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Editor's Notebook

Looking for Opportunities Amid Supply Challenges

While the industry continues to battle supply issues, now is a good time to look at other aspects of your shop that you can control.

Right now is a crazy time in the tire industry. Most tire dealers I talk with are busier than ever and cite a myriad of reasons for this rush of business—pent-up demand from COVID, a severe shortage of labor, the change of season and the lack of tire availability. In fact, I spoke with a dealer the other day who called me toward the end of his business day, saying he had been on the phone all day trying to find the tire sizes he needed.

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While I know that situation doesn’t hold true for everyone, you can’t deny that being short on tire supply has sent shockwaves through the industry. Manufacturers are grappling with rising container and freight charges coupled with an increase in raw material costs. Then, long wait times at the ports are forcing both manufacturers and distributors to not always have the product on hand when dealers need it. There are many factors at play (too many to list here) and it leaves dealers—like the one I spoke with on the phone recently—trying to find the tires their customers need when they walk into the store.

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Some dealers have told me that in their markets, availability is king. This also varies by specific segments such as high-end performance wheel assemblies or off-road rigs. So much so that you can almost dictate the price to the customer, and they’ll pay for it if they want a certain style bad enough. We should all be so lucky.

Regardless of how it’s impacting you, supply challenges look like they’ll persist at least into at least Q3 of 2022. So, how do you continue to make sure your customers know you’ll take care of them, despite maybe not having the tires they need on hand?

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The answer: Now is a great time to take a look at other aspects of your shop that you can control.

In our Business Planning Guide this year, we delve into some ways that you can enhance not only your customer’s experience but also your shop’s operations. Whether it’s through more fully utilizing your business management software or incorporating more data and analytics into your decision-making, these articles provide a myriad of ways for you to work on the things you have the control to change. You’ll find topics on leadership, employee management and new ways of training. Check them all out below:

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As we head into a new year, supply challenges will persist. However, you still have the power to control your customer’s experience with the shop. Make it a good one and you’ll keep them as a customer for life.

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