After announcing a reorganization at the end of March, Myers Tire Supply is in a period of transformation as it works with its supplier partners to better serve its end user: tire dealers across America.
“We really looked out and said, given where the market is going, given the space that we play in, what do we need to do differently in terms of how we go to market, the channels that we sell through, the customers that we work with and how we serve them?” explained Chris DuPaul, distribution, group president for Myers Industries.
During its annual sales meeting and supplier fair in Cleveland this month, DuPaul, who joined the company in December 2017, met with members of the media to explain the organization’s next steps after announcing the restructuring of certain aspects of its business, and in turn, eliminating jobs at the end of March.
With the changes, DuPaul said Myers Tire Supply customers should expect enhanced service and training opportunities. His goal is for his staff members to get closer with their customers to better understand their needs and serve them in ways that would be beneficial to their business.
“We are an old and storied company. We’ve got a lot of history in this industry and a lot of people that work here feel very attached to who we are and what we do,” DuPaul said. “We’ve got some deep relationships with customers that we’ve had for decades, but what we haven’t always done is evolved with the times and evolved with our industry. So, a lot of what we’ve been doing right now as we embark on this journey is changing every part of our business.”
Some of those changes include:
● Restructuring its Myers Tire Supply business, which included eliminating certain sales and administrative positions to reduce costs and improve margins;
● Realigning the commercial sales structure;
● Changing compensation plans for its sales force to offer greater rewards;
● Expanding the Myers Tire Supply e-commerce platform;
● Strengthening relationships with supplier partners.
“There’s a big difference between having a vendor and having a partner,” DuPaul said about the company’s relationships with its suppliers. “Over the course of the last three to six months, we’ve started to be more selective about where the places are that we want to play and who we are going to do that with. It’s a fundamentally different approach from ‘who can I go get this widget from?’ We’re thinking about how do you serve the commercial space? How do you serve tire dealers? What do we need to bring to the market in terms of the products, the pricing, services and solutions?”
Myers is also leveraging its partner relationships to help tire dealerships that have grown as the industry continues to consolidate. DuPaul said with the company’s nationwide footprint, it has the tools to implement programs for multisite dealers.
“That is dead in our sweet spot,” he said. “That’s where we have capabilities around how we show up at their stores, the data analytics we can provide, the controls and programs we can put around merchandising, what’s going into their shops. Those are great capabilities to have and bring to customers like that.”
DuPaul said the organization is also investing in changes to its e-commerce platform that will improve its usability. He said Myers plans to add more training content to the platform for salespeople to use as a tool to build deeper relationships with customers.
As part of the changes, Myers is also investing in training its staff. DuPaul said the company created a team dedicated solely to training new employees and a training program that digs deep into Myers’ product categories. The program also pairs new team members with sales reps to get experience in the field.
As Myers goes through this transition, DuPaul touted the company’s ability to help dealers with “everything around the tire change.” He said as the industry undergoes rapid change, serving independent tire dealers will continue to be at the core of the company’s business. Going forward, he promised a continued commitment to better serve its customers.
“The independent tire dealer is still a huge part of the market out there,” DuPaul said. “Every dollar that we spend on our overall cost structure should be on something that’s going to drive the growth of the business.”