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Business opportunities

From a management platform in cloud computing to a new customer relations management system, the Goodyear Dunlop dealer network is renewed and strengthens its services and market positioning

Francesco Lojola

In a context marked by a general decline in consumption, where customers are increasingly less loyal, an effective customer service program and initiatives aimed at strengthening customer retention play a key role. And the same is true, for a network that selects its franchisees, for the urge to renew and elevate the contents and quality of service. Hence, on the one hand, the increasing efforts to generate business in retail outlets and supporting the dealers in building relations aimed, in the long run, at retaining customers; and, on the other hand, a project to transform the ways in which the company and its network partners communicate and cooperate on a daily basis, making them more and more interactive. It’s a snapshot of the current SuperService network as viewed by Goodyear Dunlop Italy. Matteo Castelli, retail Manager says: "We are committed to the development of the network with a broad-range plan, and a realistic ambition to increase the quality standards of our affiliates, as well as creating a closer and mutually advantageous partnership. We cannot overlook the importance of a renewed approach to electronic instruments, with which retailers today must necessarily be very familiar". The way is open, therefore, for the 2.0 tire dealer, for whom the web has no secrets and represents the basic tool for extending its operating range in the market.


Simple tools and cloud computing

"Franchisees - said Castelli – are asking us, above all, to simplify the procedures and to facilitate their daily activities. Reason for which we have already updated our web portal and added new services, making our management tools easier to use. Furthermore, the choice of changing the information system providing a cloud computing platform, now in the pipeline, goes precisely in this direction". Therefore, the SuperService dealers will no longer be required to use a server in their shop because they can take advantage of the application made ​​available on the web, as well as data storage, accessing it as if it were on a local computer. And the same will be true for a new Customer relations management program, which is still being studied, designed to organize our customer’s database and communicate news and initiatives to nurture the relationship and improve customer loyalty. “Also - says the manager of Goodyear Dunlop - the launch of the new portal for online training of our franchisees is a noteworthy initiative, and will be operative by the end of the year. In addition to all this, we must point out the introduction of an unprecedented number of services and the development of initiatives that already this year have offered new business opportunities for our affiliates. We have hit the mark, if it is true that the budget of the SuperService network, considering the sluggish economy, can be said to be satisfactory. Thanks mainly to the ability of our retailers in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the network ", supported by the actions of the manufacturer who has introduced many promotional initiatives. Last of which, the "Non perdere il treno" (don’t miss the boat) prize competition, which ended at the end of August.


Premium brands on a reverse trend

"It helped to keep sales in line with our target, particularly with respect to our premium offer. Fueling a trend for Goodyear and Dunlop brands in sharp contrast to a market inclined more towards the low-cost segment rather than the standard one". A low-cost segment, however, in which the portfolio of the group includes brands such as Fulda and Sava. "This has favored - said Castelli - the stability of the product mix, in which the premium range still reaches 80%." Substantial help also came from business agreements, the most recent of which were made with Vodafone and Asso Cral, a partnership that has nearly two million members. And still on efforts aimed at generating business volume, there is the deal with McDonald's Italy for all those customers enrolled in the McDrive club and therefore eligible for a discount coupon for purchasing tires at a SuperService retail outlet. "For next year - continues Castelli – a flurry of important innovations are in the pipeline, designed to give further impetus to the network and its strategic positioning. We will proceed with the expansion of the network by selecting new candidates, in an efforts also to leave less market space to competitors, and with the development of our affiliates’ competence, respecting their full independence". To do this, Goodyear Dunlop plans to intensify the training activities and to repeat last year’s experience of evaluation in incognito of the network’s retail outlets. "Last fall, we commissioned a" Mystery Client " study, to analyze the performance of each partner based on customer relation and sales approach in compliance with the standards of the network. The outcome was more than comforting: a great encouragement to repeat the experience this year as well".


How not to depend on seasonal replacements

Deliberate investments have been made, particularly in improving our training and update courses. Sessions ranging from technical issues to topics of a more purely commercial and managerial nature, from the management of the retail outlet to customer relation. Castelli adds: "The last TPMS sensors training course saw the participation of over 200  SuperService dealers, while more than half the members attended the class dedicated to the management of retail outlets and sales techniques. It should also be said that during these training sessions we do not take the stand, but rather use the opportunity for an interchange of opinions and information". From which, the need to depend less on seasonal replacements emerged strongly. "In this regard, it would be highly beneficial to combine our traditional tire services with some light mechanical repairs, which is why we renewed our cooperation with Magneti Marelli", as well as developing other services that meet the needs of those who do not want or cannot, due to structural limits, introduce light mechanical repairs in their premises. "For example - adds the manager of Goodyear Dunlop – sanitizing car interiors with ozone treatments, for which we have an agreement with Sanity System. The desire to exit the seasonal logic is coupled with a request to develop co-marketing initiatives at local level, generating business volumes in retail outlets throughout the year. And even on these issues we are present: with strategies that seamlessly fall within the framework to support the professional growth and value of our SuperService network".




Candidates with dynamic activities and high potential Wanted for the expansion of the network. Here is the message that SuperService launches to possible new members with the aim of increasing the current 300. "We do not set ourselves a target number - says Matteo Castelli, head of the Goodyear Dunlop SuperService network - but we want to extend an already widespread coverage, raising quality standards." And choosing the best on which to invest in, as part of a soft franchising formula to be improved over time.

"Highly significant contents for a reasonable annual fee: from on-going training to participation in  sell-out activities, otherwise impossible for our partners on their own, passing through marketing material for retail outlets, agreements, incentives and guarantees". Among the most appreciated activities is the insurance coverage on a set of summer and winter tires, for both cars and motorbikes, valid for one year on the entire national territory. The insurance guarantees the free replacement of a tire in case of damage wherever it occurs (in Italy), in the closest SuperService centre. " To the retailers - Castelli continues - we offer business opportunities, a comprehensive set of tools that simplify the work and the participation in programs that generate volumes of business, as 4Fleet Europe, leader in services to corporate fleets".


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