Camso Launches Mobile-Friendly Training Program for Dealers
Commercial tire dealers left Camso Inc.’s first-ever ride-and-drive event armed with newly developed digital resources to help them boost sales in an often-overlooked part of their businesses: tires and tracks for compact construction equipment.
Understanding the many aspects of a tire or track system is essential in the compact construction market. “Otherwise, providing the Lowest Operating Cost Solutions (LOCS) is just not possible. This is why we developed our knowledge transfer system,” says Bob Bulger, vice president and general manager – construction.
Camso’s knowledge transfer system has three components:
- Camso.co. The company says its new website is designed for mobile applications and features the most complete product selector in the OTR industry, combining tires, tracks and track systems.
- Camso Learning intelligence (Li). Li is an online training center for Camso’s dealers’ personnel that covers issues unique to the compact construction equipment market.
- Camso Sales intelligence (Si). Si is a self-updating sales tool for Camso’s construction, agricultural and material handling products. It available in seven languages online at si.camso.co, and it is a free iPad app. Camso says end users wanting to brush up on their OTR kno wledge can download the app for free as well.
“We are committed to growing the business of our distributors and dealers,” says David Fleischhauer, executive director, market development – construction. “We believe that this suite of tools will make it easier for them to specify the right product for the right application every time for end users.”
The company says 85% of end users rely on dealers to provide them with the guidance they need to put the correct tires on their equipment. To help dealers understand the complexity of compact construction market needs, the digital tools provide information on applications, surface types, conditions that impact tire life, vehicles and the geography in which the vehicles operate. The information is presented by type of vehicle.
At the heart of the knowledge transfer system is the product selector, which enables dealers to quickly narrow down Camso’s broad portfolio to recommend the right product to a customer. Users select the type of product, vehicle, surface condition and the make and model of the vehicle from a succession of pull-down menus. The company says it is the first product selector for compact construction tires in the marketplace.
Training and education are differentiators in the compact construction segment, according to Mike Dembe, market development manager. Camso’s knowledge system is mobile friendly, provides instant access to product and industry information, and the content updates automatically. “Having knowledge at your fingertips will differentiate you from competitors down the street,” he says.
Camso’s ‘key influencers’
Camso has held meetings with owners and presidents of commercial tire companies for years. Meetings with two groups of commercial tire dealers in Charlotte, N.C., the week of Sept. 14 signaled a different approach. “This is the first time we’ve done this intensive dealer training,” says Dembe.
Camso hosted about 30 employees from commercial tire dealerships in two “train the trainer” sessions. Collectively, they represent about 600 commercial tire locations across the nation. “These are going to be our point people, our insider people, to help train their own people,” says Dembe.
“We wanted to talk to people who were closer to the market, closer to their sales people, there’s not one owner here. We call them key influencers, and we wanted to bring them in for a two-day intensive training session to get our hands dirty, test drive the equipment and see these products in action.”
Dealers who are improperly trained will sell whatever compact construction tires they have on their floor or the cheapest product they can get their hands on because they are a busy commercial dealership, according Dembe. “Medium truck tires are their primary business. A lot of times this whole segment of compact construction tires, our specialty, gets overlooked.”
In addition to the new knowledge transfer system, Camso presented its tires, tracks and over-the-tire tracks (OTT) products during the in-class portion of the training session. A ride-and-drive gave dealers a chance to experience Camso’s products on various surface conditions and applications.
Jim Cavanaugh, commercial sales manager at Colony Tire Corp., says training is at the core of his sales staff’s success. “The more training you can do, the better they understand the product, the machines, and industry. They’ll be able to make a much more effective, value-added sales call to a customer.”
He says Colony is expanding its track business. “There is opportunity to do a lot more. We just need to make that emphasis. One of the challenges sales people face today is having so many products to sell.” Cavanaugh says the Si app on iPads and smartphones will make his sales reps more comfortable selling Camso products. He plans to have Camso lead classroom training for his reps and then build on it to be more specific and technical.
“These training tools are incredibly flexible,” says Dembe. “We can scale up or scale down to suit a dealer’s needs. Training can be online seminars, face-to-face, quarterly meetings, or a self-serve learn as you go at your own pace.”
Tire dealers add rubber tracks
Dembe also demonstrated the ease and speed of attaching the company’s OTT product to a skid steer machine. The process takes about 30 minutes.
“Half to two-thirds of tire dealers in North America are in the rubber track business. They are selling tracks to the same people they would be selling tires to. It’s an add-on sale. Tracks have come on board in a huge way the last 10 years. Many, and I’m going to say most, commercial tires dealers today are involved in some level with rubber tracks,” says Dembe.
The ride-and-drive included a stretch of muddy terrain where dealers maneuvered a skid steer equipped with OTT tracks. “I am pretty impressed with the versatility and performance of the tracks, as thick as this mud is,” says Joe Warren, OTR sales manager for the Illinois and Indiana regions for Pomp’s Tire Service Inc. “Over-the-tire tracks provide an economical option for customers to enhance traction and flotation. You can install them when operating a skid steer in wet and muddy conditions and gain the advantages of having a track machine without purchasing one.”
Justin Welsh says the Camso training sessions will make him a better resource for his employees. He manages the Southern Tire Mart LLC outlet in Fort Worth, Texas. “We’re always looking at how we can bring a better product or better value to our customers. The sales people want to sell but they aren’t sure how to put the right product on the right equipment in the right application. That’s what Camso’s training shows.”
Southern Tire Mart is new to the rubber tracks market. “If you’re not learning to put tracks on skid steers, you are going to be missing sales,” says Welsh. “You’ve got to change as the market changes.”
Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. participates in the compact construction market but it’s more of secondary sale that is still a target market, according to Kelly Conroy, director of sales – east. “A lot of our customers have this type of construction equipment so the Web-based nature of this training helps us get consistency in making these sales. It helps us drive the value of the product we’re selling instead of replace what’s on the equipment or a price point,” he says.
“For most of our dealers in North America, their main business is commercial truck tires,” says Fleischhauer.
“We want to make it easy for them to be comfortable in this segment that probably represents less than 10% of their revenue. Si is going to be our gateway to the sales reps of our partners with real-time information that will enable them to sell our products and solutions.” ■
Camso gives dealers a peek at new products
In spring of 2015, Camso introduced three premium skid steer tires, the SKS 793S, SKS 775 and SKS 732. The SKS 793S is a solid tire with an improved aperture design to enhance ride quality without compromising strength. The pneumatic SKS 732 and SKS 775 have a unique reverse sidewall profile to help deflect debris.
More products are in the pipeline. Camso gave dealers at the ride-and-drive event in Charlotte, N.C., a preview of tires coming to the North American market in the next few months.
The first new tire dealers will see is a premium product for wheel loaders. The WHL 775 is set to launch in December 2015.
The new tire features an extra-deep L5 lug depth, contoured lug base, heavy-duty carcass and heavy-duty sidewall construction.
As for the rest of the new products, Camso says expect product enhancements similar to those seen in its skid steer range.
“To be the best partners to our customers, we have to do our part to improve their profitability,” David Fleischhauer, executive director, market development – construction, told dealers.
“Our strategy is to be more important to you, to make you a more profitable company when it comes to this compact construction segment. By providing a better product and a better solution you’re going to save your customers money, you’re going to be more efficient for them. With the tools we provide to help you capture more of this market, we think you can gain more profitability and be more successful.”