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BKT USA eyes ‘strategic’ growth in OTR tire markets



“We want to be a one-stop shop for the dealer, and that means that we have to carry all sorts of patterns and all sorts of sizes — and in stock,” Mehta said, adding, “If we run out of tires in our warehouse, we have to wait 90 days to replenish it. So that cycle, that planning of the flow of the products into the warehouse and to the customer, is the biggest challenge for us. Because we have the products, it’s just getting them in, in time for the need at the right time and right place.”

Kershaw added that the company’s logistics managers meet weekly to evaluate the status of inventory at the firm’s two U.S. warehouses and shipment schedules.

“It’s a constant process,” he said, adding that he expects OTR tire sales to pick up soon with the start of spring construction projects.

He said the 25-inch Earthmax SR30 loader tire is BKT’s biggest seller followed by scraper tires for construction.

BKT, which sells tires for construction and farm, has been delving deeper into the North American mining market with plans to introduce 57- and 63-inch rim-diameter tires soon.

Despite the competition in all three markets, Kershaw is confident BKT can expand its footprint.

“You have to prove yourself with the cost-per-hour and the performance. If you’re not well-known and you’re not in with a particular group of people, it can be challenging to get in.

“But once they try it and see the value of the BKT product — our biggest advertisement is the tire itself. If it performs and the customer has seen the value in what they’re getting and the sales and service they get from us, then they’re happy and they want to stick with our product. That’s how we’re growing,” he said.

He said part of BKT’s expansion in the North American OTR tire market will be adding more dealers, strategically.

“Strategic is the key word because we’re not going to sign everybody and their brother. We want strategic partners. We have some good ones right now,” he said.

When looking to add more dealers, Kershaw said the company looks at regional coverage for end-users.

“I would say that in some areas we’re fairly decently strong. In other areas, we have lots of room to grow. With all the dealerships buying each other up right now, it can be a little challenging. But our team is really good and they are meeting with the proper people and making strategic decisions. I think we’re going in the right path.”

As the company aims to grow its market share, Mehta stressed: “We’re not going to compromise on our quality. We have to give the best quality at the best possible price the market can bear. And we are very strategic in how we distribute. We don’t want to be named as third tier. We’re upper tier two right now and soon to be tier one in some segments.”

Kershaw added: “And that’s because of the quality. We just have to prove ourselves in the marketplace. And it’s happening.”

He said BKT distributes more than 3,200 SKUs.

“We come out with anywhere between 70 and 90-plus SKUs per year, depending on the demand and the newer applications.

“That’s something we pride ourselves on, is the fact that we can react quickly to the marketplace demand and needs. And we will develop the proper tire for the proper application in a very timely manner. And that’s why our SKU list continues to grow.”

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