Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Flaman Sales Ltd. was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018):
- Flaman Sales Ltd. established the Frank J. Flaman Foundation in 2005 (building on the 30-year and ongoing charitable legacy of the company's founder), supporting numerous local and international charities every year -- impressively, the foundation is funded by Frank Flaman's share of the company's profits and through donations from employees and community supporters
- Flaman Sales Ltd. encourages employees to save for the longer term with matching RSP contributions and offers a number of additional helpful financial benefits, including profit-sharing and share purchase plans, new employee referral bonuses and discounts on company products
- Flaman Sales Ltd. keeps employees busy throughout the year with a full social calendar that features summer Friday barbecues, popcorn days, an annual charitable fundraising gala, employee Christmas party, employee dodgeball and slowpitch teams, attendance at Saskatchewan Roughriders and Saskatoon Blades games, as well as access to the company box for concerts and events at SaskTel Centre
Flaman hooks up its people with the best learning
In 2008, Nathan Laturnus applied for a position with Flaman Fitness, a division of Saskatoon-based Flaman Group of Companies. But after learning more about Flaman, Laturnus joined the division that sells trailers used to haul everything from livestock to snowmobiles to motorcycles. "Initially I had no interest in trailers and knew nothing about them," he says. "But we chatted and there were a lot of things that intrigued me."
Joining the Flaman team as a sales representative exposed Laturnus to a diverse company that sells, rents and services agriculture equipment, trailers and other machinery through 35 retail locations scattered across Canada. As well, a secondary company, Flaman Fitness, has become western Canada's largest fitness and healthcare retailer. Joining Flaman also gave Laturnus the opportunity to build on the education he received while earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Saskatchewan.
"Flaman is really big on personal and professional development and I take full advantage of that," he says. "I want to keep learning."
The company is currently developing a suite of in-house learning materials that will be available to all employees, and it invests heavily in professional development programs offered by outside organizations.
In the spring of 2017, the company put 50 employees through a one-day customer service training program offered by the Disney Institute and it is bringing Disney back for another session in early 2018.
"We were the first company to bring Disney to Saskatchewan," says President Don Flaman. "All our employees who went through it were really interested and enjoyed it as well."
Flaman will cover up to the full cost of a broad range of personal development, management or leadership programs. "We have no problem with bringing people to a central location and putting them up in a hotel for a couple of nights," says Dave Weightman, Vice-President Operations and Human Resources. "We also travel from store to store a couple of times per year to deliver our customer service initiative, the Customer Journey."
The company also maintains a generous social fund and encourages employees to participate in group activities, such as bowling nights, barbecues, local sporting events, or seasonal community events. "At Christmas time," says Weightman, "our Moosomin team builds a train with the trailers we sell, hooks a tractor to it and calls it the Santa Claus train. They give kids rides around town and provide hot chocolate afterward. It really promotes employee engagement and community involvement."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Flaman Sales Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- Flaman Sales Ltd. encourages employees to save for the future with contributions to a matching RSP plan and offers a variety of financial perks, including new employee referral bonuses and discounts on company products
- Flaman Sales Ltd.'s head office employees can take advantage of free access to an onsite fitness facility, as well as an outdoor pond skating rink in the winter months -- and while on the job, employees can work at treadmill desks and exercise ball chairs
At Flaman Sales, the family means business
Jacey Schuler was expecting her second son when she replied to an ad on the Internet to work for Flaman Sales Ltd. in Saskatoon. When she got the job, her family became even bigger than she'd expected.
"I'd often driven past the Flaman Fitness store on Circle Drive," she says, "but I didn't know much about it. I had no background in fitness other than chasing my children around."
As Schuler quickly discovered, the range of equipment and products carried by Flaman retail and rental outlets in Saskatchewan, B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Montana extends far beyond fitness equipment, playground accessories and home appliances for seniors.
"You don't realize how big the company is until you start working here," she says.
It wasn't always so big. The company began in 1959 in Southey, Sask., about 55 km north of Regina, when Frank Flaman bought 10 grain bins for his own farm operation at dealer pricing. Needing only four, he sold the other six for a profit and decided to start a business.
From running his own farm, Flaman knew that farmers needed some equipment such as post pounders, manure spreaders and horse trailers only once or twice a year, so he began renting equipment as well. Still based in Southey, Flaman Sales Ltd. is now a retailer and rental outlet of agricultural equipment and accessories, cargo, flatdeck, horse, stock and utility trailers, grain cleaning machines, screens, bucket elevators and accessories and security products.
"My dad is a fitness nut," says Don Flaman, who took over the management of Flaman's operations in Saskatchewan with his two brothers, Rudy and Steve. "He brought in a load of treadmills one day, and we started selling them. Now we're the largest retailer of fitness equipment in western Canada."
In addition to its retail outlets, Flaman sells its equipment online through its website and on TV through The Shopping Channel, which keeps Jacey Schuler busy.
As the receptionist and administrator at Flaman Fitness in Saskatoon, Schuler answers phones, greets customers, balances accounts, helps with filling orders from The Shopping Channel and the company's e-commerce site and arranges deliveries from Flaman's 10 retail stores.
Even with almost 300 full-time employees, Flaman has maintained its culture and character as a family business. The company maintains a significant presence in the communities where it operates, while the Flaman Foundation, set up by Frank Flaman in 2005, supports local and global charities such as World Vision, Operation Eye Sight and Sharing Hope and Agriculture Resources of the Earth (SHARE).
"We're in a lot of small communities," says Don Flaman. "People are born and raised there, and they want to stay there. They're proud of the way we give back to the community."
The pride is mutual. Flaman Sales depends on good employees not just to keep the business running smoothly, but to help it to grow, as well.
"We're constantly trying to improve our services," says Flaman. "Good employees make a world of difference. They may tell us about new products they think might fit into a line, improvements to existing lines or better ways to display things. They're critical to our operations."
Monthly social activities such as bowling, skiing and Roughriders football games reinforce the family atmosphere. "And a lot of family work here," Schuler adds. "The manager is married to the niece of the owner. And the daughter of my son's Grade 1 teacher now works for the company.
"I'm sure if I dropped in to the Edmonton store, they'd make me feel like part of the family, too."