Customer relations and delivery reliability
Delivery reliability is one of the prerequisites for Nokian Tyres’ success. The consumer sales of winter tyres are highly focused on seasons and that requires tyre manufacturers to employ flexible and rapid logistics. Long-term customer relationships that are based on trust offer both parties opportunities to improve and succeed.
We want to be the first choice for our customers as their tyre partner. We want our customers to be highly satisfied with our products and services. Customer satisfaction and good partnership also form one essential area for improvement in our strategic development roadmap for the near future.
We want to establish long-term partnerships that benefit everyone. Through reliable distribution channels, we also want to secure our position as the best performing brand in terms of product availability. We are also working on improving our customer relationship management tools.
In order to reach this goal, we support our customers’ business through commercial collaboration and our pricing policy. We also conduct joint promotions and marketing campaigns with our key customers and develop interesting sales concepts for franchise chains.
In 2015, we examined the customer satisfaction of tyre and car dealers in a survey, and our average score for overall satisfaction was 4.1 on a scale from 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent). The survey examined customer satisfaction with 12 different aspects as well as overall satisfaction with the partnership with Nokian Tyres. The results are based on the responses by approximately 1,400 customers in several countries. We track customer satisfaction each year and will be conducting a similar survey in spring 2016.
Close customer service and reliable partnership
For Nokian Tyres’ business, it is essential that our customers know the company and the products we produce. Establishing strong product and company knowledge and earning mutual trust in all aspects make it easier for the customer to sell our products and conduct profitable business operations. Close and versatile collaboration plays a key role in building trust and partnership.
Nokian Tyres listens to its customers and invests in building stronger customer relationships. Over the course of a year, local sales managers carry out thousands of personal visits to tyre outlets and car dealerships. Launch events for new products, factory visits in various countries and tailored online training for retailers and other customers all improve in-depth product knowledge.
New product launches are arranged in our test centres in Nokia and Ivalo as well as locally in our key markets. New product launches are popular events as they let our customers experience the driving feel and behaviour of new tyres. Especially the Northern beauty and challenging winter driving conditions in Ivalo offer unique experiences.
In autumn 2015, we launched the Nokian Hakka Green 2 at our test track in Nokia, where more than 200 customers came to learn more about the new eco-friendly tyre over the course of five days. After spending a day with the new tyre, our customers enjoyed the relaxing and beautiful scenery of Lake Pyhäjärvi.
Deliveries according to contract
By delivery reliability, we mean that the right products are delivered according to contract in terms of the product quality, method of transport, delivery location, delivery time, and price. Delivery reliability is one of the prerequisites for Nokian Tyres’ success. The consumer sales of winter tyres are highly focused on seasons and that requires tyre manufacturers to employ flexible and rapid logistics. Good availability of tyres and quick delivery on time are increasingly important factors by which the customers select their suppliers. Nokian Tyres’ delivery reliability is generally recognised in the field, and it contributes to reinforcing our price position in the market.
Development efforts for optimising transportation
Nokian Tyres products are sold in more than 60 countries by our in-house sales organisation and thousands of client companies. Our clientele includes tyre chains, car dealerships, tyre wholesalers and retailers, independent importers, machine and equipment manufacturers, port and logistics companies, and haulage companies. The Vianor tyre chain and new NADs (Nokian Tyres Authorized Dealers) have an increasingly important role in the sales and seasonal management of Nokian Tyres. A significant part of the Group’s sales are currently made through Vianor outlets.
Nokian Tyres and Vianor have, for a long time, worked together for improving and streamlining logistics. Our Group aims to avoid all unnecessary transportation and thus reduce the environmental impacts. To minimise the transportation distance and the consequent environmental impact, tyres are delivered from the production plants to our clients as directly as possible in fully loaded trucks.
Transportation is specifically one of Vianor’s most significant environmental impacts, and the chain strives to maximise the number of tyres in each delivery from the import warehouse and to minimise transportation between outlets. The chain monitors the weight of the deliveries from the warehouse and packs the tyre trucks as fully as possible, for example by ‘lacing’ the tyres densely.
Nokian Tyres’ shipments in Central Europe use sea and rail transport as much as possible. From marine containers, we mainly deliver the tyres directly to the client by train or trucks. We prefer the largest container sizes (45’ HC and 40’ HC) in order to minimise our environmental impact. If at all possible, we use round-trip transportation to avoid return legs with empty trucks. Most of the time, haulage companies serve different clients on the outward and return legs, and trucks rarely have to drive back empty.
Sustainable logistics throughout a tyre’s service life
The production process includes several stages that turn raw materials into finished tyres. From our factories, Logistics delivers the tyres to our customers. Effective logistics play a key part in the import of raw materials, machinery and spare parts as well as the distribution of finished products to the customers in a cost-efficient, eco-friendly and timely way.
Succeeding during the peak season is essential for Nokian Tyres’ business. This means that forecasting delivery volumes to partners is, in many cases, the only way to ensure sufficient capacity.
– We need to be able to deliver orders as quickly as possible. Keeping track of global events, such as strikes and natural phenomena, helps us anticipate the changing conditions. By maintaining an extensive network and building long-term partnerships, we can ensure good readiness to respond to changes, for instance by using alternative delivery routes or partners, when needed, explains Jussi Juhola, head of the Logistics unit.
We need to be forward-thinking: the raw materials may be supplied to our factories up to six months from purchase, tyre deliveries are planned 1 to 6 months in advance and inventory forecasts are made up to two years ahead.
– We work continuously with our subcontractors. We also want to ensure the high quality and reliability of our partner network because our customers’ experience is also affected by the performance of the delivery company that we use, says Logistics Manager Markus Huttunen.
Our operations take into account the safety aspects, high quality and compliance with ethical principles. In logistics, consideration of the environmental aspects is an essential part of planning and organising deliveries: we use full containers where possible and choose the shortest delivery routes and the most eco-friendly modes of transport. We mainly use road, rail and sea transports.
The Nokian Tyres’ warehouse network comprises more than 30 warehouses in 13 countries. Our largest warehouses are located near our factories in Nokia and Vsevolozhsk and in Central Europe in Czech Republic and Germany.