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Camioncino, call the tire dealer



Thanks to the digital platform, tire dealers are now able to provide motorists with a practical, simple and innovative alternative to “traditional” tire replacement operations.

Nicoletta Ferrini

If the driver won’t come to tire dealer, then the tire dealer must go to the driver. This assumption is the founding principle behind, a digital platform through which tires can be purchased online from an authorized dealer and, above all, have them delivered and fitted at home or at work even during office hours.

This innovative service proposal stems from one clear fact: customers have very little time - and probably even less desire to go to the tire dealer. Many consider it a nuisance, though a necessary one. In fact, tires must be replaced periodically. Furthermore, twice a year, in a number of Italian regions the use of winter tires is a legal requirement, it is therefore necessary to have the tires replaced in winter as well as in summer.

On average, replacement operations, including the home-workshop-home trip, take about two hours. Even the most fervent supporter of the importance of careful handling and accurate tire maintenance would find it difficult not to regret this “waste of time”. Conversely, considering the average use of a vehicle by its owner, a car normally remains standing a large part of the day, about 20 hours, either in the garage or somewhere near the workplace. And here is where Camioncino. Com’s idea comes into play, taking advantage of these idle times to carry out those tire maintenance activities that drivers find increasingly hard to find time for.


Home tire service just a click away

The service is quite simple: once the digital platform has been accessed, the motorist can either book or purchase needed services through the customized Web site or through the app: tire replacement; mounting /demounting operations in addition to seasonal replacements and new tire sale and possibly "hotel tire" storage service; mounting /demounting operations and seasonal replacement using the customer’s own set of tires.

Upon receiving the order, the authorized dealer can then start planning the work ahead. In order to optimize the service and make it truly competitive, the dealer groups the greatest number of maintenance or replacement work on the same day at the same company. Once the ideal date has been identified, the dealer communicates it to the customer and the company's reception desk. Both will receive via email all the details of the activities involved (names, dates, where to park, where to leave and collect the keys, etc.). On the agreed day, the authorized dealer will reach the customer’s parking lot for the scheduled maintenance work. Upon completion, the customer receives a notice via e-mail and can then immediately check through the app all the relevant data about his tires (general conditions and details of the action taken). Video-digital diagnosis represents the "plus" side of the service. Before taking any action, in fact, the dealer takes pictures of the car’s body, paying particular attention to any damage, and the dashboard to monitor the mileage. After demounting the tires, the operator captures and records some key information, including wear, alignment, tire pressure (thanks to a simulator, it is also possible to estimate how many kilometres the tires can be used before replacement). All collected data is then filed, and each operation can be traced back providing up-to-date customer record. The retailer will thus be able to contact the customer well ahead of time to schedule future activities. 


High value-added service and a new business model then, is the perfect answer to the increasing need for a simple, efficient and convenient way to guarantee the proper maintenance of any vehicle as expressed by a wide number of consumers. The service, though, represents also an opportunity, for many companies, to provide their employees with a truly valuable service. And, last but not least, those retailers, both “traditional” tire fitters and larger networks alike, who would like to offer an additional service that could set them apart from the increasingly aggressive competition, keeping abreast of the consumer’s digital evolution, will find in an excellent solution.    

 "We are not replacing the tire dealers - reassures Guido Maestri, founder and president of Camioncino Srl - rather, we are offering them a tool that could increase their business through an advanced "Amazon style" business model that is based on the assumption that it doesn’t have to be the customers to come to the shop, but the shop can reach them when they most need it. From an operational point of view - continues Maestri - we handle the digital platform consisting of a site, a back office and a mobile app to manage the entire process (purchasing, maintenance actions, storage, etc.). After this, our main concern is to sign agreements with companies and subcontract the work to specialized retailers after the clients have purchased the service through our digital platform. The retailers are therefore still  responsible for performing the activities physically, for the quality of the service, for purchasing and storing the tires, the relationship with the customers, and so on."


Advantages not just for the motorist

There are several advantages for the retailer in using the platform: an increased customer base without having to increase the size of the workshop and possibly also the number of employees and equipment; offering a distinctive and truly competitive service to customers in the area; increased level of  customer satisfaction; compensation for sales volumes lost to online sales channels; more profitable use of service vehicles. However, a retailer must possess some minimum requirements to guarantee the quality of the network. "We perform a complete company screening to estimate not only its financial status, but also whether it is really capable of offering the service according to our quality standards," highlights Guido Maestri. Having a mobile workshop is, of course, crucial. However, “putting on” the hat, is not particularly complex, nor expensive. "If they already have a vehicle, and this is usually the case for those who normally contact us, the cost of equipment and trimmings will generally not exceed 10,000 euro," Maestri points out. A further requirement is a warehouse to store the products. Our dream is actually to set up a network of storage centres with lots of assistance vehicles for home service. "


Finally, to access and use the digital platform, the retailer must pay a monthly fee and, after a certain number of replacements, a fee for each single operation.


A new yet “mature” service

Launched in April 2016 in Parma, was already available in September of the same year in Milan and soon after in Turin, Padua, Bologna, Florence and Rome. The platform already boasts over 10,000 vehicle registrations and 500 registered customers. Among the companies with a standing agreement we find names like Barilla, CA-Cariparma, Chiesi Pharmaceuticals, Crédit Agricole, Parmalat, Unicredit, Whirlpool. Not to mention the number of tire dealers and workshops that have already chosen to join the network or are trying to do so.

It is early days still, although there is no lack of reasons to be optimistic, says Guido Maestri: "according to estimates, tire replacements take place, on average, every four years. Thus, if for the first year of agreement, only 25% of our potential customers will need this type of service, we can say that a portion ranging between 15% and 25% already choose"


Lorusso (Pino Gomme): “ is good for us and for our clients”

"We can no longer wait for the customers to come to our store, we have to be ready to take our service to them. This is the future. " Michele Lorusso of Pino Gomme in Buccinasco (Milan) thus summarizes the reasons for the choice made about a year and a half ago to go into what he himself calls the " Adventure". The first retailer in Lombardy to join the project, Lorusso looks back without regrets. In the first eighteen months with, Pino Gomme has already performed over 150 operations.  However, numbers are not the most significant element of this experience: "Our customers are very happy because through they have an efficient and convenient service that solves what, we have to admit, for many is a hassle, that is, "taking the time to go to the tire dealer", - explains Michele. And there are many others who, although not employed by affiliated companies, would like to receive the same service.  " In the face of all this, the commitment required from the dealer is not excessive, as the same owner of Pino Gomme confirms: "Moving the activity from the workshop to our assistant van is not that difficult and,  it can be quite cost-effective. The customers are starting to become familiar with this type of service, so - who knows! - maybe in the future we will have more vehicles running around than lifts in the workshop."

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