Michelin, one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, has been able to promote knowledge sharing by creating ‘Advisor’ exchanges from its tire usage. This past year, Michelin China started to label its tires with a unique QR code. The company can now understand the flow of the tires across the entire country. When retailers scan the QR code upon arrival and sale of the tire, Michelin identifies the retailer stock level in real-time, informing forecasts for production and imports. Using this information, Michelin is also able to trace its tires to quickly course correct. For example, Matthew Ye, Marketing Director from Michelin China describes a scenario if one of the tires had a defect: “You need to be able to know where these goods are flowing in case if you are facing a product claim and there is a need to trace products sold. In the past, it was a bit messy for us, but after the QR code system implementation we did some tests and we know how it flows now.”
This has also benefited the customer. The QR code not only helps consumers be more informed about the tire performance and how to best maintain their vehicle, but also confirms the authenticity of the tire: “The fact is in China, there are a lot of websites that are not controlled by the Michelin network and hence, have issues from people selling tires that are not proper.”
This comes at a time when the company also launched WeCare, a customer relationship management tool to send out service reminders, an ‘Advisor’ touch point. ”For example, if you had a tire changed in our shop last July, we will be able to - based on your mileage, your car model, and your spare part changes - to predict next time your service item will be due for another maintenance.”
According to Matthew Ye, information from tire flow, usage and performance not only brings Michelin closer to its end customer, but has brought value to the company across the value chain, “This helps a lot to create new products/services. All this data helps Michelin make better decisions to inform marketing, distribution, communication and the sales planning".
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