There’s more than just a wee bit of changes going on at Flynn’s Tire & Automotive Service.
The company is moving its main warehouse to a 150,000-square-foot building in Masury, Ohio, nearly four times the size of its 38,000-square-foot warehouse in East Lackawannock Township in Mercer County.
But the move also means Flynn's Tire will close the older center, which has enjoyed a 54-year run.
Company president Joe Flynn acknowledged that the elderly warehouse and its attached retail store have strong nostalgic ties to the business.
“But we’ve reached the point where we need more space,’’ Flynn said.
Another factor in the decision was that when the store opened, it was the only location the company had in that area.
Since then, Flynn's Tires has opened stores in Hermitage and Grove City.
“We’ve continually seen more and more of our customers in that area going to Hermitage and Grove City,’’ he said. “From a business standpoint, this is the right thing to do.’’
Housed in a former industrial plant, there are other advantages to the Masury warehouse, Flynn said.
“It has more bays for delivery trucks,’’ he said. “And that makes deliveries to our customers more efficient.’’
In addition to more space, the company upped its technology at the new warehouse which serves as a distribution center. Tires are bar coded so they can be scanned and recorded in an inventory software system. Deliveries also can be tracked in real time by using GPS technology.
“I can tell you if a tire is in our warehouse, on a truck or if it has been delivered,’’ said David Lander, manager of the distribution center.
There is an added bonus to the technology, Flynn said.
“It allows us to create something we want — a system where you can’t make mistakes,’’ he said.
Owned by the local Flynn family, the business was created in 1964 by Joe’s grandfather, Joe Flynn, his father Joe Flynn II, and his uncle, R.P. Flynn. His uncle continues to work for the company as its chairman.
Flynn's Tire started in Sharon along Sharpsville Avenue on what is now a section of a parking lot for Our Gang’s Lounge. It’s original name, Urra Tire Co., used the native Irish Gaelic language word for “dependable.’’
The family’s Irish heritage is displayed throughout the organization. Green, the favored color from the Emerald Isle, is used throughout its signage. A leprechaun and clover are often used in advertising and storefronts.
Flynn's Tire has 22 retail stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, including a store in Meadville. It also has 10 wholesale and commercial locations. The company’s wholesale business is a tire distributor for other auto retailers.
Michael Roknick writes for The (Sharon) Herald, which, like The Meadville Tribune, is owned by CNHI.