TIA recently had the opportunity to catch up with Tania Flynn-Warminkski and Brian Krepps of Flynn’s Tire to gain some insight into why they participate in TIA training.
TIA: What TIA training programs does your company participate in?
Flynn’s: We participate in Automotive Tire Service at both the basic and certified levels and certified Commercial Tire Service.
TIA: Is TIA training mandatory for all new hires?
Flynn’s: Yes, all new hires who change tires or sell tires on a retail or commercial level are required to participate in TIA training.
TIA: Why do you feel TIA training is important?
Flynn’s: The TIA is tire industry specific training…it focuses on tires and tire safety. The Senior Vice President of Training, Kevin Rohlwing understands the industry. He’s “been there, done that” and knows first hand the challenges we face. Kevin has a lot of passion for the industry and its needs. He has a strong desire to continue to improve current training programs as well as develop new ones. All of this helps to protect business owners in the industry as well as their customers. Kevin’s passion seems to be contagious because his team, Chris Hoogenboom and Melissa DiFiore, are just as passionate about customer service, maintaining training records, developing online easy access training, etc. They go above and beyond all the time.
TIA: How has your company’s participation in TIA training benefited your business?
Flynn’s: We’ve been able to advertise that we are TIA trained. When people see the TIA symbol and see the words Tire Industry Association, they automatically think professional, trained, safe and committed to doing things the right way.
We train and follow the Tire Industry Association’s recommended policies and procedures…the RIST procedure, for example. It’s nice to know that as long as we are performing the service correctly, the TIA would be in our corner if there were ever to be an issue.
It helps us stand apart from much of our competition.
TIA: Do you let your customers know that your employees are TIA trained?
Flynn’s: Yes. We post all of our certificates on the wall in the waiting room. Additionally, we mention that we are TIA trained in our print and radio ads.
TIA: What advice would you give TIA members who have never participated in a TIA training program?
Flynn’s: Don’t wait to try it. It is industry specific training that will help keep your customers safe on the roads and your company protected from law suits…and it will help you sleep at night. This training could also help the bottom line by decreasing the number of damaged wheels, damaged TPMS sensors, wheel-offs, etc.
The team at TIA has put together great training material for new tire technicians…the ATS and CTS videos are very helpful and professional. They are easy to view…even for hands-on people who don’t like to sit for long periods at a time.
TIA: Tell us about your company.
Flynn’s: We are a family owned and operated tire and automotive service business. Our headquarters is in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania and we are really excited about celebrating our 50th year in business this year…2014! We started with one location in Sharon, Pennsylvania and we now have 30 locations in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and New York. Twenty locations are retail stores, six are commercial centers and four are wholesale distribution centers. Additionally, we have a tire retread division. We love this industry…it’s really fun!
Our family members participate in the organization at different levels. We get along great and consider it a wonderful opportunity to get to work together. Not many people can say that they get to work with their family. It’s quite a blessing.
We have approximately 385 employees. We pride ourselves on having a knowledgeable, service-oriented team of people that is committed to meeting the needs of the customer. Basically, we have a lot of great people on our team. Like my dad always said…It’s all about the people. It’s important to have the right people doing the right things…and we all agree.
Our mission statement is this… "The mission of Flynn's Tire Group is to serve our customers and community more effectively than anyone else can serve them. We strive to provide the friendliest and most efficient service possible, putting our customers first before anything else, and recognizing that our Company must merit and earn the respect and loyalty of our customers."