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Tire Discounters’ Jamie Ward: The Work it Takes for Multi-Location Growth

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Jamie Ward is a true tire guy. From the time he was a young boy, he worked for his grandfather, a firefighter who ran an auto shop out of his garage. He learned the ropes there, and by age 15, he had the skills equivalent to an ASE-qualified Master Technician. But Jamie didn’t stop there. His passion and energy for the business has catapulted him to president and CEO of Tire Discounters, where he has been an instrumental part of growing the business from eight stores when he started to the over 175 locations the dealership has today…including its foray into the car wash business.

As a leader in Tire Discounters’ growth, Jamie says the years working in a shop environment helped inform each decision he makes today. He is grateful for the mechanical know-how he learned from his grandfather and at Michel Tire Co. in Cincinnati, where he also learned sales and realized he could make a good living in the tire business.

In 1995, Ward joined Tire Discounters as a salesman when the business’ founder, Chip Wood, had eight stores. Over the years, he worked his way up the ranks from regional director to the head of the business in January 2016. Today, he looks to instill the best practices in customer service he’s learned over the years as he and the Tire Discounters team work to expand the dealership’s footprint.

In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, Jamie shares how he learned the auto business from a young age, the work it takes to grow a multi-location business and what he enjoys most about being in the tire industry today.

Watch the episode above and subscribe to our YouTube. You can also subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on  Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

EPISODE OVERVIEW

  • What Jamie learned working from his grandfather, a Cincinnati firefighter who ran an auto shop out of his garage on the side (1:41)
  • How Johnny g helped Jamie’s first employer, Tony Michel of Michel’s Tire Co., expand his business (4:03)
  • Jamie’s start at Tire Discounters and what he found attractive about the business and Chip Wood’s leadership style (5:34)
  • How Jamie helped open 60 Tire Discounters locations in about 10 years and what the programs and systemized processes he helped the business adopt throughout its growth (5:44)
  • Jamie’s role in helping Tire Discounters double down on growth, opening 10-15 locations per year starting in the early 2010s (9:26)
  • Tire Discounters’ growth strategy and goals for the business’s growth this year (12:51)
  • Challenges that have come with rapid growth and why it’s important to have people from non-tire backgrounds work in a tire store (15:04)
  • Why Jamie considers himself a “student of the business” (17:35)
  • What Jamie thinks is the hardest thing to teach others about the tire business (20:11)
  • The biggest challenges that exist for independent tire dealers, including Tire Discounters, today (24:14)

The speed rating of a tire is based on U.S. Government standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. Typically, a tire with a higher speed rating results in better handling. Speed ratings apply only to the tire itself, and not to a particular vehicle. Putting a tire rated for a certain speed on a vehicle does not mean that the vehicle can be safely operated at the tire's rated speed.

The load range on a tire helps determine its ability to contain air pressure and its overall strength. Ranges are expressed using a number and the higher the number, the stronger the tire. These measurements are primarily for light trucks and SUV’s.

Tread depth is the distance between the top of the tread rubber to the bottom of the tire's deepest grooves.  In the United States, tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch.

A tire’s maximum load is the maximum amount of weight the tire is designed to hold. The tire’s load carrying capacity is directly related to the tire’s size and amount of inflation pressure that is actually used. Each load range has a assigned air pressure identified in pounds per square inch (psi) at which the tire's maximum load is rated.

A tire’s maximum inflation pressure (PSI) is the highest "cold" inflation pressure that the tire is designed to contain. When measuring a tire’s max PSI, it is important the tire is "cold," because warmer temperatures can cause the tire pressure to temporarily increase resulting with inaccurate readings. This measurement should only be used when called for on the vehicle’s tire placard or in the vehicle’s owners manual.

The mileage warranty of a tire indicates the number of miles that a tire is estimated to last. If a tire fails to last for the number of miles indicated by the warranty, the customer will be given credit from the tire manufacturer toward a new tire based on how many miles short of the estimate the tire fell. Some restrictions apply. 

The total width of the tire, including any raised features on the sidewall. 

This is how many layers of rubber and other materials are in the tire.  

The represents the smallest and widest size wheels that are recommended by the tire manufacturer for the tire to be mounted on. 

 

 

The measurement, in inches, from rim flange to the other rim flange. 

The maximum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto. 

The minimum width of a wheel that a tire can be put onto.  

A tire's section width (also called "cross section width") is the measurement of the tire's width from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall (excluding any protective ribs, decorations or raised letters) at the widest point. 

What makes up a tire; each ply, the sidewall, the tread, and bead.  

This number will tell you how well the tire will disperse heat buildup. 

This is how much weight a tire is rated to hold.

Mounting & Balancing  $76

Lifetime Rotation and Balancing $600*

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments $16

Rubber Valve Stems $8

Tire Repair**  $140

TOTAL = $840


*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000-mile tires. 

**Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.

TD will repair flat tires as long as it can be done safely in accordance with Tire Industry Association (TIA) Guidelines.  Excludes: Under 40 series, run-flats, mud tires, trailer tires, off-road vehicles, and any tire over six (6) years old.  Other exclusions may apply.  See store for details.  


National accounts and local fleet not included.

Free Alignment with 4-Tire Purchase

National accounts not included.  Other exclusions may apply.

Mounting & Balancing  $76

Lifetime Tire Pressure Adjustments $16

Rubber Valve Stems $8

Lifetime Rotation $240

Total = $340

*Estimate based on 4-tire purchase of 60,000 mile tires. 

Our Nationwide Worry Free Guarantee offers FREE unlimited Tire Repairs for the entire life of your tires. If your tire can't be fixed and is over 3/32" tread, no worries, we will give you a replacement tire at any time, up to 3 years. We'll even help get your tire changed by including reimbursement for Roadside Assistance (up to $75) for the first 12 months at no additional cost. Effective: August 24, 2017. For complete details, see our warranty at any Tire Discounters location.

Components of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensor wears over time.

A TPMS Service Kit is suggested each time a tire/wheel is serviced. If left unchanged, over time, these components of the TPMS may corrode, leak or fail.

Tire/wheel service is defined as when tire is removed from the wheel.