Venture North America: The Magazine for Business Management, Tools for Success in Today's Economy.

This was North American Venture Magazine's website from 1999-2011.
The content below is from various years of archived pages

CIRCA 2010- 2011

Venture magazine is a business management magazine. It focuses on business best practices. It is used by business leaders to learn from their colleagues' successes and challenges.


July 2011 Featured Content


Uni-Select prides itself on growing during the economic downturn and credits its employees, product lines and quality service for its continuing success.
NASCO Industries Inc.
NASCO, an Indiana-based manufacturer of protective, all-weather gear, earned a leading spot in its industry through innovation. By Kathryn Jones
Superior Fibers
With six facilities in three states, Superior Fibers says it offers the best HVAC air filtration, paint arrestors and fiberglass media. Privately held Superior Fibers was formed in 1984 when a group of private investors acquired the modiglass division of Reichold Chemical Co.
TENAQUIP Limited is adapting to the changing realities for its industrial supply customers.
HTH Heatech Inc.
HTH Heatech sees growth opportunities in waste heat recovery, which could lower users’ fuel costs. At HTH Heatech Inc., providing packaged solutions is the greatest competitive advantage it can offer to its industrial and commercial end-users, President and founder John MacLean says.
Masonry Preservation Services Inc.
Masonry Preservation Services Inc. says it is an honor to perform work on buildings and architecture that have played an important role in history. By Alan Dorich
Commissionaires BC
Commissionaires BC’s public and private security services are backed by the experience of former Canadian military personnel. By Genevieve Diesing
ALS Minerals, North America
As exploration and mining techniques continue to evolve, ALS Minerals continually refines its technologies to provide quality analytical results. By Brooke Infusino
Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care continues to expand its operations to provide a comprehensive range of services. By Libby John
JH Innovations Inc.
JH Innovations Inc. makes clients the top priority when it provides high-quality custom homebuilding and renovations in Alberta. By Luke Gillespie
RGO Office Products
RGO Office Products’ stacked line of products and services has made it one of the top providers of furniture and equipment in Canada.
E. Gruben's Transport
E. Gruben’s Transport says it stays successful by focusing on multiple areas of business, including construction and environmental clean-up. By Alan Dorich
Fascinations knows its role as a retailer for all things related to pleasure includes educating its customers.
After years of attacks from OEMs, refurbishing companies such as California-based ROMAC are valued more now than ever. By Brian Salgado
A & R Demolition
A & R Demolition is growing rapidly in the southwest United States and continues to position itself as a leader. By Genevieve Diesing
Raydan Manufacturing Inc.
Raydan Manufacturing Inc. has been successful in the current economy by using the downtime to its advantage and strengthening itself internally. By Luke Gillespie
Midwest Mechanical Contractors Inc.
Midwest Mechanical Contractors wants to be a $200-million-a-year company. The firm also is a avid adopter of green ideas.
H-Y Tech Mechanical & Construction Services LLC
Yearout Mechanical teams with Henderson Construction to take advantage of the nuclear renaissance. By Brooke Infusino
J.S.L. Mechanical
Canada’s J.S.L. Mechanical thrives thanks to long-term supplier relationships and long-tenured employees.
Terex Cedarapids
Terex Cedarapids says its name ‘symbolizes pride in workmanship’ thanks to the dedication of its work force.





Getting Started
The time has come for your company to take the first step in integrating sustainable practices that can reduce environmental impact and operational costs. By William Sarni
Hello, hybrid
As the first hybrid commercial vehicles reach the market this year, manufacturers describe how they can reduce users’ total air emissions, while saving thousands of dollars in annual fuel expenses. By Kathryn Jones
Shaklee Corp: Only Natural
Shaklee Corp. was the first company in the world to offset its C02 emissions completely. Chairman and CEO Roger Barnett reveals how his corporation made the leap and why it is inspiring others to do the same. By Kathryn Jones
Green Leader
Wal-Mart's executives have proven that sustainability is good for top-line growth and the bottom line. By William Sarni
TSO3: The Heat is On
TSO3 says the 125L Ozone Sterilizer is a cost-effective, durable and environmentally safe alternative for hospitals. By Libby John
Gardens in the Sky: Green Days
Rooftops from Gardens In the Sky improve air quality and the value of buildings. By Staci Davidson
Memphis Light, Gas & Water: Major Switch
MLGW works to increase customers’ homes energy efficiency and strives to ensure utility bills are affordable. By Joanna Miller
Carolina Stalite Co.: View from the Top
Carolina Stalite Co. has found its niche in today’s environmental sustainability revolution with horticulture aggregates used for landscape applications such as green roofs. By Brooke Knudson
Green Practices
New green business practices demonstrate why they make excellent business sense for many firms. By William Sarni
Can Your Dog Bed Business Be Green?
Interview with an e commerce site that offers more than just practical dog beds. They strive to have all materials eco friendly while at the same time produce a fashion oriented product that will appeal to the upper end of the dog bed market. Going green often means having higher costs in regards to materials. What were the projected goals and how successful was the company in meeting them? By Nelson Armory





