The Tire Review crew recently visited the annual K&M Tire Dealer Conference, this year in Kansas City, and while we were there, it was our goal to get a pulse on the industry by tracking down tire dealers and asking them our most burning questions.
This week, that question is: What is the biggest challenge for your business right now, and how are you addressing it?
Every business is dealing with complicated issues stemming from the pandemic. Tire dealers told us their biggest challenges and how they’re combatting them.
As part of our ongoing “What’s the Deal?” series, Tire Review will be asking tire dealers their thoughts on a variety of topics. Do you have a topic you’d like addressed? Let us know! Contact us by emailing [email protected].
Here’s a transcript of the episode:
Christian Hinton: What have been the biggest challenges for your business right now?
Kevin Meschke: Right now, lately, as of such, it’s been employees. Employees going to show up, getting people to stick around. We used to have multiple part-time high school kids show up, and a list or a line of full-certified technicians. Nowadays, that’s not the case. They say for every five that retire in the mechanical world, we get one to replace them. Very difficult to find higher-quality help that’s certified, and ready to go to work on a daily basis. That has been our biggest issue right now. We have the clientele to supply the work. Unfortunately, we don’t have the help to take care of the customers.
Bob’s Tire & Auto Service
Nate Bohm: The biggest thing is going to be price, compared to what somebody with more buying power can get because they get a lower buying cost if they buy more units. And also, just getting people to work for, in my opinion, a dying trade.
Van Kleeck’s Tire
Clayton Van Kleeck: The biggest challenge I think continues, and it’s been this way for quite a while, is to keep a good staff. They are the ones who have the most interaction. They are the ones who are actually touching the trucks, the cars, the machines, and pulling the tires off and putting them on. And it’s a dirty, tough job. I don’t care how we work it, it’s still hard. It makes our fingers hurt in the wintertime, and we sweat in the summertime. And keeping a good staff is about money, so we’ve tried to stay ahead of that, but it’s also about every day, letting them know that we appreciate that they’re there, never letting anyone that works for you think they are not valuable. Because if they’re not valuable, they shouldn’t be there. But if they are, make sure that they do know you appreciate them. And if you don’t appreciate them, figure it out. Because it shouldn’t be that way. They’re not tools, they’re people.