NEW ORLEANS—The biggest challenges for the commercial tire industry moving forward will be in service solutions for the end customer and attracting qualified talent to work in an industry with a “low tech” image.
That's the takeaway from Kurt Danielson, the top executive for Bridgestone Commercial Group who spoke April 20 at the North American Tire & Retread Expo in New Orleans.
Developing and implementing the right package of physical and digital services to meet the trucking industry's needs is critical to a supplier's fortunes, Danielson said during a “Tireside Chat” at the second-annual NATRE.
“Are we moving quickly enough?” he asked rhetorically. “Are we being creative enough? Are we working with the right partners?”
The president of Bridgestone Commercial since May 2014 and a Bridgestone veteran of 21 years noted that the trucking industry is requiring that its suppliers deliver more and more value-added services to the products they supply.
One area of great concern, Danielson said, is in telematics, where, “We (suppliers) have an obligation to improve” the digital information exchange.
The winners in this informational arms race will be “those firms that can make it work end to end; those that can simplify the process.”
He acknowledged independent dealers will be integral to building an effective services package, and thus will be expected to invest in technology and personnel to be part of the solution.
Danielson also said attracting qualified young talent to the tire industry is a challenge facing all companies.
“We have an obligation to educate and nurture” the next generation of industry leaders, he said, noting the industry needs to work on improving its image and on generating excitement among those entering the workplace.