The Tire Review Crew visited the K&M Tire Dealer Conference and Trade Show 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: How are you keeping up with technology in your shop?
When you think of automotive technology of the future, you might think about a vehicle that is completely automated. Vehicles aren’t quite there yet, but there is still a ton of technology for tire dealers to keep up with, including electric vehicles, social media presence and training technicians to handle any future technology the shop invests in or vehicles come equipped with.
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:
Skander Tire Service
David Sickels: So, Alex, thanks for talking to us. Where are you from?
Alex Skander: I’m from Evans City, Pennsylvania, a little bit north of Pittsburgh. It’s called Skander Tire Service, a location that my grandfather started in 1969.
David Sickels: Technology is moving so fast between your shop equipment to social media, review sites. What are you kind of focusing on this year and how are you keeping up with how quickly technology is moving?
Alex Skander: Well, we definitely do a lot more social media than we did a couple of years ago when my dad was running the place. Maybe that’s just because of my age and being a digital native, as they say. Luckily, we’re big enough that it’s profitable. It’s a nice business to be in, but we’re small enough that I can do all the digital media myself as far as coming up with content for the normal social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. We’re managing Google reviews. Luckily, we’re small enough that that’s all feasible for me to do. So, if someone has a complaint or praise, I was actually there when it happened. So I can actually say thank you for the five stars, or if it’s one star, “Hey, would you like to email me? We’ll set up some resolution for this?” So I focus on a lot of, again, just the more nuanced customer engagement things when it comes to the technology.
Alex Skander: As far as technology and the actual changing of tires, [technology advancements] can be good. It can be detrimental too. As newer stuff comes out, it’s difficult to get some people on board with it.
Triple “L” Tire
David Sickels: Luis, thanks a lot for talking to me. Where are you from?
Luis Guzman: Mexia, Texas.
David Sickels: And now what’s your shop name?
Luis Guzman: Triple “L” Tire. I bought some new equipment 10 years ago. Now it’s just all up to date. I mean, pretty much, we got all the new stuff for the linemen, for your electrical cars, all that stuff. We’re ahead of a lot of other people.
David Sickels: Wow. Has that been a challenge adjusting to that?
Luis Guzman: It has because your technicians, they always want to go back to the old techniques. You got to teach them the new stuff, and usually [new techniques] are a whole lot easier.
Kevin Meschke: Not only the tire industry, but automotive industry as well with the electronic vehicles that are in service right now [is a focus]. The training that we have, both online as well as after work, we have multiple classes available to our techs. We try to give them incentives [for doing the training].