Bridgestone India Rides On Dealer Digitisation, Unlocks 7 Million Euros
Published On 12-Apr-2021
Bridgestone India dealers now use Freepay app for making payments directly through mobiles and desktops
One of India’s largest tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone India has unlocked 7 million euros in the past 9 months by enabling its dealers to use a digital medium for payment collections. The transition has been phenomenal with 80 per cent of its 7000 dealers across the country migrating to the digital payment platform as per its CFO Jyotsna Sharma.
Bridgestone India dealers are trained on how to use the Freepay application, which is an invoice solution from JP-Morgan backed startup, Global PayEx Freepay solution. The app enables dealers to pay invoices through self-service either from their computers or mobiles.
The initiative to opt for a digital payment platform is largely attributed to slow payment collections from tyre dealers in January-February last year fearing the possible slowdown. Gradually, the company had a lot of money accumulated in the market.
Meanwhile, the government also asked companies to extend the credit period of their vendors to help them go through the tough lockdown phase. Bridgestone India did increase the credit period from 30 to 60 days without any additional or penalty charges on payments, Sharma said.
While the tyre maker always had the plan to bring its dealer network on digital platform even before the pandemic, the pandemic only acted as a trigger to their migration from traditional to digital payments. It planned to use digital medium across its ecosystem right from manufacturing, procurement, and finance to sales.
However before the migration, the company made dealers understand the benefits of digital payments and addressed their fears which ultimately resulted in unlocking of around 7 million euros from May 2020 till January this year, she added.
Looking for new tyres? Find dealer near you
The CFO further says that earlier it used to take 6 stakeholders and 2-3 days before the entire process from collecting the cheque to getting credit in their account is accomplished. However, the digitisation in payment has made the process swifter as it now takes only 4 hours to complete.