Commitment to Employee Training Helps Gem City Tire Earn Goodyear Dealer of the Month

Gem City Tire

Customers who visit any of Gem City Tire's six full-service locations will likely find only Goodyear, Kelly, or Dunlop brands, or any of the other brands in the Goodyear family of commercial tires. They're also likely to find executives, sales persons or service technicians who know a great deal about the products and services the dealership offers.

Gem City Tire

Jeff Lecklider, president of Gem City Tire, said the Dayton, Ohio-based Goodyear dealership spends a considerable amount of resources providing training and education to help employees be as knowledgeable as possible about the products and services the company offers. Gem City Tire, which recently celebrated its 10th year in business as an exclusive Goodyear dealer, has six full-service locations in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. It also has a retread plant in Dayton, Ohio.

“Customers will find that we're not shy about being confident of the products and services we offer,” Lecklider said. “We're real proud of the fact that we're committed to being able to offer our customers the Goodyear platform of good, better and best tires that meet their needs and expectations and their budgets.”

This attitude, plus a commitment to customer service and support, are just some of the reasons why Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. chose Gem City Tire as its Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month for December 2009. Each month the company honors its top dealers that provide customers outstanding service, while helping them choose from among the Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tire brands. The dealer of the month honor also recognizes Gem City Tire for helping customers make full use of Goodyear services, such as fleetHQ and TVTRACK and G-TRACS automated retread tracking system.

Lecklider said having a dedicated staff of 100 employees who are committed to the success of the company's customers has been the key to Gem City Tire's success in growing its business. Lecklider also believes taking advantage of the education and training programs Goodyear makes available to dealers has greatly assisted his company. Shortly after they're hired, Gem City Tire employees attend a week-long training session at Goodyear's Tire Academy in Orlando, Fla. Then, Gem City Tire offers employees the opportunity to take continuing education courses through Goodyear throughout their career.

“We make a sizeable investment in our employees,” Lecklider said. “And when I have employees call me up the night they finish their week-long training courses and tell me how much they enjoy working at a company that gives them the tools and the knowledge to better help customers, I know we're doing the right thing.”

Gem City Tire

Lecklider said the training has been a critical factor in the company's retreading plant achieving an adjustment rate of less than 1 percent. Gem City Tire's retread facility, which produces about 200 to 235 tires per day, utilizes Goodyear's patented UniCircle® method and the pre-cure method of retreading.

“We really feel like we have a special partnership with Goodyear,” Lecklider said. “Over the past 10 years, Goodyear has been a big help in giving us the tools we need to grow our business.”

Besides Goodyear's Tire Academy program and online continuing education courses, another tool available for Goodyear dealers is fleetHQ, Lecklider added. Gem City Tire in June of 2009 rolled over all of its after hour calls to Goodyear's fleetHQ customer call center. With fleetHQ, Gem City Tire customers have one number: 866-fleetHQ (866-353-3847), to call for emergency roadside tire service throughout the United States and Canada. And customers pay for their tires on the road, the same price that they pay at home.

As a result of changing over to fleetHQ, Lecklider said callers are much more likely to get the assistance they need they call in after hours.

“The real exciting thing about fleetHQ is the preferred fleet side of it,” Lecklider said. “We've found that companies really like the fact that no matter where their trucks travel across the United States and Canada, they get charged the same price for replacement tires. And it's all billed through us so they're not having to deal with multiple invoices. FleetHQ has helped us win a lot of new business, nearly 100 new accounts since we rolled over our after-hour support calls to fleetHQ in June of 2009.”

Lecklider said he's extremely proud of his dealership and its employees for achieving the Goodyear Dealer of the Month honor.

“Our dealership takes a different approach to selling tires than many competing dealers in our area,” Lecklider said. “When our sales people meet with potential customers for the first time they're ready to listen to them, ask questions and get to know their business before they even start mentioning tires. Plus, our service people take pride in the work they do to provide our customers excellent support. I think being named dealer of the month simply reinforces the fact that we're doing the right things.”