Safety First a Goodway to Go
In Tyres & Accessories’ September 2008 Retreading Special, Goodway Rubber Industries, the Malaysian retreading compound and materials supplier, spoke at great length about its continuing mission for safety within the workplace and its concern for the wellbeing of its staff, culminating in its Nilai factory’s attainment of OHSAS 18001 certification. In the time since then, this attention to safety has been reflected in the company’s products, specifically with reference to its Supercool-branded flagship retreading material, which has been given the new tagline, “Engineered For Safety”. Despite the current economic turmoil, Goodway says that its trademark brand registered growth last year, stemming from well-positioned branding efforts and aggressive marketing strategies. Indeed, the company is optimistic that the financial woes could represent it – and retreaders in general – with a significant opportunity.
Synonymous with safety
Goodway’s efforts to attach its name to peace of mind products is related to three major prongs of the business, resulting in a tripartite effort to get behind Supercool as a brand synonymous with safety. Peter Lang, a marketing manager with the company, states that the company’s ability in research and development, its core values represented in part by the OHSAS 18001 certification and market positioning, related to its new slogan for Supercool, are “entirely dedicated to develop and deliver world-class products founded on reliability.”
While the middle of these three approaches to safety has been much emphasised within these pages in the past, the development of customer-facing features is currently high up on Goodway’s agenda. In terms of its promise to deliver high quality products, Goodway says that it has selected suppliers and raw materials that match only its criteria for producing the best available foundations for its product. In turn, this allows the company to continue to develop a final Supercool product that boasts safety features such as the usage of non-hazardous compounds; increased lifespan through greater durability; better traction, more responsive handling and heat sensitivity through the high quality of its initial ingrediants.
The company has also emphasised the ways in which it is applying its approach to staff safety to the concerns of its customers through the implementation of its Supercool Authorised Retailer initiative. Goodway looks amongst potential partners for such qualities as experienced manpower; high-quality, approved retreading methods and processes; contemporary machinery and technology; and SAR-certification by the company’s own technical specialists. Clearly, Goodway’s brand-defining safety message is extending beyond its origins within the company’s staff and plant considerations.
Opportunities and business strategies
Goodway’s view of the current worldwide economic predicament could be described as more optimistic than many, since it is viewing the worldwide problems as a significant opportunity to push retreading forward against the option of new tyres. Goodway believes that as demand for new tyres contracts, there will be an inverse reaction in the market for retreads. According to the company, retreads will attract additional business as a cost-cutting measure for customers who would previously have bought new tyres. Since Goodway predicts that the usage of retreads will be on the up in the economically-difficult 2009, it makes sense that the company is following it up through marketing the superior quality of Supercool pre-cured tread liners at lower prices, emphasising the value for money offered by the safety-conscious product.
Thus, Supercool’s tagline comes into play again, with company sources insisting, “we will continue to focus on enhancing our market positioning by focusing on branding, supported by in-depth knowledge of customers to provide products and services to fulfil their needs. Furthermore, we will intensify our value-added services through activities such as technical support, end-user visits, tyre management programmes and community campaigns.”
Of course, Goodway is not claiming that it is entirely resistant to the forces of the general worldwide financial predicament: “With the worldwide economic slowdown, Goodway has implemented strategies to cope with the financial turmoil.” It has worked to “streamline the group’s operations through revenue and expenditure management, cashflow management as well as improving sales and marketing efficiency and competency.” These measures are symbolic of the importance to an ambitious company of withstanding the tough times, though Goodway also emphasises its “commitment to our customers” as a driving force.
Indeed, the company’s plans to reduce its production capacity expansion will be replaced, says Goodyway, with a focus on offering customers “competitive pricing, advertising and promotion support” alongside increasing its distribution network. In this way, the company believes it is well positioned to tap into the opportunity for growth in countries where retreading is relatively untapped; Goodway cites specifically Indonesia and China. “We predict the market to develop as they become more receptive to the cost-savings retreads can provide,” concludes Goodway.