Wheeltrak Tyres (EM) Expands through Business Diversification

Wheeltrak Tyres (EM)

Sibu-based Wheeltrak Tyres (EM) Sdn Bhd was established in 1997 during the Asean financial crisis. Yong Leh Tung and his friends bought a factory (which still operates today) at the Upper Lanang Industrial Park and started a joint venture in the tyre retreading business. Today, on the half acre of the land sits their retread factory, headquarters and warehouse.

“I do not have any tyre retreading knowledge and technical skills; my strength is in management. However, we enjoyed a very strong technical back-up from Newera, our retreading equipment supplier. At that time, we worked closely with Lee Heng Heng of Newera, during which various training was arranged for our staff.”

The company used to produce a small amount of hot cure retreaded tyres for the logging sector in the past. But it now focuses solely on the precure process, producing light and truck tyre retreads. Compared to the average of 700-800 retreads per month previously, the company currently produces 200 to 300 retreads due to the market slowdown and cheaper new truck tyres from China.

From the tyre retreading business, the company expanded to new passenger car radial (PCR) tyre distribution through its subsidiaries and associated companies. It is now the distributor of Pirelli, Jinyu and Otani PCR tyres as well as Apollo Truck Bus Radial (TBR) tyres for Sarawak.

Yong achieved an important milestone in 2000 by setting up the first Michelin tyre service centre in Sarawak under its subsidiary Wheeltrak Auto Services Sdn Bhd. Building on the success, Yong continued to partner with different tyre brands including Continental and Silverstone through its subsidiaries that carry the respective signage. The company also operates a Westlake Truck Centre. Westlake, he stressed, was a premium Chinese tyre in the market and ranked number 10 in the world. Apart from that, the company has a Castrol Service Centre. All these centres operate on their own premises.

“I always believe in working with an established and reputable company. We have a very good relationship with Newera, which is the leading tyre servicing and retreading equipment supplier in Malaysia. We bought all of our equipment from them. Continuous investment in advanced equipment is important to ensure accuracy and quality in the service that we provide. Equally important is the skill and knowledge of our staff, making sure that they are well equipped and keep abreast of current technology.”

When asked about the secret of the company’s rapid development and business expansion, Yong revealed that the staff was paid well and there were ample career advancement opportunities for them. If they performed well, they would stand a chance of being promoted to a branch manager and the company would give them a certain percentage of shares in the company.

“We distribute many brands of tyres and other products. However, we are very flexible; all of our branches are free to order their products elsewhere if they could find products that are cheaper than ours. At the end of the day, the most important factor is their revenue.”

Yong believed that successful businesses were built on relationships; relationships between employers and employees, staff and customers, and the foundation of all relationships was trust. Trust formed the foundation for effective communication, he stressed, as well as employee retention and motivation. A company that was able to create a strong sense of trust in the workplace was able to weather the storms thrown up by the competition and expand further.

“I will pay a visit to all the outlets every month to have a meeting with the manager. This allows us to understand the development of each outlet and resolve problems; this enhances the confidence of our dealers,” he added.

Last year, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary. Yong was thankful for the loyalty and effort of his staff, especially many of the outlet managers who had been with the company for more than 10 years. Yong also treasured the unwavering trust of his business partners, staff and dealers that enabled the company to ‘gear’ through various hardships and challenges. 

“The company was set up during a difficult time – the Asean financial crisis – and we were able to weather the economic storm and grow. If you keep calm in the face of your challenges and even in failure, you will find that most challenges are not challenges at all,” he concluded.

 

威德轮胎(东马)多元化业务扩张战略奏效

 

诗巫的威德轮胎(东马)私人有限公司创立于1997年,当时正逢东盟财务危机。 杨礼统和他的朋友们在Upper Lanang工业园买下了一间工厂(目前总公司所在),合股经营轮胎翻新生意。今天,在这面积半英亩土地上的是他们的翻胎厂、总部及仓库。

“我们没有任何的翻胎知识和技术,我的强项是管理。然而,我们从翻胎设备供应商――现代(Newera)公司那里取得强大的技术后援。那时我们和现代的李兴庆合作密切,他为我们的员工安排了各种培训。”

该公司曾在采用热翻方式,为伐木业生产小数量的翻新胎。不过,如今他们则专注于提供预硫化翻新卡车子午胎。相比于过去每个月平均生产700-800条轮胎,该公司目前的月产量只有200至300条。这主要是因为受到市场放缓和中国进口廉价卡车轮胎的影响。

该公司从翻胎业,扩展至透过其子公司和联营公司经销新轿车子午胎。如今,他们是倍耐力、金宇及Otani 轿车子午胎,以及砂劳越阿波罗卡客车子午胎的经销商。

杨礼统在2000年达到了一个重要的里程碑,那就是在砂劳越透过其子公司――威德汽车服务私人有限公司设立了第一家米其林轮胎服务中心。他在获得成功后,继续和其他不同的轮胎品牌,包括马牌和银石盾合作,并成立了两家子公司,分别挂起这两大轮胎品牌的招牌。该公司还经营了一家威狮卡车中心。他强调说,威狮是市场上的优质中国轮胎品牌,也是全球十大轮胎制造公司之一。此外,该公司还有一家加德士服务中心。这些服务中心都设立在他们自置的产业上。

“我一直与富有知名度和信誉良好的公司合作。我们与现代,马来西亚领先的轮胎服务及翻胎设备供应商的关系良好。我们的所有设备都是向他们购买的。持续投资于先进的设备非常重要,以确保我们服务的精确性和品质。我们员工的技能和知识也同样重要,我们必须确保他们拥有最好的装备和随时掌握当下的技术。”

谈到该公司迅速发展和扩张的秘诀时,杨礼统透露,他们的员工不仅拥有良好的薪资和福利,而且还享有广阔的事业发展空间。如果他们表现杰出,就有机会晋升成为分店经理,公司也会将一些股权分发给他们。

“我们经销不同品牌的轮胎和其他产品。然而,我们很有弹性,我们所有的分店都可自由地向其他公司购买产品,如果这些产品的售价比我们便宜。毕竟,最重要的还是利润。”

杨礼统深信成功的事业建立在良好的关系上。员工与员工之间的关系,员工与客户之间的关系,而信任正是所有关系的基础。他强调说,信任带来有效的沟通,能够激励和留住员工。一家能在工作场所建立起强大信任的公司,将拥有抵抗竞争风暴的能力,从而进一步扩展。

“我每个月都会到所有的子公司走一趟,和他们的经理开会。这让我们了解每一家店的发展情况和解决问题,提升代理对我们的信心。” 

去年,该公司庆祝创立20周年。杨礼统谢谢所有员工的努力,特别是分店经理,他们当中有许多位在公司服务超过10年。他珍惜商业伙伴、员工及代理们对公司的信任,使公司能够在各种困难和挑战中,茁壮成长。

“我们的公司是在最艰难的时期,也就是东盟财务危机之际设立起来的,然而我们却能抵御经济风暴并达到成长。如果你能在面对挑战时或在失败中保持冷静。你就会发现大部分的挑战根本就不是挑战。”

 

 

 

 

 

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