New Reliable Delivery Blog

June 28, 2011 by

Thank you for reading the Reliable Delivery blog. Please join us at our new blog home http://blog.reliabledelivery.com/

Starting a new business in Toledo

January 5, 2010 by

One year ago, Reliable Delivery made a decision to plant brick and mortar in Ohio. With our branches all centered around our corporate facility in Romulus, the decision to open an Ohio delivery company only forty-five minutes south of us in Toledo was easy. The effort it would take to make it happen; however, proved to be much more difficult.

We started first with location. Paul and I spent days searching Toledo and surrounding cities for a good location. We finally settled on 6010 Skyview Dr. The distance from both TOL and DTW airports was perfect and it offered excellent access to the major freeways. We were able to secure a great deal so we went for it. Our location needed some major renovation but after months of hard work and persistence, it’s beginning to represent Reliable Delivery and “walk the talk”.

Not all of the work we had to accomplish on our Toledo courier company was cosmetic however. We also had months of ironing out phone issues, internet, electrical, heat and AC, water leaks, prepping receiving areas, and the list goes on and on…and on. It was one of the largest, most taxing projects I think I’ve ever been involved in with Reliable Delivery. To see where we are now, after only one year, is truly amazing.

The amount of work we put in to setup a delivery service in Ohio never crosses my mind these days. In this first year alone we have more than doubled the workload since we first started in Toledo. We have brought on a full sales team, doubled our driving force, and started to fill the 13,000+ Sq Ft Warehouse we have available to our Toledo customer base. It’s exciting to think about next year and what we will have accomplished when I look back at 2010.

Reliable Delivery in Toledo is prepared. Everyone on our team here has put in overtime, scrubbed floors, trained after hours, tested phones, pressed pants, and prepared to serve our surrounding businesses. After long grueling days and hard work; we are ready!

Cheer during the Christmas season

December 29, 2009 by

By Nick Reed

During this time of season, it is important to know what matters most. Christmas has always been a season of giving, sharing and showing love. With today’s economy, that joy has been diminished because of the uncertainty of rising unemployment and insecurity about what tomorrow may bring. Even with job security, there is a need to scale back and save more just in case the unexpected happens.

But there may be surprising benefits to even this economy; namely, recognizing and appreciating the gifts that we already have in our lives — our families, our friends, and the love and warmth that being with them provides all year long.

They say, true happiness comes from within. If that’s true, what’s within should be shown on the outside. That is one of the main ways to show cheer during this season. Happiness should be something that you wake up with every morning.  Just the fact that you were able to wake up should put some type of joy on your face. A driver with our company once said, “Another day, another way”. With that type of mentality, you see things from a different perspective. If we are always seeking another way, then our days are filled with the happiness of good things to come no matter how our day is going.

I can say from personal experience that being positive just rubs off on those around you, especially in the high-stress environment of a call center. My first responsibility is to our customers and their business. If my attitude stinks then that carries on in the responses I receive. 

Oftentimes, I can make the job easier just by my response to a situation. That can change the whole atmosphere for everyone. The word cheer as defined by Webster’s dictionary means “a source of joy or happiness; a comfort” 

Can people look at you as a source of comfort? This year, move out of your comfort zone and put the correct face to the season.  Let’s not be engulfed in ourselves but show them the real meaning behind the season.  No matter what happens or what may come, let’s enjoy this season that only comes around once a year. Let’s be the joy and happiness and the comfort that we desperately need during this time and show the real meaning behind Christmas. It’s not about what you receive, but what you give. Let’s give a spot of cheer this year and watch it come back to you!

You get what you pay for

December 21, 2009 by

Recently, I went car shopping. For anyone, that can be a tough process. But I did my homework and came up with a number in mind for a car to get me from point “A” to point “B,” and there was little (I thought) that could persuade me to crack that price ceiling.

Why did I need fancy headlights or electric seats or any of that stuff? I only cared about two things: Cruise Control and ABS. Anything else was just fluff and I didn’t need it.

