To everything turn, turn, turn… there is a season, turn, turn, turn. As I am writing this article, this song by The Byrds keeps popping into my head. It should be the theme song for anyone in the tire business. The tire industry has a great respect for the increase in business the winter season brings in, and for the same reason, we welcome in the spring season as well. Off come the winter tires, on go the all-season tires, turn, turn, turn…
Naturally, with winter tire changeovers comes the potential for an increase in TPMS service and revenue. Now is the time to start getting prepared for these opportunities. TPMS can be a huge profit builder and a very smooth process when properly planned for and best practices are kept. The bigger challenge should be getting the driver to invest in maintaining a working system.
Before anything else, get your order in and get stocked with a full-line of TPMS sensors. An inventory-friendly solution, like a programmable sensor, will make this a piece of cake. Be confident you have the right sensor when you need it—no headaches, no delays. If you are in bigger favor of a plug-and-go type option, start stocking up on OE quality replacement sensors. If you keep record of the vehicles you changed over to winter tires, you should have a good idea of which MMYs are coming your way. Stock what you need to keep turnin’.
Also, don’t forget about service kits. Tire industry associations and vehicle manufacturers suggest that a new service kit should be installed every single time a tire is removed from the wheel. This is to prevent unseen damage from causing expensive and potentially harmful air leaks. Ask your TPMS supplier if they offer service pack assortment kits. Assortment kits offer the most popular service kits on the market in bulk so you have the right one when you need it.
Getting stocked up now will save you time and money during this busy season and ultimately allow you to bring in more revenue. However, if your staff doesn’t follow TPMS best practices, you are at risk of costly mistakes and impatient customers. You must make sure your staff is properly trained. Specifically, with TPMS, training is vital to ensure the system works properly and keeps the driver safe. Many TPMS suppliers offer online training and other online resources to help ensure the proper steps and precautions are taken while servicing TPMS. Start encouraging your staff to learn this service before the busy season.
Lastly, make sure you are talking about it. Advertise the many benefits of a working TPMS system: extended tire life, better handling, more efficient fuel consumption, less risk of blow-outs, early warning signals, etc. These benefits are social media gold. Make sure the driver knows that TPMS is a need if they don’t have it already, and if they do, encourage them to invest in the system to keep it working properly. At the end of the day, if the customer doesn’t see the benefits, you won’t make the sale.
There is a time to lose and a time to gain. Stock up now to maximize your changeover time. Get your staff trained to ensure your TPMS services are not hindered by incorrect procedures and comebacks. Advertise your TPMS service to bring in the most customers possible. Make this the season of your greatest gain.
Jacki Lutz is head of global marketing and communications for Schrader Performance Sensors, the automotive aftermarket brand of Sensata Technologies. In addition to being a Certified TIA ATS Instructor, she is also president of the Automotive Communications Council and an active Member of the AASA Market Executive Council.