Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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“People tend to associate us with commercial tyre distribution, rubber compounds manufacturing as well as tyre retreading but we are far more than that. Our services also cover total tyre management, 24/7 tyre rescue service, consultancy and training. Thus, I would say we are a one-stop tyre management solutions provider who is committed to deliver our key defined benefits in safety, competitiveness, cost effectiveness and control for the tyre and logistic industry,” said Managing Director Kenneth Teh.
Innovative and Powerful Solutions
To do that, the KLCT Group has invested RM15 million to rebuild its retreading facility in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam. “We need to be innovative to grow and stay ahead of the others in today’s extremely competitive business environment. Apart from rebuilding our plant in 2009, we also invested significantly in developing our own software and system. This intelligent software that we developed in-house is very powerful; it allows us to expand our services beyond our traditional offering in tyre distribution and retreading.”
Teh stressed the importance of reengineering for an organisation in responding to market trends and needs. “It is critical for us to develop a sustainable business model. We want to be an alliance partner that helps our client to drive forward with profitability. We are able to provide a multi-tier product through our 3-plus-1 distribution network comprising dealer, fleet, CPK (Cost Per Kilometre) contract and breakdown team.”
Apart from the sole distributorship of Jinyu tyres, the other 8 brands of new commercial tyres that KLCT supplies include Michelin, BF Goodrich, Continental, General, Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear and Giti.
“We understand that the daily challenge of our fleet customers is to deliver the goods, passengers or services to their destinations and our mission is to support them in this challenge. The data collected by the software would provide our client with a complete tyre analysis that ensures they are using the right tyres, from new to retreads. Additionally, our proactive tyre management programme is able to prevent tyre failures, predict maintenance schedule, reduce emergency roadside repair and identify problems so that they could find alternatives to control costs,” he continued.
The investment in the software and establishment of the Group’s in-house IT department has enabled it to not only keep track of the retreading process to ensure safety but also to trace the fleet’s tyre from cradle to grave, citing service history to tread wear, even up to the number of retreads that the tyre has performed.
Tracking Platform for Fleet Operators
“Fleet operators would soon be able to use our tracking platform to trace their tyre in real time through their computer, tablet or smartphone. We hope to get this ready by year end and with tyre traceability, fleet operators would be able to justify purchasing cost and manage and reduce their tyre costs for an entire fleet. The benefit is that they do not have to host and manage the platform; thus there is zero cost in maintenance and charges. In addition, we would support them in training, help them to understand and how to use the data collected as well as support them in tyre maintenance and breakdown assistance.”
Their clients include city buses, ready mix concrete fleets, container haulage and logistics operators.
Truck & Bus News was honoured to have Teh walking us through the retreading plant. It was indeed a clean, organised and well-designed plant. But what really amazed us was the paperless system. “The traditional manual job card of each fleet’s tyre is replaced by a RFID card, which records all the information associated with the tyre, including repair history. The RFID card system has been proven to be faster and more accurate; it eliminates human error in data collecting and recording. Every station or process that a tyre goes through, the operator would have to use its RFID card to check in and check out. Each tyre is traceable; thus there is no missing tyre.”
Effective Product Segmentation
According to Teh, the software was so powerful that it not only reduced the entire retreading workload but enabled the company to come out with effective product segmentation. For instance, he said, the company was able to produce 350 different quality grades per tyre size and 15 brands of retreaded tyres to suit the different requirements of customers and market segment.
“None of the retreading plants in the world is able to analyse the tyre casing up to such a sophisticated detail. The grading is decided by the software according to the condition of the tyre casing and all of the 350 quality grades comply with the MS224 standard. Furthermore, we are able to provide multiple application patterns. This also gives us the ability to engage in the international brands’ off-take project. ”
The plant has 3 shearography and 4 buffing machines, 18 repair stations that could be expanded to 36, 24 skiving stations, 2 AZ extruders as well as 5 curing chambers with complete cartridge system and 7 quality check stations. “We implement stringent quality checks from initial inspection up to the finished product. For example, we use the shearography machine to detect air bubbles and separation in casings as these tyres would fail during usage. All the Standard Operating Procedures were written in 3 languages – Malay, Nepal and Myanmar – to ensure that the workers fully understand the procedures. In addition, all the executives involved in retreading have to obtain the City & Guilds certificate.”
He added that no tyres were allowed to touch the floor to avoid contamination. “To make sure that all the workers adhere to this, any worker who fails to do that has to pay a RM50 penalty.”
“Currently,” he continued, “our production capacity is 600 tyres per day, which is a 3-time increase from the previous output. This was achieved without expanding the facility in size.”
Teh is a perfectionist when it comes to tyre management software and implementation. All these years, he had never stopped to continue investing on and fine-tuning the software. “This reflects our commitment to grow with the industry. We are able to provide customised solutions to fleets of all sizes. Let us help you to protect and manage your tyre investment; from the original purchase through to maintenance, retreading and repair to ultimate disposal. We would put everything that you need to know at your fingertips. When you make KLCT your partner, you have our entire team with you; from executive and sales personnel, software to technical experts, helping you to make an informed decision based on a wide range of analysis and reports in real time.”
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