting SuperService centers during reception, billing and store handling procedures, as well as fleet management and exclusive network activities, in addition to statistics, and more importantly remote data access also via tablets and smartphones through cloud computing, allowing the franchisee to exploit the Internet rather than a server, without having to upgrade any hardware. Through the web, the center can also access the AutomotiveGroup catalog to obtain goods or materials subject to agreements.
Agreements to enhance business volumes
"In addition to saving on consumables in the workshop - emphasizes Prosdocimi - we also provide the opportunity to obtain office supplies in a simple and immediate way, and at the best possible conditions through an agreement with Lyreco". Among the agreements available to the SuperService franchisee, our partnership with IAS, part of Groupauto Italy specialists in the distribution of spare parts and equipment, deserves special mention, allowing our centers to perform auto repair services in addition to our regular activities, enabling our partners to access the Multi-brand Autoservice Network.
"A differentiation strategy of the business has become indispensable, and the great number of agreements for additional services, as well as proposals, allows our partners the opportunity to diversify activities and increase business volumes. For example sanitizing passenger cars, including air conditioning system, dry car washing and the application of protective films to car glasses". And, furthermore, car window tinting, a rather trendy service nowadays, required not only to enhance the privacy of passengers, but also to decrease the heat of solar radiation.
"These initiatives - Prosdocimi emphasizes – can attract new customers, compensating the drop in tire sales during certain periods of the year. The Super Assistance free insurance program is also a strong feature of our network. A key role in generating business volumes is played by the Payback program, which already has 7 million users. A loyalty card that allows customers to accumulate points after each purchase in a SuperService center. The program sees several partners involved, including 3, Alitalia, American Express, BNL, Carrefour, Esso and Mediaset Premium. And last but not least, a new line of work wear, modern and colorful, to help improving the overall impression of anyone entering a SuperService center".
EQUIPPED TO FACE THE MARKET’S AWAKENING
Despite the economy and a stagnant market, the future for SuperService franchisees appears bright. Word of Marco Prosdocimi, who adds: "Last year ended with positive results for the network, although having to move in a complex scenario. Compared to the previous year we recorded a growth in business volumes, albeit with a change in the mix of brands in our portfolio, with standard and budget products in the forefront, which still helped the sale of premium products”. For Goodyear’s retail manager, "2015 seems substantially stationary, but the positive trend in registrations and other signs of improvement leave room for optimism, with respect to the market share of our network and our growing potential; furthermore, we are well equipped to exploit the revival of the sector". The management board of the network is another arrow in SuperService’s quiver, to effectively adapt to the conditions and demands of the market: "a daily contact with our POS allows us to understand and meet the requests of our franchisees by providing rapid and effective answers to any questions or doubts".