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Editor's Notebook

Reflecting on Four Years’ Worth of ‘Top Shops’


Perhaps you’re surprised to see my face on this page instead of Editor Jim Smith’s. Well, you should be. It doesn’t happen often, but now and then I like to resurface in the pages of the magazine and offer a few pearls of wisdom.

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Also, I like to see if I still have it in me to muster up 800 words on a subject you might find useful and interesting. I also like to give Jim a break from time to time, not that he’s ever had a problem with coming up with something to say about the industry…not Jim.

More importantly, I thought following up the announcement of our 2010 Top Shop Award winner and finalists in the October issue was a good opportunity to take a moment and remind readers of the value you’ll receive by entering your dealership – or the one you work for – in next year’s nomination process. Starting in February, we’ll be accepting nominations for the 2011 Top Shop Award. Please consider entering your dealership.


I’d like to offer thanks to a few organizations that are involved with this award and that help make it into something special. First, I want to thank Hennessy Industries/Ammco Coats for its sponsorship of the award. Kevin Keefe, vice president of marketing, has been with us every step of the way. The success of this program can greatly be attributed to the backing Hennessy has given it.

In addition, I want to thank the Tire Industry Association for including us in the Tire Industry Honors event during the week of the SEMA Show. Having just completed its second year, the event truly allows the entire industry to shine by recognizing the many achievements of a number of its organizations and individuals.


And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank each and every dealer over the past four years who either has been entered or has nominated themselves for the Top Shop Award and taken the time to get involved with this program. From Tire Review’s standpoint, you all are winners.

Why is that? You’ve all taken the time to recognize your own personal achievements. All too often, we forget about our successes, and from time to time there’s a great value in stepping back to look at our achievements. Whether or not you end up walking home with the Top Shop Award is not the point – what you have done is recognize your own level of professionalism on a much grander scale.


And that speaks volumes to the overall value of what the tire dealer community brings to its customer base. Remember, end-users are your customers. You may be the customer of the tire company, but the consumers who walk through your door day-in and day-out are your customers.

It’s no secret that more than 85% of the time, the staff of your dealership ends up defining the brand of tire that goes on your customers’ vehicles. And that is a tremendous responsibility – your dealership is our industries’ first line of defense in terms of defining the kind of professionalism offered to consumers. In the end, we all should be working hand-in-hand and building a level of solidarity within our dealer communities. It’s at that point that we guarantee the future success of our business model. We only get better when our weakest links become stronger.


Tire Review’s Top Shop Award is focused on strengthening the tire dealer community. The award spotlights small, medium or large independent tire dealers that epitomize professionalism within our industry. It highlights the attributes and values we stress in every issue of Tire Review: exemplary customer service and retention, training and education, merchandising and promotion, professional standards and conduct, appearance, solid business management, community involvement, growth and achievement.

And it’s important to remember the award is not based on any one individual; it’s focused on the entire business of the dealership.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tires, Tires, Tires, our 2010 Top Shop Award winner out of Sioux Falls, S.D., lives up to the billing of a true top shop. Dan and Dale Nothdurft have built an unbelievable customer-, community- and employee-focused business. From top to bottom, these brothers developed and nurtured a business on the simple premise of honesty. Tires, Tires, Tires is straight with its customers, straight with its suppliers and gives back to its community – and that’s why they have recognized success.


I encourage each of you to get further involved with your business, your community and our industry – and don’t forget to enter Tire Review’s 2011 Top Shop Award contest. As one dealer said to me, “The process alone was a fantastic, eye-opening experience that taught me a lot about my business.”

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