Discount Tire is the world’s largest independent retailer of tires and wheels, with almost 1,100 stores across the United States. Every day, thousands of Americans rely on Discount Tire to provide them the very best retail experience and ensure their tire needs are taken care of.
As drivers returned to the work in greater numbers following the coronavirus pandemic, Discount Tire wanted to ensure their technicians had the latest technology on hand to deliver an unrivaled tire inspection process.
When customers come to Discount Tire, the store technicians record the tire identification number, known as the Department of Transport or DOT number, which is found on the sidewall of each tire, and then perform a thread depth test to see if they need replacing. Previously, technicians used a pen and paper to record each DOT code manually measured 12 different spots to understand tread depth.
For a better customer experience during inspections, Discount Tire wanted to automate these processes. To do this, they partnered with Anyline and Zebra Technologies to develop an industry-first tire inspection mobile computing solution, which could perform both tasks using a Zebra TC75x mobile computer.
Anyline worked closely with Discount Tire to create an entirely new computer vision solution which could scan the tire DOT number in real-time with a phone camera. Over many months, and using thousands of images of tires, Anyline developed a DOT scanner, which can capture the 17 black digits on the tire sidewall faster and more accurately than the human eye.
This DOT scanner was then combined with Zebra’s innovative new laser-based tire tread depth reader accessory. With the new mobile handheld solution, Discount Tire technicians can complete an assessment typically in under five seconds per tire. Technicians simply swipe each tire to check for tread depth and scan the DOT code with the tool’s camera in real-time, enabling them to assist more customers, reduce wait times, and provide a more positive customer experience.
“We pride ourselves on delivering customers the highest quality tire service and products to help keep them safe on the road. Our new tire inspection solution is a game-changer for our people and will help further our assurance to our customers that we are taking care of their safety by providing the best possible service and most accurate tire readings.”
A Touchless Retail Experience
With the rollout of the new devices, Discount Tire customers also benefit from having the option of a completely touchless experience, where drivers can remain in their vehicles while their tire safety service is performed.
For the leading tire retailer, there will be even more digital innovations within the near future. Discount Tire also intends to leverage Anyline’s scan software to read other aspects of vehicles, such as vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate and other tire-related information.
“Starting today, the most powerful tool in a Discount Tire technician’s toolbox is this smart device. With this industry-first solution, Discount Tire is setting a new gold-standard for tire inspections, empowering their workforce to make smarter, data-driven decisions that ensure the highest level of driver safety, and an unrivaled customer experience.”
Eliminating paper-based processes
Using the Zebra TC75x’s large display, Discount Tire technicians can also visually show customers the status of their tire tread depth. A color-coded chart clearly indicates the safety levels of the tire tread depth to indicate when new tires are needed. This information and the guidance of Discount Tire’s experts can help customers confidently make the safest decisions for their vehicles. The mobile solution also integrates with Discount Tire’s technology system to help eliminate other paper-based processes, such as automating the creation of customer profiles.
“Discount Tire is raising the bar with its commitment to customer safety through the use of innovative mobile computing solutions. By using this new solution, Discount Tire is providing a performance edge to its technicians, enabling them to deliver better, faster service with visibility and actionable insights to their customers to help provide the safest driving experience.”