After shopping around a bit I FINALLY found the car I wanted. The only problem was that it was going to be $50.00 more than I wanted to spend. After looking over the car I noticed that I had a lot of additional options that I hadn’t initially considered. All of them gave value to the car (a Pontiac G6) and I didn’t want to let any of them go. In the end, I decided that quality and value were more important than a rock bottom price.  I ended up spending almost $100.00 more per month on the car than I had originally planned, but walked away feeling that I had gotten a great overall deal. The truth of the matter is I just felt like it was all really worth it The price was fair and having all these bells and whistles, not to mention great coverage on my car if something goes wrong, gave me peace of mind. Sure I paid a little more, but it’s worth it.

It’s a lengthy analogy, but it’s one our customers often learn after doing business with us.

You’ll never hear anyone say, “Reliable Delivery is the cheapest delivery service in Detroit”. Our sales teams aren’t trained to ask, “How low can I make this price go to get your business?” We believe that what we offer has value. We also believe in giving our customers the best and that includes options that cater to each of our client’s wants and needs. From state of the art technology, to driver training, to our employee’s education while with us, we know it all holds value. And if there’s one thing I know with buying this car it’s that you get what you pay for.

One example: A hospital in Ohio recently switched over to our Ohio delivery company over one of our competitors. What really sold them on the switch was our online order entry. They thought it was amazing that they never had to pick up a phone. They could just log on, put in their orders, pull up order history, even do all their internal accounting with us all at the touch of a button. They loved it and instantly knew our service held its value well.

How do you offer value to your customers? Leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

Toys for Tots Drive

December 15, 2009 by

We have collected quite a few toys so far this holiday season that will change a child’s Christmas. Time may be running out but you still have a chance to dramatically improve someone’s holiday. Toys for Tots depends on local businesses and on the holiday spirit of people who donate toys for the success of their campaign each year.

Reliable Delivery has partnered with the Marine Corp. Toys for Tots Foundation to help collect toys and cash donations to ensure that the holidays are a magical time for every child.   Reliable will pick up toys from any business in our service areas willing to make a donation.

Reliable has been a long-time supporter of the Toys for Tots program, a proud part of our founders status as a Marine Corp. veteran.

Reliable Delivery is proudly providing drop-off locations at our Detroit delivery office, Grand Rapids delivery office, Toledo delivery office and our Flint delivery office, as well as warehousing and transportation of toys.  Please help us give families in need a joyful holiday by donating new, unwrapped toys or cash donations to any of our locations anytime during the days and times listed:

Romulus:  6774 Brandt St (M-Sa, anytime)
Toledo, OH: 6010 Skyview Dr (M-F, 9am-5pm)
Flint:  3201 S. Grand Traverse St (M-F, 9am-5pm)
Grand Rapids: 3420 Kraft Ave SE (M-F, 9am-5pm)

Please join us in helping the U.S. Marines assist thousands of needy children by supporting this worthy cause.

Together we can make a difference in the lives of the children in our community and make it a very happy holiday for all

Evolving Our Business in a Changing Industry

December 10, 2009 by
By Scott and Aaron

As the delivery / logistics industry evolves, so does Reliable Delivery.  We are constantly looking ahead, researching, and planning to take the next step that will continue to make our company competitive.  When faced with adversity – we react.  But more importantly, when opportunity knocks, we open the door.  Recently, a door has opened to the world of Third Party Logistics (3PL) Warehousing.

Recently, two members of Reliable Delivery’s Leadership team had the opportunity to attend the 2009 IWLA Essentials course in Dallas, Texas.   The IWLA (International Warehouse and Logistics Association) is a trade association of warehouse logistics providers that helps members run high-quality, profitable businesses.  The course covered topics such as marketing and sales, warehouse law, information technology, layout, insurance, safety, cost/rate development, real estate, and current and future directions of the industry.  The course, while technically designed for larger 3PL members, provided us with the ability and knowledge to expand our business in this direction.

Knowledge and ability are useful tools.  But the contacts we met and the hundreds of years of experience they possess in the industry have proven to be the most useful tools taken from the Conference.  Many who attended have been multiple times.  The first time they attended, their situations were similar to ours.  They come back to refresh their knowledge base but also, and some say more importantly, to network with others.

