A new enhancement to 1link Service Network is designed to help vehicle manufacturers and franchise dealer groups gain a larger share of the fleet tyre market.
The improvement to the service and maintenance e-commerce platform could make a big difference to how vehicle manufacturers and franchise dealer groups view the fleet tyre sector.
For the first time, epyx’s e-procurement technology allows the buying of products through 1link Service Network, with company car and light commercial vehicle tyres as the starting point.
Leading tyre distributors and manufacturers have signed up to provide stock at highly competitive prices. To buy tyres through the platform, all service centres such as franchise dealers have to do is click on the "e-procurement" button on the home page to look at a detailed catalogue complete with pricing, delivery and other key information. Products from different suppliers can be placed in one "basket" and there are discounts for volume.
Crucially, e-procurement will make it easy to provide a nationwide, fixed price tyre offering to fleets in the same manner as other current items of menu pricing available through the platform.
Mike Wise, director of tyre programmes, said: "The tyre market is a huge opportunity. The average company car has two tyres fitted every year, adding up to sales of around six million units. Yet it is an area where franchise dealer sales penetration is low.
"e-procurement technology could allow a fleet national tyre programme to be constructed in a matter of days, creating a one stop shop offering for franchise networks offering alongside other forms of service and maintenance."
He explained the key points to the tyre offering that e-procurement made possible were price competitiveness, service and choice.
Mike said: "e-procurement has the ability to make a real impact in this area by providing a credible service and price proposition on tyres that will have genuine appeal to fleets.
"There are also many associated opportunities such as the growing winter tyre opportunity, where sales into fleets are rising rapidly year on year."
A further enhancement to e-procurement is planned for later in 2014. Called "push" tyre pricing, it will enable fleets to publish the prices they currently pay for tyres on the platform.
Mike said: "This means that manufacturers and dealers will be able to compete for this type of major fleet tyre business in a highly competitive manner."