Westlake Customer Forum: Options for fleet optimization

Montag, 31 Oktober, 2016 - 10:15
The photo proves: The mood in the Pneuhage/Zhongce team is excellent.

In August an exclusive customer circle of Pneuhage Reifendienste exchanged experiences concerning different topics of fleet optimization in Leipzig. About 50 representatives of renowned transport companies listened to the explanations of responsible people of Kloepfel Consulting GmbH and the trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull in the framework of an event at the Porsche plant.

Some responsible people of the marketing department of Zhongce Rubber came even from Hangzhou. As already mentioned in several detailed reports, the Chinese tyre giant developed a truck tyre line of the brand Westlake in close cooperation with experts from Pneuhage. The cooperation is characterized as constructive and extremely fruitful by both companies – this cooperation in the segment of commercial vehicles can even been described as a role model for teamwork between a Chinese manufacturer and a European tyre trade player. At the moment, the partners are preparing the development of a second tyre generation. Erwin Schwab, Managing Director at Pneuhage, describes the parameters of the cooperation in an interview.

The exchange of the transport companies at the Porsche plant in Leipzig also aimed at sharing experiences with and chances of Westlake treads. The overall feedback was mainly positive. Possibilities of improvements were communicated in an open way. Dimitri Lagun was supposed to have a look at the optimization potential from the perspective of a consultancy. Unfortunately, Dimitri Lagun, Division Manager of Logistics at the company Kloepfel Consulting, did not appear to be adequately prepared for his audience. He presented topics and approaches of the areas purchasing strategies, process optimization with regard to purchasing and recycling vehicles, fleet management and maintenance as well as documentation of fleet management but he focused on the passenger car segment: he just missed the point.

Pneuhage as link

The representatives of Schmitz Cargobull did a much better job. Stefan Grawe and Leoni Büning presented the performance portfolio of the trailer manufacturer, which is based in Altenberge. Schmitz Cargobull positioned itself as a solution provider exceeding the mere product. Stefan Grawe develops the corresponding new concepts around the service management at Cargobull Parts & Services GmbH. Leoni Büning, Cargobull Telematics GmbH, is aware of the requirements of transporting agents for modern telematics. The duo presented a possible future perspective. In order to meet the growing transport volume and the tasks of the logistics industry, it would be necessary to analyse the cooperation of the different players. A tyre player like Pneuhage could function as important link with Westlake. According to Grawe, customers would expect even shorter loading times and more digital possibilities in the future. In general, the round of commercial vehicle experts showed that the job of a truck driver should receive far more appreciation. Forwarding agents should start systems to increase the jobs attractiveness. Stefan Grawe described the cooperation with Pneuhage as full of trust. Similar to Pneuhage, there was a movement towards a comprehensive supplier of transport solutions with a variety of service concepts. “Services are the linking element with the customer”, explained Grawe. The tyre is an important cost factor in the transport business.

A comprehensive tyre service network like the one, which Pneuhage offered, would provide safety. In the framework of Westlake’s customer forum it was mentioned that the tyre partner network developed with Pneuhage would also be built up in Scandinavia.

 The appreciation of responsible people at Schmitz Cargobull for the work of the Pneuhage employees was as well rather noticeable during the customer forum. The brand Westlake would be more and more on the radar. Novelties like e.g. the S.CS Universal could optionally be equipped with Westlake treads in the replacement market. At that moment a delivery ex factory was checked. According to Stefan Grawe a number of factors would have to be taken into consideration. “If only one component does not fit, the whole trailer will immediately be considered to be responsible”, said Grawe. The topic of OE is considered to be a special challenge for Chinese manufacturers. Nonetheless, Zhongce Rubber together with Westlake treads can certainly be trusted to make major progress in original equipment in the years to come.