Growing from a family of tire retailers, Dealer Tire has become a major player in distributing tires from OEMs to thousands of vehicle dealers across the U.S., says Jill Marcotte, partner and chief supply chain officer. Continued growth depends on enhanced visibility, total collaboration among all the parties and accurate data collection.
With 7,000 to 8,000 customers across the country at any one time - the automobile and truck dealerships of America - it is vitally important for Dealer Tire to know what tires and how many of them to stock in its warehouses. Data collection is key to doing that properly, Marcotte says.
It may be fairly obvious that more truck tires will be sold in Texas than in the Northeast, but the right data on sizes, wet and dry weather traction, and wear rates is crucial to accurate inventory planning.
Visibility in the tire value chain begins with the original equipment manufacturers, of both the vehicles and the tires. It's important to know their forecasts, and it's good to know how many of any one vehicle are in given parts of the country and the average replacement-tire needs of those vehicles.
A tire manufacturer's supply chain spans the globe. As an example, Marcotte says, one of the dealers her company partners with has 43 manufacturing facilities in 21 countries. "Seventy-five percent of those tires are produced outside of the United States," she says, "so there's a lot of complexity that goes into the manufacture of them."
Consequently, close collaboration, excellent data collection and end-to-end visibility are the keys to success in her business, Marcotte says. "We bring engineered solutions to our approach to business, we have lean thinking, but the most important thing we do is execute with excellence and keep the focus on the customer."
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