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Editor's Notebook

A Focus on People Defines Today’s Top Shops

Editors-Notebook-September-1400

For the past few years in the tire industry, there has been a keen focus on people– keeping people on your staff happy, attracting new ones to your business, finding ways to challenge tenured employees…the list goes on. In fact, tire dealers like you are getting pretty innovative in ways they’re working with their staff to create a great work environment, which in turn, creates success for the business.

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Best-selling author Simon Sinek says, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first,” and boy, do this year’s Top Shop Winner and Finalists truly know that.

Now in its 16th year, Tire Review’s Top Shop Awards Program, presented by Coats, recognizes the “best of the best” tire dealers across North America. As you’ll see in this year’s profiles, this year’s Top Shops adapt and innovate in the face of adversity, are always looking to improve the business, are a pillar of their communities and are the go-to tire and vehicle service experts in their market. Most importantly, you’ll find that these tire dealers treat their employees like family and offer rewards and appreciation on a frequent basis. They do the same with their customers. Why? Because in today’s world, that’s just good business.

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Take Top Shop Winner Telle Tire & Auto Centers, an 18-location tire dealer headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, as an example. In each store and those that have been added to its business, Aaron Telle, owner and CEO, tells employees the 80-year story of the business, where it’s been, where it’s going and the values they hold close that shine in every customer interaction. Aaron credits the company’s return business to its employees, which are offered extensive benefits from paid training and 401(k) match as well as medical insurance and unique perks for tenured employees like paid birthdays off, profit sharing potential and free airline tickets and even anniversary and retirement trips.

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“Without people, what do we have?” Laura Telle, the company’s chief people officer and Aaron’s wife told Tire Review Senior Editor David Sickels (read the full story starting on pg. 20). “At the end of the day, you’re not a number here, you’re an important person… In all of our actions, we’re trying to reiterate how important our people are, because they’re everything.”

Best-One of Indy, with 15 locations in central Indiana, has 197 employees and adheres to four core values that drive business operations. One of those includes possessing a servant’s attitude, which is seen in interactions with customers. Another is: “Commit to the pursuit of perfection,” which has led Best-One of Indy to be laser-focused on giving employees the resources they need. One of which includes enrolling managers, administration staff and sales team members in John Maxwell Leadership Training groups, a five-year program that involves quarterly group meetings. The staff also has monthly meetings to exchange best practices among the locations and create healthy competition.

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Up in the New England states, two-time Top Shop Finalist Don Foshay’s Discount Tire & Alignment has used what most businesses would find daunting to their advantage. When the pandemic hit and tire demand plummeted, Don Foshay Jr., the six-location retail store’s owner, knew he needed to keep his quality employees happy. In order to do that, a wage increase was necessary. So, instead of increasing costs, he and his staff studied missed sale opportunities and every line item to see where they could save money. Over time, this worked, and a wage increase was implemented and another one could be coming down the line.

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This year’s Top Shops know that good, quality people are the secret sauce to their success. The examples above are just scratching the surface of how impactful these tire dealers are in their communities. We congratulate this year’s Top Shop class!

Have you changed the ways you’re compensating or rewarding your employees? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

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