After four days of courses, and several hours of networking, we formed friendships with our classmates.  It is comforting to know that when we have a question about a specific aspect of our expanding 3PL business, that help and advice is just a phone call away.  Hopefully, these friendships will become business partnerships as well.  And eventually, when we attend another conference, we’ll be the contact, the friend, the business partner that another expanding logistics company is looking for.

Linking Motivation to Performance

December 8, 2009 by

“If he [the manager] has confidence in his ability to develop and stimulate them [employees] to high levels of performance, he will expect much of them and will treat them with the confidence that his expectations will be met.  But if he has doubts about his ability to stimulate them, he will expect less of them and will treat them with less confidence.” – J. Sterling Livingston, “Pygmalion in Management (1969)”

Leaders inspire; they motivate, it’s what they do.  It’s why they’re, well, leaders. But what if a leader is inspiring his team to create mediocrity? It happens. And more often than not, because the leader himself is holding on to lowered expectations.

In the book “Motivating Employees”, written by Anne Bruce and James S. Pepitone, they discuss motivating employees.  A major theme in the book is how expectations influence behavior.  You as a leader will get better performance from people, if you expect it from them. 

The phenomenon has a name: The Pygmalion Effect.  The basic idea is that the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform.  You can significantly influence the feelings, attitudes and behaviors of those around you if you communicate your expectations, explicitly and implicitly.

That can be easier said than done. Below are tips on how to boost your expectations, and your team’s performance:

  1. Walk the talk.  Be the role model for what you expect in others.
  2. Convey enthusiasm in what you do.
  3. Remind others that problems can be overcome.
  4. Recognize attempts to improve effectiveness and productivity—even when they don’t necessarily work.
  5. Recognize people who overcome obstacles to achieve results.
  6. Keep an open mind and focus on the positive side of new ideas.
  7. Encourage people to talk with you about their feelings.
  8. Meet with people—individually or in groups—when morale is low.  Express optimism and faith in the team.  Expect the best from people.  Expect that they will excel.
  9. Make work fun.
  10. See the humor in your own mistakes.  Laugh more.
  11. Focus on small, but significant wins, not just the big deals.
  12. Celebrate, a lot.

Have you been successful in your motivational efforts?  Reliable Delivery is always learning and implementing new ways of motivating employees.  Please leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver to share your thoughts or ideas.

Using technology to save time

December 3, 2009 by

Everyone says that time is the new money. Sure, you can’t make more of it, but shave seconds or minutes from your operation, and you’re likely to boost productivity. That can result in making more real dollars.

We are all given 24 hours in a day. Nobody wants to waste a second on a mundane task. Technology has offered us some great and convenient options. I can no longer imagine a world where I would have to wait in line at the bank just to withdraw some money. Nor can I imagine a world without everyday conveniences such as email, video conferencing, or even those license plate tab renewal machines at the Secretary of State (I’m serious about this one; my five minutes with this machines was the only good experience I’ve had there. And that’s saying something).   

Our customers probably can’t recall a time when they’ve not had the convenience of streamlined online order entry and tracking. And we’ve invested heavily in technology to make sure that they don’t have to. As a Michigan delivery company, we’re expected to get important deliveries where they need to go precisely when they need to get there. But Reliable Delivery specializes in saving our customers time and money by ensuring that it is easy to do business with us.

Being able to place an order online is good but we also offer our customers the ability to save frequent addresses or frequent orders. This enables an order to be placed with a few simple keystrokes or clicks of the mouse and can be a real time saver. Order tracking is also available. Everyone can follow the status of their order from creation to delivery or we can send an email with the order updates. We also offer reporting, online invoicing, and more all with customer convenience in mind.

Our customers seem to appreciate it:

Stephanie Eckley, laboratory manager at Saint Mary’s Health Care, says “In the past, we didn’t have a convenient, reliable way to track the pick-up or delivery of our samples or specimens. The Web order system they offer has made a great difference in our day-to-day operations. It greatly improved the overall transmission of our information.”

