At age 14, Rob Crandall started working at the shops of his dad’s friends. Then at 18, he worked at Costco, installing passenger and light truck tires.
Around three years later, he started his career as a technician at SM Tire. And when a commercial sales and service position opened up, he took it and has since grown his career with the company. Thanks to former colleague Jake Kuiken, Crandall learned about the company’s retread manufacturing business.
He’s been a branch manager of SM Tire’s main location, covered multiple territories and is now in charge of all new business acquisition, sales and retread manufacturing for the company. What he likes most is the challenge of finding better ways to complete processes quickly.
“I’m always looking for efficient ways to get a process done,” he says. “I guess you can say I’m an inventor, trying to find innovative ways of improving the retread process.”
To find new, better ways of completing tasks, Crandall likes learning about what other businesses are doing. He goes to conferences to stay up-to-date on industry best practices.
Another job he enjoys is training and coaching his sales-force to stay on the cutting edge of service and technology.
“I have to be a mentor,” he says. “One thing I like to tell them (his sales staff) is to do things that differentiate the company from other companies. Do things people don’t expect from a tire supplier and be more of a tire management solution for them as opposed to just a company that takes orders and delivers tires.”
That motto Crandall lives by: Better, faster different.
And for those looking to further their career on the sales side, he advises to simply try your best and be honest.
“Always be professional and cordial to anyone you meet because you never know where they’re going next,” he says. “You’re never going to have a dull moment if you stay in the tire industry. There’s always something to improve upon or make more efficient, and I learn something everyday.”
Fun Fact: Crandall sees autonomous vehicles becoming more prevalent, especially in hauling freight. He thinks AVs will lead to a rise in airless tires, and instead of changing tires, they will be retreaded.