EDMONTON, Alberta-Fountain Tire Corp. is one of ``Canada's 50 Best Managed Private Companies,'' according to The Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper that annually reports the list. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. and The Financial Post selected the 50 companies from more than 600 nominees gleaned from across Canada. Companies were selected based on their revenue, profit and sales growth during the past few years as well as their strong management-employee communications, strategic vision and alliances with other companies, the daily newspaper said.
Fountain Tire, with 750 employees, posted 1993 total sales of $67.9 million, according to TIRE BUSINESS' annual ranking of North America's largest independent tire dealerships.
Together, the 50 Canadian companies saw their total combined revenue from 1992 to 1994 climb to $4 billion from $2.7 billion, the newspaper reported. Average annual sales per company grew to $79 million from $54 million.
The majority of Fountain Tire's 86 outlets, located in Alberta and British Columbia, are owned on a 50-50 basis by the company and the individual store manager. The arrangement forces both sides to enter into a trusting relationship in order to survive, Fountain Tire President Brian Hesje said.
``Everyone can talk empowerment and the buzz words of today,'' Mr. Hesje said in an interview with TIRE BUSINESS. ``But it's one thing to talk about it and it's another thing to do it. We act as a resource, not as a control, for (the store managers).''
Fountain Tire outlet managers are told to think in terms of their own outlet rather than the company as a whole, Mr. Hesje said. Staffing and day-to-day operations are handled at the outlet level.
Store managers also are encouraged to spend at least 50 percent of their advertising budget on their own outlet, he said. The remainder is distributed from the corporate level to the company's ``zones,'' which group stores in geographic areas.
The newspaper's listing affirms Fountain Tire's management philosophy works, said Mr. Hesje, who added that being named one of Canada's best managed private companies is important recognition.