Moving forward sensibly. Ever since startup in 1968, this has been the view of Tirecraft, a leader and well-respected brand in Canada’s tire sales and service industry, as both a retailer and supplier partner. It’s with this meticulously diligent philosophy the company has seen growth over the years, now with more than 150 locations across Canada.
Tirecraft has grown into a significant position in the Canadian marketplace and, as such, is able to extend very competitive pricing to its associates, across all product segments. The diversity of the brand, in addition to quick responses, efficient service and consistent pricing with one point of contact allows the company to thrive while improving associate member profits.
From the standpoint of the supplier and the independent owner, the desire to join the Tirecraft network is mutual, with most locations (about 80 per cent) independently owned and operated. In its membership, Tirecraft looks for those that will live up to the brand’s high standard of integrity and seek owners with a vision, a willingness to commit, values and business ethics in line with that of the brand. Tirecraft is also a very strong proponent of giving back to local communities and is aggressively promotes involvement in locally based initiatives. In essence, Tirecraft looks for quality shops that will add to the reputation of its brand.
Tirecraft look for partners who can effectively market its dual brand strategy, allowing the company to maintain its independence and continue to share and build its entrepreneurial strengths. This is ultimately the core strength of the Tirecraft program—entrepreneurs sharing common goals, direction and a willingness to help each other grow—far from just a tire acquisition program.
“Our associate store team across the country creates an invaluable network that clearly provides Tirecraft with a competitive advantage. It’s not uncommon for our competitors to get tires [delivered] once a day or once a week, while service through our distribution network of 14 warehouses provides delivery service ranging from one time to up to four times per day, with the latter being in the major markets. With the amount of brands and SKUs growing every day, it’s almost impossible to inventory what you need,” said Richardson. “The service our Tirecraft associates receive gives them the advantage of having what they need when we need it, while freeing up inventory dollars and carrying costs to invest in building their retail business. Efficient supply chain management has given Tirecraft the same advantages some of the largest companies in the world have realized.”
The Tirecraft network continues to grow—already doubling its national presence over the last two-and-a-half years—not only in numbers, but also in program strength. Rather than investing unnecessarily in a Canadian head office, Tirecraft remained lean by leveraging its regional administrative, sales and marketing teams across the country, again contributing to the highly competitive position of its program. Members find the channels of communication are also much more effective.
“Joining Tirecraft is the best thing that happened to our business,” one associate, Glenn MacDonald, President of Multi Tire of Scarborough, tells Tirecraft. “Within the first year of joining, our sales doubled.”
“When we meet as a management team, we don’t have a target where we want to be 100 or 200 or 1,000 locations. Our goal has always been to be a solid responsive partner helping our members respond to the market changes in a timely fashion and stay a leg up on the competition,” Richardson added. “The growth of the Tirecraft program has been very satisfying to all parties involved and membership has jumped simply because we are doing things that are working well, providing support where and when it’s needed. Going forward, we don’t have aggressive growth targets. Instead, we will continue to focus on our customer’s needs.”
Reliable customer service
Tirecraft continues to build on the strengths of its brand. Prime among them is its reputable customer service. Its network serves as its most resourceful hub, one that has proven to be more personable and less corporate. When a consumer chooses Tirecraft as opposed to a major chain, on many occasions that customer associates with the business owner, carrying a vested interest in high customer satisfaction to ensure that customers leave satisfied.
Like any company, Tirecraft strives to ensure that its customer can tell others about a positive experience and, ultimately, for those costumers to be a continued client. “We make sure that the customer gets what they need, at a fair price, and with great service from someone they can rely on. We’ll be there for them the next time they need something done.”
This year, Tirecraft is rolling out a test in Ontario where its locations can become green certified, an environmental initiative that the company refuses to take lightly. If stores hit a certain criteria, that store can then brand itself as green certified, permitting for greater social responsible. Not only does this method save both time and money, it’s something in which every organization should take part, according to Richardson. Three years prior, Tirecraft began its green initiatives by promoting its environmental movement, something it now encourages more and more within its locations.
“Being a solid corporate citizen is a must for any business,” said Richardson. “Tirecraft is an industry leader in this regard.”
With that, the mission at Tirecraft is to exceed customer satisfaction through independent owner operations where the values and integrity of the Tirecraft family brand truly shine through. As such, these business cornerstones spell for a strong future as the Tirecraft network continues to improve its marketability through its growingly recognizable branding and reliable name in a highly competitive automotive landscape.