When Bob “The Chef” Sullivan hung a handmade sign above his family's tire shop in the small Massachusetts town of Rockland in 1955, little did he know that it would grow into an operation that covers the entire New England area from Maine to Connecticut.
Fifty-six years later, Sullivan Tire with its 15 commercial tire locations, a service fleet of 74 on-highway and off-highway service trucks and a crew of more than 1,000 employees in New England, has earned the designation as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month for July 2011.
Each month, Goodyear 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 recognizes Sullivan Tire for helping customers make full use of Goodyear services, such as fleetHQ and TV TRACK.
“We're very proud of earning Goodyear's Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month award,” said Paul Sullivan, executive vice president of Sullivan Tire, and son of company founder, Bob Sullivan. “It's great to know that Goodyear recognizes the vision of service that my father instilled in this company and the hard work and dedication of our employees in realizing that vision.”
Bob Morris, commercial sales manager for Sullivan Tire, said Sullivan Tire has succeeded by concentrating on what benefits its customers.
“One of our goals is to grow customer satisfaction by providing the best value and service in our marketplace,” Morris said. “We do that by understanding our customer’s needs and offering quality products and outstanding service by Tire Industry Association-certified technicians.”
Sullivan Tire also operates its own in-house training department, which stresses the importance of developing solutions for its customers. Having its own in-house training program allows Sullivan Tire to provide intensive training to its account managers and service technicians, Morris said. Plus, account managers and service technicians routinely attend training courses that Goodyear offers, which help them keep up-to-date with the latest tire technology and the tire tracking tools that Goodyear offers.
For example, Sullivan Tire's commercial account managers conduct fleet surveys, scrap tire analysis, and performance tracking using the TV TRACK tool available with fleetHQ, Goodyear's portfolio of business solutions for truck operators and fleets of all sizes, Morris added. By using the tire tracking tool, account managers help customers fine tune their tire programs, determining which tires perform best in their applications and how to best manage their tires to get the most value out of them.
Sullivan Tire managers work closely with Goodyear’s fleetHQ Solution Center in Fort Smith, Ark., to get customers back on the road quickly. When fleets call the Solution Center for tire-related emergency roadside assistance, Sullivan Tire responds quickly to fleetHQ customers needing service in its market area, Morris said. In 2010, Sullivan Tire service technicians responded to and successfully completed more than 660 calls to fleetHQ.
Besides providing prompt emergency roadside assistance, Sullivan Tire stresses the importance of understanding a customer's operation and its tire needs, Morris added. When they understand a customer’s needs, Sullivan Tire account managers and service technicians can best determine which tires will work best. And it helps that Goodyear offers a wide variety of tires for customers.
“Since our market base is mostly regional haul, we find that the Goodyear G182 and the Goodyear G661 regional tires work well because they provide the traction and sidewall strength needed for our high crown roads and heavy loads,” he said. “But construction and waste are also strong market segments for Sullivan Tire. And the Goodyear G289 WHA and the Goodyear G287 MSA with DuraSeal Technology have proven to offer those customers a great solution.”
“Sullivan Tire also utilizes the additional options of Dunlop and Kelly brands to ensure that our customers have the best value and the right tires for their applications,” Morris said. “Being able to offer our customers Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tires has allowed us to grow our market share by 8 percent from 2008 to 2010. The combination of quality products, competitive pricing and good people makes partnering with Goodyear easy.”