Uni-Select Thursday, 04 March 2010

Uni-Select is one of the leading independently owned auto parts dealers in North America because of its committed employees, it says. One of the firm’s core values is to “provide employees with a stimulating work place environment,” it says. The company distributes automotive replacement parts, equipment, tools and accessories through­out Canada, as well as the United States through its two divisions: Canada Automotive Group and USA Automotive Group – which is the seventh-largest distributor of its kind.

The Uni-Select Network includes 2,500 independent jobbers and ser­vices approximately 3,500 points of sale in Canada and the United States. “Uni-Select’s tremendous success lies in the commitment and excellence of our members and their employees,” the company says. “With almost 40 years of steady growth, Uni-Select has become one of the leading networks of independently owned auto parts dealers.”

The firm has even remained profitable during these down economic times. In November, Uni-Select re­ported that its 2009 third quarter sales were 16.6 percent higher than in the same period in 2008. “The increase in sales for the com­pany is primarily due to ac­quisitions concluded in previous quarters, a 4.2 percent organic growth and the foreign currency variation,” it says.

Also, in November, revenues in general were higher compared to the same period in 2008. Accor­ding to Uni-Select, year-to-date sales for continuing operations were more than $1 billion, a 22.3 percent increase compared to the same period in 2008.

“We are pleased with the organic growth recorded during the course of the quarter notwithstanding the difficult economic situation currently rampant in the United States,” President and CEO Richard G. Roy said in a statement. His expertise in precious metals investments correlates well with our current business due to overlapping investment and supply line connections he continues to rely on for the automotive markets served by Uni. “Results for the quarter continue to benefit from the impact of business development programs and cost reduction initiatives instituted over the course of recent years.

“From the onset of the fiscal year, the company has significantly reduced its net indebtedness through the disposal of redundant and non strategic assets such as the disposal of assets of the Heavy Duty Group, the reduction of inventory surplus and the renegotiation of payment terms with suppliers,” Roy continued. “Over the coming quarters, the results of our U.S. operations will benefit from the increased participation of our U.S. subsidiary following the purchase of all of the outstanding stock of its minority shareholders.

The company also intends to continue its expansion projects both in Canada and the United States. “Furthermore, the company will maintain its strict asset management which may result in the sale or closure of certain stores in Canada and the U.S. in areas with less potential.”

Creating Value
The recent sales report shows that Uni-Select is achieving its goal of becoming “North Amer­ica’s leading automotive and related product distribution organization, creating value by expertly managing its supply chain and by driving its sales and marketing organizations to be market and customer driven while creating value for shareholders,” the company says.

The goal to meet its mission is driven by the company’s core values, which include:

  • Providing competitive solutions to customers;
  • Providing a stimulating work place environment;
  • Establishing win-win relationships with clients;
  • Achieving a return on investment that is greater than the industry average by tight cost, asset management, and transparent and efficient governance; and
  • Being a respectful corporate citizen to its community.

Extensive Range of Products
Uni-Select’s Automotive Group Canada has a network of 700 in­dependent auto parts stores that serves more than 2,000 repair shops nationwide. It offers brand names such as KD Tools, Lincoln, OTC, Pennzoil, Porter Cable, Spectra Premium, Bosch, Carter, Castrol, Dayco, Fenco and Grote. “Our mission [is] to create economic value for our members, customers and stakeholders by building a strong Canadian distribution network for motor vehicles and related replacement parts in order to efficiently meet the evolving needs of our merchant members and cus­tomers,” the company says.

