Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 72 F o c u s O n I n d u s t r y "Big O dealers have already seen the benefits of NTW in a very short period of time," said Wilson. "Stores are getting more frequent deliveries because of the NTW footprint affording them the opportunity to better service customers." GOAL TO GROW FLEET SERVICE Fleet service is a new initiative for 2019. "We've been doing fleet but to make it a major initiative we've got to have systems, reporting and processes. We are now able to say it is a new initiative this year," said Wilson. e dealer meeting included a presenta- tion on Auto Integrate, a web-based real-time maintenance authorization soware for the fleet management service industry. e soware will be part of Big O Tires dealers' point-of-sale systems. "We're leveraging TBC and their fleet muscle and partnerships and bringing that down to Big O Tires dealers. Fleet is going to be an area where it is critical to be attached to a big partner like TBC. You will see the fleet management companies going to national footprints and major players versus smaller independents. at's what TBC has, the national footprint." Wilson said about half of Big O Tires dealers have strong fleet sales. e goal is to bring it up to 80% of dealers over the next two years. 'BIG O YES' CAMPAIGN WILL CONTINUE Big O Tires will continue its "Big O Yes" sales and marketing campaign, which was introduced in 2018. e campaign involved training and coaching to help franchisees and their employees recognize and respond to opportunities to "say yes" to customers on the phone, at the sales counter and online. Kim McBee, vice president of marketing for Big O Tires, says the campaign helped franchisees surpass their targets for sales and car count in 2018. In conjunction with the campaign, Big O Tires introduced several programs to help dealers boost sales. ese included an emphasis on Big O Tires private credit card sales, which grew by double digits in 2018, and secondary finance programs. "We're focused on saying yes to credit and to having financing options for people," says McBee. "We have our private label credit card program and now we have secondary finance programs so if a customer doesn't qualify for the Big O Tires credit card we have an option for them." Big O Tires' integrated marketing plan includes a keyword search program, which is generating 40,000 calls per month. McBee says 30% of phone calls to a store can be traced to a customer who searches keywords, such as "tires near me," that have been purchased for a Big O Tires outlet. "That's a big deal for us to show our franchisees," says McBee. "ese are people searching for tires, they see our ads, click on them, and we have analytics to match them back to our point-of-sale system. We know they are coming into a store." TOP PERFORMERS HONORED The franchise group recognized its top performers for both business success and contributions to the growth of the fran- chise. e Hall of Fame inductee was Bill Walker, a multi-store owner in Indiana and Kentucky. ree received franchisee of the year honors: Mike Trammel, store owner in Indiana; Greg Kimberlin, multi-store owner in Kentucky; and Rob Curry, multi-store owner in Colorado and California. Chris Monteverde received both the Point of Light and IFA (International Franchise Association) awards. e Point of Light rec- ognizes franchisees that have contributed to the Big O organization with their knowledge, expertise, and dedication. e IFA Award honors achievement and commitment in business and the community. Winners of the Standing "O" award were Derek and Jared Edwards, franchisees in Sandy, Utah; Tim Washburn, franchise business consultant for Big O Tires in the Northern California – Bay Area region; and Erica Staley, senior marketing manager for Big O Tires. e dealer meeting included a preview of profit workshops that will be available to dealers in 2019. Wilson said Big O Tires is finding its biggest opportunities in car count growth through strategic initiatives, increasing fleet business, and expanding its footprint in and outside of its existing territories. e top business hurdles for Big O dealers in 2019? "e number of SKUs isn't reducing anytime soon. So NTW and our improved footprint are very important," says Wilson. He also cited challenges and opportunities related to consumer financing partners, e-commerce capabilities, customer rela- tionship management systems and digital marketing. "ose are challenges but that's where the strength of Big O lies," says Wilson. "As a franchisor we feel we are excelling in these areas, always getting better and better at helping dealers meet those challenges." ■ Sister and brother Nicole and Mike Toumayan paused for a pho- to during the vendor fair. The family owns two Big O Tires stores in California, one in San Clemente and the other in Temecula. Autel displayed technology for calibrating all ADAS (advance driver-assistance systems) features at the vendor fair. Glen Nicholson, senior director of training for TBC, places targets.

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