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A year after the birth of CDG-One, the Yokohama and GT Radial network, we’re taking stock with Federico Tebaldini, CEO of CDG-One Srl. Diversified services, a dynamic approach, personal relationships with customers, and a new project for winter tyres

Roberta Papadia

 Yokohama Italia was totally convinced when it gave birth last year to CDG-One, the Yokohama and GT Radial dual-brand network that brought home interesting results with a dynamic approach and a special aptitude for problem solving.

It was not an easy challenge: to introduce a new network to a market that has had networks for several years. In effect, CDG-One is the natural development of the Consulenti di Guida (CDG – driving consultants) project that Yokohama Italia set up in the early Nineties to give specialist retailers the additional qualification of bona fide tyre consultants. This was followed by services and training for growing with the retailer. It was an excellent decision: CDGs passed the 1,000 threshold and needed a structured network that would more strongly identify the driving consultants. So CDG-One Srl made its official debut on 1 January 2011 (we talked about it in the first issue last year Ed).

“Many services are offered and the network that operates with Yokohama’s philosophy has been strongly characterized. Human relationships first and foremost, a privileged relationship with specialist retailers, esteem and trust for growing together, and the will to find new roads and new solutions for tackling the market and, perhaps, be ahead of it. Growth that is shared but fully respects the independence of the retailer as an entrepreneur”. This is how the network was presented by Federico Tebaldini, CDG-One Srl CEO and network manager.

The network has a dedicated structure with constant, daily assistance for affiliates. “We work with professionals, offer them the chance of a partnership that does not affect their autonomy or association with other networks, a collaboration for building together a project for the future based on reliability and quality”. In terms of offer, the network has a diversified package that ranges from agreements with leasing companies, courtesy cars, technical-commercial training and refresher courses, product tests, outlet identification and personalization, budgets for local and national promo-advertising, a personalized line of clothing, partnerships with major companies for products and services.

“The services promised when the network began a year ago have been fulfilled and the company’s philosophy has not changed: a strong and personal bond with all affiliated retailers. We believe in it. We have a special approach to service and we want to offer complete solutions that relieve worries, solve problems concretely, and really support an affiliate’s business. An example is the courtesy car; it’s not about using two logos, but offering an all-inclusive service with protection also in legal terms”. The service includes a portal for tracking all courtesy car operations and the customer using it. The retailer is thereby protected at all times with respect to the customer using the courtesy car, even in the event of fines or accidents. Especially when the company is small, the offer of a complete service is a way of adding value to a retail business without taking time away from the business itself.


The leasing business

CDG-One is investing a lot in the long-term development of the leasing business. A market that is certainly interesting but complex, with peculiarities that require specific expertise. “We have an office dedicated to leasing companies. It is based in Rome, a strategic location for this business, and it is run by three expert consultants who support the leasing companies and the retailers. The technicians analyze and follow the developments in this sector in order to give affiliates tangible support also for managing contract specifics. Various CDG-One have already developed the leasing business and have acquired very significant experience, while others have approached the sector through our network. This is very important to us because it is our way of being familiar with the network. We want to be a reliable partner that is always present and also one that provides inputs for new actions”.

In addition to the historical CDGs, there are now two levels of affiliation with a total of 600 centres: 250 CDG-One and CDG-Service. The former are 360° affiliates and use the network’s complete package, the latter are network affiliates for the leasing market that use the dedicated  “Btofleet” services.


Pilot project: a virtual warehouse of winter tyres

A network that is dynamic and solid. The idea is to grow by constantly developing, following the market, finding solutions and anticipating demands.

“Nowadays, to enter the leasing company business as a network we must widen the offer, find new approaches and services. It is not easy but we believe in it. The segment is represented by both large and small leasing companies. Companies that obviously have different characteristics, needs and problems that the network must be able to interpret and manage”. The strength of the network is essential for appealing to leasing companies. To be competitive, the offer must be widened and, above all, differentiated. This vision led to the pilot project for winter tyres: a virtual warehouse of winter tyres for leasing companies. The boom in winter tyres in Italy has led to new demands and issues like product availability, and it is important to know how to understand the moment and come up with constructive answers.

“There is a lot of awareness about winter tyres. Together with a leasing company CDG-One has developed a pilot test that involves setting up and organizing a virtual warehouse of winter tyres exclusively for leasing companies. It’s an onerous  service for us, but it is very useful as it guarantees that products are quickly available for leasing company customers; it means user-friendly organization and customer satisfaction. Being able to depend on an efficient service  allows leasing companies to push this offer and increase business. For our affiliates it also solves the problem of space because they can use their own warehouse for private customers while tyres for leasing companies are handled by our virtual warehouse and delivered to the retailer very quickly. Retailers are free to choose if and how to use the virtual warehouse thereby managing their own offer in the best possible way.”

The virtual warehouse was set up by agreeing with the leasing companies a certain number of tyres in various useful sizes. The warehouse is connected to a portal which retailers and leasing companies can access. The retailer can check product availability in real time and place an order; delivery is within 24-48 hours from authorization. The speed of delivery is made possible by the special logistics developed by Yokohama Italia to suit individual retailers. The leasing company can daily check availability in its virtual warehouse and direct its customers to any CDG-One centre with the certainty that they will be mounted within 24 hours.

“For us, this project is a real solution that is part of the corporate vision I talked about: to give retailers tangible help, provide new and practical answers to problems and increase business. We don’t keep customers waiting on the phone. We are always in contact with the affiliates. Obviously, this has a cost, but it is fundamental for us. Economies of scale must be found but high levels of service quality and personal relationships with retailers must also be maintained”. 

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