ROLL AHEAD

Program Makes Tire Management A Snap



Used tires can be a hassle to sell. Nugent Auto Sales, Inc., in Maquoketa, Iowa, inventoried its tires in a three-ring binder. Tires were added as the dismantlers removed them, not by size, and thumbing through its multiple pages took a considerable amount of time. Owners Brent and Shelia Nugent wanted a faster, simpler way to sell tires. They created Extra Tire Management, a tool to enhance tire inventory.

"We also made it so us in the office could look up a tire without getting anyone else involved," said Shelia. "People used to come in with a tire size and we were at a loss and had to go get someone. Now we have the drop down and the sizes are there, tread is there, the stock number where it is located and how many we have. It made it very easy."

Extra Tire Management is a Microsoft Windows-based inventory program developed by Jonathan Folker at Nerdwerx, a Quad Cities web design company. Tires, even semi tires, are added by brand, size, tread, condition and stock number. Tires can be added as singles, pairs or sets of four. The software keeps track of tires sold and in stock. It updates instantly. Photos and tags can also be added. The inventory shows up on the companion web site, Buy A Tire Or Two, for free. It is $240 a year, accessible from any computer and requires no user fees.

"It's the convenience," said Brent. "You can look up a tire in less than 10 seconds."

"And you can know all about the tire, where it is and the condition," added Shelia.

Brent and Shelia started work on Extra Tire Management in 2009. They used it at Nugent Auto Sales for six months to work out the kinks then asked Ace Auto Recyclers, Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa, to test it for another six months.

"Ace sold 1,400 tires in a year on it, so it does work," said Brent. "It is convenient. It makes it a step easier. Ace never organized their tires before they got this. Tires are important. They are another part of the vehicle we need to sell."

Fourteen facilities currently use Extra Tire Management, including Morrison's Auto, Inc. in Edgerton, Wis. Josh Finn uses the program to enhance the facility's Pinnacle inventory system, which limits tire searches to the vehicle they came off of.

"Our sales people used to take a call from a customer looking for tires, write the size down, then go check the rack and call the customer back on what we had," said Finn. "Now they can look up the specific size the customer needs and let them know right away what we have."

Extra Tire management also allows Morrison's Auto Parts to use the system at its storefront in Madison, Wis.

"If the guy running the store sees a tire in inventory here that a customer needs, he bills it out and the tire is ready in the morning.

"I think this is a great tool for our sales people to really help service the customer faster and easier," Finn added. "This has greatly increased our sales in the tire area of the business."

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