If needed, we can become the logistics center for nearly any customer, leveraging our technology and know-how to boost efficiency and reduce waste.

Before too long, we’re certain that technology will evolve. And you can bet that we’ll be tracking it, and investing in those new technologies that will help our customers have a better experience and save time. And after all, time is money.

How do you use technology to save time? Please leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

Family Business: A son’s point of view

December 1, 2009 by

I started working for my father in 1996. It was a weird transition, coming into work and calling my dad, Paul, and learning to deal with my brothers and sisters as colleagues. My brother and sister were already working at the Detroit delivery company and they helped train me.

There are obviously positives and negatives about working with family. I’d like to talk a little bit about both.

I enjoy being with my family. That is a huge positive. It’s also an important starting point if anyone is thinking about starting a business with family or friends. You might like your family, but can you spend eight to 10 hours a day with them, every day of the week? For me, that answer was, “of course.”

There is a level of trust with my family already established that would take a stranger years to attain. When we set out to make Reliable Delivery the leading provider of courier services in Michigan, we needed to be able to depend on each other. Now we have started a Grand Rapids delivery service, a Flint delivery service and a Toledo delivery service. Another plus? My father already knows my strengths and weaknesses. I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not and we can have open, honest communication.

Now for the good stuff; the down side of working with family. Reality TV has created a lot of shows that play up the friction between family members working at a business. While this makes for great TV it doesn’t make for a great work environment. Relationships are always tricky and adding a business relationship to a personal relationship only makes things more complicated. I could never walk up to my sister and say, “Hey, your work stinks. See you at dinner.” That would definitely create some awkward moments. Luckily my dad has created a company where we all can have honest communication with each other tactfully.

Honestly, I can’t imagine working for another company. I am blessed to be able to work for a man who is not only my father but a boss that allows his employees to take ownership. He cares about everyone on our team and wants Reliable Delivery to be a place where people are happy to come to work. He really understands what it takes as a leader to manage a great team.

Now hopefully I’ll get that raise.

Do you work at or have you had an experience with a family business? Leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES DURING HOLIDAYS A YEAR-ROUND COMMITMENT

November 30, 2009 by

While most people are sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner this week, our couriers, dispatchers and managers will still be hard at work. As a Michigan delivery company, we rarely stop working when others do; that includes the holidays.

Our customers include hospitals and other health care providers that rely on us to be available every day of the year, around the clock. We are proud to answer that call and even sometimes, help save a life.

But making sure that everyone on our team is ready and willing to keep our customer’s operations running smoothly – even during the holidays – is a year-round practice. We’ve focused on three practices year-round to keep everyone focused, motivated, and we think, happier even when they can’t quite be home for the holidays.

  • Communicate clearly why their presence is important: The gratifying part of our team’s work is that what we do has a clear and immediate impact on our customers businesses, and sometimes on other people’s lives. In one day, for example, we delivered three donor kidneys to patients who desperately needed them.
    Letting our team know that other people are counting on them and reminding them of their importance around critical times like Thanksgiving or New Year’s, allows them to feel that they are part of a mission; and a critical one at that. We think that understanding this is part of the reason why our team is so willing to go the extra mile to get a job done.
  • Share the work load: We’re a family owned company. But you can be sure that when we ask our team to work over the holidays, we’re right beside them with our sleeves rolled up.
    Letting our team know that we’ve got skin in the game, and that we won’t ask them to take on any task that we wouldn’t readily do ourselves, is critical towards making our team cohesive. We are committed to walking the talk, dispensing with empty sloganeering. And, we think, the cohesiveness and commitment demonstrated by our team is an important result of that.
  • Be sensitive to others needs: We understand that family needs can be pressing year round, but are usually more so during the holidays. For example, our drivers and dispatchers whose families are grown volunteer to work on holidays so that those with small children can spend the day at home.

How do you keep your team motivated during the holidays? Please leave a comment below, email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

From the entire team at our Michigan Delivery and Toledo Delivery locations, we wish you a Happy and Blessed Holiday Season!


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