2015 SEMA Show, Pre-Show: New Tire Registration Tool

Posted on October 30, 2015

With the debate over mandatory versus voluntary tire registration looming, tire dealers can catch a glimpse of a new tool at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show to make the process easier.

Tire Force Solutions Ltd. is ready to reveal TireDOTRegistry, a mobile app that works with any existing point-of-sale (POS) software to help dealers electronically harvest U.S. Department of Transportation data from tires sold and combine it with vehicle and consumer information.

Craig Howes, CEO and president of Tire Force Solutions, says the standalone app, is debuting at the SEMA Show. It was created first as a feature to be added to the company’s POS software, and was modeled after a similar feature that handles tire rebates and warranties.

Howes and Adrian Rudzikas, director of information technology and solutions, were working on the tire registration technology just as the Tire Industry Association and Rubber Manufacturers Association lit another round of fireworks in their decades-long debate over the issue.

“We didn’t realize what we had. This is a much bigger issue, especially for dealers who don’t have a technology department and needed a go-to for technical help,” Howes says. “We knew it needed to be incredibly easy to use. And we don’t want to slow (technicians) down in the bays.”

At the SEMA Show the industry will get a look at the app for Apple products. It’s also available as a web-based system. Dealers pay either a $15 monthly fee or $150 for an entire year for each store. The system allows unlimited users per store. So while technicians technically could install the app on their own devices and use it, Howes expects it’s much more likely that a shop will invest in one or two iPods, have everyone use the same hardware and create individual user names.

Dealers can use the app in a way that best suits their shop’s workflow, Howes says. Some might launch the app and manually enter the information from the tire or scan it while the car is still in the shop. Others might take photos of the tires in the service bay, but then have someone at the front desk input the information with other data from the customer’s sales ticket. All of the app’s data can be integrated into the dealer’s existing point of sale software.

Howes says the company is working on an image capture option, where the app will extract the U.S. Department of Transportation data from the tire’s sidewall and plug it into the appropriate fields on the form. “I’m not sure that we’ll have that done by SEMA,” Howes says.

Another feature that is ready to roll is a recall notification system that alerts consumers, as well as dealers, when a recall takes place. And rather than just send a message to the consumer, Howes says there’s a message to connect that consumer with the dealer to get whatever. “We think it should connect the two and round off the service to make sure the dealer gets the best opportunity, which naturally should generate some additional revenue.”

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Related Topics: 2015 SEMA Show, Craig Howes, mobile app, tire registration, TireDOTRegistry

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