Transportation & Logistics

How Dealer Tire solves real-world supply chain challenges with Axway

Dealer Tire and Axway API Management B2B integration MFT solving supply chain challenges Customer Spotlight

Dealer Tire has supported car manufacturers across the globe for 100+ years and is still a leader in the industry. Facing growing competition and a rapidly-shifting supply chain environment, the company leverages Axway’s digital solutions to meet its service-level agreements and enable ongoing transformation.

Bill Morgan, Senior Solution Engineer at Dealer Tire, gives a closer look at day-to-day operations and how Dealer Tire is solving real-world challenges with Axway.

Getting cars on the road, one tire at a time

Dealer tire is a tire distributor that focuses on the automotive dealer channel, meaning the company sells to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and dealers instead of to consumers directly.

It’s one thing that makes Dealer Tire stand out from its competitors: translating knowledge into actionable intelligence for franchised automobile dealers, ultimately identifying opportunities that will help increase sales and customer satisfaction. The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018.

With its network of 36 distribution centers, Dealer Tire gives 98% of dealers in the Continental U.S. same-day or next-day delivery. That means maintaining 99.99% uptime to make sure those dealers have unwavering access to a sophisticated yet easy-to-use online business portal.

To do so, Dealer Tire has relied on Axway’s B2B Integration and MFT technology since 2009, and added the Amplify API Management Platform in 2019. “The flexibility of all of the Axway products together has actually provided us with a fairly amazing toolkit,” said Bill Morgan.

The company works with some 150 trading partners, and while some processes are built for repeatability, Morgan explains that a lot of what they do is customized for each partner. Dealers have different needs depending on their region – snow tires aren’t big sellers in a state like Arizona, for example – so they have to tailor each dealer’s inventory mix to unique customer traffic.

With Axway’s flexible solutions, Dealer Tire has managed to buffer against product shortages with an industry-leading 99+ percent fill rate, solving problems quickly and effectively.

Grappling with a global supply chain crunch

Dealer Tire hasn’t been immune to the supply chain disruption sweeping the globe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Morgan admits there have been challenges, but adds the company is fortunate to have several strengths that are helping it to weather the storm:

First, Dealer Tire benefits from a solid network, both from a people and a technology standpoint. Teams make frequent use of analytical data, with feeds often going through Axway’s solutions – whether it’s a repair order history coming from OEMs or information being sent back to suppliers. All parties involved can then understand what’s actually being used, and get a better idea of where they may need to focus for production or availability.

Second, the level of order integration with tire suppliers is virtually hands-off, other than for a few smaller clients. The process is automated from order submission, to advanced ship notifications, to actual delivery of the tires. Orders are fast, they’re electronic, and they’re accurate.

“We don’t have to worry about realizing a customer needed 200 of a different tire because somebody typed out the order incorrectly,” said Morgan. “It’s helping us make sure we’ve got what we want, where we want it.”

Finally, Dealer Tire has quite a few integrations with its third-party delivery carriers. Electronic shipping updates and invoicing allow internal Carline representatives, supply chain partners, and the customer to know where things are at any point in time.

Improving customer service through integration

Dealer Tire continues to strive for top-of-the-line customer satisfaction. Like many organizations over the last few years, Dealer Tire has worked on implementing Salesforce as its customer relationship management solution.

In the past, the process for dealerships to submit a price match request for reimbursement was fairly manual. Dealer Tire was using an old homegrown system – and a lot of emails. That meant lots of back and forth, delays, and the risk of human error or missing documentation.

The teams responsible for Dealer Tire’s dealership portals came up with a solution, but during architectural review it was quickly apparent there was a simpler option: leveraging the tools they already had available within the Axway environment.

Now, the entire process using internal data and Salesforce IDs is handled in one map flow within Axway B2B Integration. “The solution we came up with for our price match shows that Axway’s solutions are more than capable of handling complex integrations,” said Morgan.

The end result? Dealer Tire was able to provide better customer service, simplifying the process for dealerships and OEMs – with the added benefit of internal cost savings.

Moving to a more self-service experience

Looking forward over the next several years, Morgan says Dealer Tire’s teams want to look at providing more self-help tools for level 1 support.

“We’re looking at leveraging Axway Sentinel to make sure that as we’re mapping data or just moving files, we’re recording information over so that analysts and even business users can get answers to their status update questions.”

Ultimately, leveraging Axway’s real-time data & monitoring to offer better self-service will allow Dealer Tire’s teams to tackle challenges and provide additional value to the organization.

Morgan adds that working with Axway over the years has felt more like a partnership than a customer relation.

“Through the various Axway conferences and events over the years, it’s provided us a chance to provide input on how we’re using the products, what we’re seeing in our day-to-day. And it’s nice to see some of those recommended changes be implemented and watch as the products evolved,” said Morgan.

His advice for someone looking to implement a similar technology stack? “If it can’t do what you need to solve right, here right now, then it’s not right.”

Click below to watch the full replay for more. You’ll learn:

  • How Dealer Tire is using Axway solutions to integrate with other ERP systems.
  • How internal teams engage with the Amplify API Management on a routine basis.
  • More technical detail on the implementation of their price match solution.
  • And even Bill Morgan’s tips on how to secure funding for improved solutions for your team.

Watch the Customer Spotlight Webinar with Dealer Tire on demand now.