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Second generation assult

From the Tyres Hotel where dealers deposit customers’ tires  at the Emergency Claims service , from the B2b with do-it-yourself tools available at tire training seminars,  through the new fidelity campaign, these are some of the goals of the ever growing  Cusago distributor

Francesco Lojola

A young team , made up of under-40s with the exception of Manuel Ivan, who , along with four partners, his brother Alessio , Giorgio Edwards,  Aldo and Adriano Besnati , took over the family business, active since 1984  as a tires wholesaler , impressing the momentum of an enthusiastic second generation: and finally, in 2000 , the birth of Gexpo . "We are all passionate about our work - says Alessio Ivan, who as the president appears to be the Chairman of the board of the Cusago firm in Milan - and look to the future with strong optimism, although recession continues to bite, because we have invested heavily in both structure and organization and the fruits of our efforts are proving us right . " From the all-new headquarters completed last year, which is a short distance from the old Iba offices and required an investment of € 8 million, to ongoing projects showing Gexpo  busy in boosting its personnel. " In clear contrast to the general trend , we are taking on more staff . We have many irons in the fire because the initiatives launched over the past 18 months are many and articulate. Moreover, we continue to extend a portfolio of offers which is already very rich. " With 27 employees , 20 agents and thirty owner-operators who guarantee prompt delivery, the Milan distributor operates through a territory that includes Lombardy and Piedmont as well as some areas of Liguria and Valle d'Aosta.

Breadth and depth of range

Enthusiasm , entrepreneurial skills , alongside the strength of the organization and logistics are the foundations on which the range of products and services that give body to a competitive business proposal are added. " Year after year , the progressive growth of our business volume - says Alessio Ivan - is around 30 million Euros per year and our goal is to grow in double digits. Also this year things will not be easy, considering the decline in the average selling price of tires", caused by consumers looking at cheaper products rather than premium tires, although the latter ones are the essential core of the range . " Our strength is to always offer customers everything they ask for, especially with the OEM range ." Premium products and a dozen or more other brands of standard and budget segments , for the most part exclusively”. In over 95 % of cases we are able to supply exactly the tires required by tire repairers. “Our strength is given by constancy: both in terms of breadth and depth of our offer and the quality of our services. And it is this, along with the reputation of professionalism and reliability in meeting a client’s expectations, that leads the retailer to choose us and over time to repeat the experience”. The outlets registered in the Gexpo database amount to about 5 thousand , 2 thousand of which correspond to customers who purchase from the  Cusago distributors each month.

B2b daily simplification

"For the retailer it means connecting to the various B2b sites and, like a reverse auction, choose what suits them at the best price. It’s not enough to rely only on a wide range of tires and good  marketing tools , you must have a good selection of wheels and parts for small mechanical repairs (an increasing number of tire repairers work on the car’s underbody) and a range of useful services. " And that’s where Gexpo is in the forefront: "Our website - says Aldo Besnati, the company’s computer specialist - is a real working tool : intuitive, full of useful information about tires and all the latest news, but above all the reserved area allows to draw up the budget to be delivered to the customer , where each  individual item, service or accessory is priced and clients can set the surcharge that will be automatically applied to each product. Thus, even in the absence of the person in charge, employees can proceed without fear of mistakes. " In addition, the site provides access to a product selector dedicated to rims . "It is the result of cooperating with Alcar , in addition to the partnership with Eta Beta " . Another popular service, is Tyres Hotel, launched by Gexpo in 2009, which caters for dealers that require a storing facility where the customer’s tires can be stored after the seasonal change. 

All round customer retention

"We have about 6 thousand square metres - says Alessio Ivan - distributed in older deposits within the area of Cusago . Here we store sets of tires , accurately identified . We have devoted a special website , , that can be accessed by tire dealers to print labels. After entering the vehicle data and the client’s name and setting the alerts for any programmed arrangement, the customer can request with one click the return within 4 working days ". And already running is the emergency claims system (reachable through the site) that provides the clients of our retailers with free claims assistance against local authorities in case of damages to vehicles related to poor road maintenance. Tire dealers, who are required to collect and send all the documentation, receive a small contribution. " The service works and proves to be a powerful customer retention tool ." The annual campaign entitled " Gexpo rewards your loyalty " also contributes to retain customer. Following each purchase points are credited in the B2b  score which can then yield a choice of more than 400 prizes. Training courses also feature in the range of initiatives by the Milan based distributors. Adriano Besnati explains : " Thanks to Continental’s support we have organized on our premises a course dedicated to the financial management of an outlet. The initiative was so successful that it’ll be soon repeated. " With the declared intention of holding further seminars on technical issues , management and regulations on a monthly basis.


The most striking feature of this development are the new Cusago premises in the Milanhinterland. Here Gexpo built its warehouse of about 12 thousand square meters, which includes a large 700 square meter open space, where the offices are located,with a meeting room for presentations and training courses next to it. But the highlight of the entire structure is undoubtedly the warehouse, with a computerizedbarcode system and wire-guided forklift trucks that move through the aisles. Storing capacity is about 180 thousand tires , ranging from  4x4’s and light transport , passing through moped, scooter and motorcycle tires. And there is also room for the  wheelsprovided by ALCAR . More than two dozen brands of tires in the portfolio include, in addition to a group of premium manufactures (Pirelli , Continental, Goodyear , Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone , Yokohama ) , a wide choice of quality products , from Apollo,Formula, and Firestone and Fulda to Nokian , Nexen , Kleber , Uniroyal and Marshal , andbudget tires, like Gripmax (low- cost SUV tires ) the latest brand added to a list in whichwe also find HiFly, Federal, Sava, Sports, Jinyu and Minerva.

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