2011 Truck Parts and Service Distributor of the Year Finalist

Updated Feb 6, 2014

John Bzeta, president

Fleet Brake

Why did you start the business?

This business is a great business for flexibility and creativity in your career. The ability to direct and focus on various new products and service groups keeps me challenged and excited.

Describe your current role in the business?

I am currently president. My role can be accurately described as finance, “putting out fires,” sales, having no one to “whine to” or “blame my mistakes on.”

What is your business strategy?

Our strategy always has been to provide the best quality parts and service while being the easiest to deal with. This strategy relies on having the happiest and best employees in the marketplace and a healthy working relationship with our supplier partners. Training and accountability are core to our strategy.

Where do you see your business five years from now?

Our business will be run based on systems rather than relying on personalities. I have learned the hard way that our best people seem to get more and more put on their shoulders. At the same time, less effective employees are given a “free pass.” My focus is to improve training and accountability for all employees rather than leaning on our good staff all the time.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business today?

Fleet Brake, and our industry in general, do not take ourselves seriously. As a result, we are not driven to make “serious” improvements to the way we do business. The heavy-duty independent aftermarket does not enjoy the respect other channels like the OES and retail aftermarket enjoy. Fleet Brake is creating systems and technology to mimic what these other channels have so that our suppliers and customers respect us enough so we can enjoy a greater share of the heavy-duty market. Aligning our strategy with our marketing group, HDA TruckPride, and our other distribution partners Fleet Brake intends to influence and drive improvements to the independent aftermarket channel.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?

I am most proud of our staff’s reaction to the recent recession. It forced us to reorganize how we did business as inefficiencies were quickly identified. Some of our competitors didn’t survive. This made us a far stronger company. We now engage in this process proactively rather than reactively. Our motto was “you can even make money in a depression.”

What sets your business apart for its competitors? What makes it unique?

We are a true fleet specialist. We employ the best parts and service people in our marketplaces and this allows us to be a solutions provider rather than a simple parts and service provider. We always end up being the last company called by our competitors’ customers as we are the only one that can fix their issue. As usual, it’s not the bricks and mortar why we excel. It’s the people.

Name of Company: Fleet Brake

Headquarters Address:

7707 54 Street SE,

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2C 4R7

Website: www.fleetbrake.com

Founded: 1978

Owner: John Bzeta, president

Number of Locations: 13

Number of Employees: 300

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