KINGSTON, Pa.Dan Horn may be considered a member of Generation Y, but the old-school credo of the customer's always right is the bedrock of his business philosophy.
Mr. Horn, 26, has advanced to regional sales manager for McCarthy Tire Service in just four years on the strength of generating more than $33 million in new sales in his region, tapping into a number of accounts the dealership previously had not been serving.
As a result of his strong sales efforts, McCarthy Tire has expanded his territory twice. He now oversees 17 McCarthy Tire locations with 42 sales representatives.
At the same time, Mr. Horn has overseen the opening of one new location, in Bensalem, Pa., and is working with other colleagues to open two more stores, in Trainer and Reading, Pa.
It must be acknowledged that Mr. Horn had an in when it came to landing a commercial sales position with McCarthy Tire as a 22-year-old straight out of Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.he's a grandson of John McCarthy Sr., the late founder of McCarthy Tire.
That relationship also provided Mr. Horn with another in at McCarthy Tirehe was already familiar with the company, its inner workings and corporate philosophy.
That's because he and other family members of his generation learned the business growing up, first playing McCarthy Tire at family gatherings and then working summers and holidays at branch locations.
That tutelage meant learning nearly every job the dealership offered along the waydoing oil changes, rotating tires, stacking tires in the warehouse, etc., and whatever else it took to keep things running efficiently.
Mr. Horn said he started pumping gas at McCarthy Tire's Hazelton, Pa., location at age 13, and continued to work at the dealership throughout high school and into college.
While some see the customer is always right as cliché, Mr. Horn said that tenet was and is the bedrock of McCarthy Tire's approach to business, as expressed and demonstrated by his grandfather time and again in business dealings he observed or heard about through the family ties.
His credo was 'make it right,' Mr. Horn said. Customer retention was, and is, fundamental to a successful business. Even as young kids we (Mr. Horn and his cousins) saw what he did. He was a great man in our eyes.
Despite the strong family ties and old-school fundamentals, Mr. Horn also brings to his job at McCarthy Tire modern and evolving business practices learned from a close-knit group of professors and other mentors at Kings College, a relatively small school but one with an accredited business school, the McGowan School of Business.
Mr. Horn paired the business acumen gleaned from his studies there with the discipline he learned from being on the school's soccer team.
That helped me both with time management and competitiveness, he told Tire Business.
Mr. Horn said he didn't really consider other career paths, that he saw the value and potential of working in the tire business because of his past.
He sought out a commercial sales job because it seemed like a good fit.
At McCarthy Tire, Mr. Horn values the collective knowledge base and input of his elders and bosses John McCarthy Jr. (uncle), Katie Lambert (aunt) and Neil Horn (father).
Mr. Horn acknowledged that family-centered advantages can also be perceived as disadvantages when it comes to dealing with long-time employeesthe so-called nepotism effect.
But he said he feels he's able to make it a non-issue by focusing on each employee who reports to him individually and helping them find ways to reach and exceed their goals.
I try to take a different approach with each successive generation, he said, referring to the fact that the members of his team range in age from 21 to 72.
This approach starts with the most basic elementcommunication, he noted.
Those in their 60s or 70s want me to call them, whereas the younger ones prefer texts or other electronic forms, he said.
Mr. Horn said McCarthy Tire's keeping an eye on the future by working with local colleges in eastern Pennsylvania to find and hire talented young people.
They bring new ideas, new technologies, he said, which will be necessary as the way we do business changes.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6145; Twitter: @reifenmensch