It’s not often a business can claim all the business awards that it’s eligible for but Tantec Electronics has done just that.
The recent Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce business awards gala gave Tantec the proverbial hat trick of business awards after winning the 2016 medium business of the year. Just four years earlier the company won the large business of the year and in 2007 the small business of the year award.
Co-owners Jim and Norlyn Tangjerd have been at this work since 1998 when Tantec Electronics was formed after buying out LeClaire TV Centre. For Jim seeing they had won this third award was a special moment.
For him the work is about a strong partnership with his wife and partner Norlyn. “We’re partners; 50/50.”
“We never considered anything else.”
The work hasn’t been all good times. The same year Tantec won the large business of the year a major transition was underway with the Source — Tantec was a franchisee — becoming corporate stores rather than having a franchise.
Norlyn said they knew Tantec had to reinvent itself to make it through the change. She added a loyal customer base helped ensure their success as a business. “Our customers are pretty important.”
Jim also credits a strong networking ability that helped get Tantec through the transition. He suggests being part of the Ponoka chamber is important. “You want to know the people beside you.”
What he has noticed is networking has become more difficult as a local business when larger companies bring a business to the community. Jim says Tantec has always been local and involved.
Adaptability has been an important part of Tantec’s business model. When something goes out of style, the company stops selling that product. Add to that the company has a strong focus on customer service.
“The biggest thing we strive for is not to say, ‘No,’” explained Jim.
“Serving people is big,” echoed Norlyn. “Integrity, that’s huge for us. Being honest and not being pushy.”
She says customer respect is another important factor and she is also proud of the dedication of her parents with LeClaire TV Centre before buying the company and becoming Tantec.
When they won the third award, Norlyn credits the staff who really deserve the win due to a busy year plus having to deal with some changes at the operations level. “These people are family.”
“These are coworkers, I don’t call them employees very much,” she added.
Norlyn is most proud of the reputation Tantec has in the area and it appears that is the case with the three awards the company now has.
There are times they cannot appease a customer, but it’s not without trying. “That’s what differentiates us from Walmart, Best Buy,” Jim offered.
Jim credits a hard working employee base for ensuring the job gets done while keeping a strong customer service focus.
All that’s left now is for Tantec to get into the industrial and agricultural markets.