Even with a team of 25 engineers and $2 million worth of tire testing equipment in place, there is a lot of space to fill at Kenda Rubber Industrial Co.’s new technology center in Green, Ohio. Tom Williams, Kenda’s vice president of engineering, is planning to add more engineers and equipment to the 50,000-square-foot facility.
Kenda gave more than 50 of its distributors and dealers a look at its North American Technical Center (KATC) near Akron at an open house on June 20, 2016.
Mechanical and chemical engineers demonstrated developmental and testing equipment and engineering tools, including a high speed uniformity/rolling resistance test machine. “Our proprietary design tools will accelerate our ability to offer cost-effective products to the aftermarket and original equipment markets,” says Williams.
A customer walks into your store, hands you a credit card and says, “This is what I want for my vehicle. Just run the card and we’ll discuss the price later.” Craig Dobrin, vice president of operations at Marietta, Ga.-based Butler Tires & Wheels, says this type of interaction has become a regular occurrence at the four-location dealership.
In times like these, we learn the business lessons that stick with us for the rest of our lives. One lesson I think we’ll see is that the tire dealers who kept all of their technicians and best sales people employed during the pandemic will recover faster than those who did not.
Amid this pandemic, you have an extraordinary opportunity to re-boot your business in a fundamental way — by truly putting the customer at the center of your culture. There are quick, old-fashioned methods to provide the right touch, even in our new no-touch world.