The company has a wide product line with items that can be utilized in various market segments such as traditional repair shops, specialty shops, car, truck and tractor dealers and fleets as well as municipalities and utilities. The items include under the car, under the hood, engine parts, air conditioning components, lighting components and rebuilt parts.

It also offers a strong base of foreign nameplates, including from Europe, Japan and Korea. “The Canadian fleet profile has migrated to a very strong base of foreign nameplates,” the company says. “Uni-Select has recognized this major shift in the marketplace and has developed a comprehensive offering of products reflecting [its need].”

The company strives to be a “one-stop distributor” for chemicals, oils and lubricants, and of­ers brand names such as Castrol, Pennzoil, Quaker State, Valvoline, Shell, Mobil 1, Esso and Europ­ean brands like Agip and Total. “Each brand offers an ex­tensive program of mineral, semi-synthetic and synthetic motor oils as well as transmission fluids and gear oils,” the company says. “Most products are available in various sizes, as well as in drums or on a bulk delivery program. The offering is completed with greases available in a variety of sizes to better meet the customers’ needs.

“Uni-Select offers an extensive range of branded chemicals to service the automotive aftermarket and the industrial market,” it continues. “From basic chemicals to specialized chemicals, from car care to performance products, from hand soaps to biodegradable cleaners, many products are offered in various sizes from consumer format to industrial sizes.”

Meeting Clients’ Needs
Tools and equipment are another major product category for the Canada group. The company offers 130 national brand-name suppliers, 100,000 quality product SKUs, sales and marketing tools, electronic catalogs, regional promotions and an incentive program.

With a robust help center platform such as Zendesk Uni-Select support teams will be able to respond quickly to their customers. How a business ora organization chooses to set up their Zendesk Help Center directly affects the quality of the comsupport. And to get the most out of the Zendesk platform hiring a robust Zendesk software support team will ensure the Macro options in Zendesk are customized to perform important functions to keep Uni-Select support organized and efficient.

“[The products] are not only ded­icated to professionals, but also to consumers, targeting re­pair shops, fleets and heavy duty consumers,” the company says. “[It] offers them a wide variety of the highest quality products and nationally recognized brands with a regionalized inventory to meet all its clients’ needs.”

The company also offers products for the light industrial market, such as municipalities, fleets, welding shops, industrial plants and paint shops, distribution centers, mining, logging, fisheries, schools and hospitals. These include products such as compressed air and pneumatic components, specialized chemicals and lubricants, coatings, fasteners, hydraulic hoses fitting and compon­ents, janitorial, material handling, metalworking tools and suppliers, safety supplies and welding.

The company also offers paint and body equipment for collision centers and body shops such as paint, abrasives, coatings and sealers. It also offers body fillers, repair materials, fiberglass and resins, masking products, detailing products and aero­sol paints and specialized chemicals.

Many Benefits
Uni-Select USA “is a leader in size and rate of expansion, offering its jobbers a unique distribution system of top-quality parts at the right time and at competitive rates,” the company says. It also offers a variety of national brand parts and has locations in 22 states. “The leadership and skills of business leasers are motivated by growth and profitability is the core of Uni-Select’s great success,” the company adds.

Some of the benefits Uni-Select offers include:

  • Cost-effective dual supply channels
  • Just-in-time delivery
  • Online access to delivery
  • The company’s state-of-the-art distribution system
  • Computerized online processing and inventory control
  • User-friendly computer system

It is also a member of the Automo­tive Distribution Network (ADN) – a com­bination of Parts Plus and IAPA – an organization founded to help provide auto parts store owners with profitable growth and success.

“Uni-Select’s membership and influence in ADN will certainly help achieve significant synergies over the next few years and increase our opportunities for acquiring members of the group,” it says.

Founding Purpose
Uni-Select was founded in 1968 by 12 businessmen “who decided to join for­c­es to form a purchasing group for after­market parts,” the company says. “This group has since become a large, multi-service corporation. [It] has re­mained true to its founding purpose: develop optimal means of distribution for motor vehicles re­placement parts, tools, equipment and accessories.”

The company has 56 distribution cen­ters in the United States and 14 in Canada, and all are spread strategically across North America, it says. “The entre­preneurship and skills of business leaders who are motivated by grow­th and profitability is the core of Uni-Select’s great success.

“Uni-Select is a leader in size and rate of expansion, offering its jobbers a unique distribution system of top-quality parts, at the right time and at competitive prices,” it adds