Author Archive

Walking the Talk

November 5, 2009

My knees were shaking and my hands were sweating as I sat at a round table in front of several top executives talking about a long-term contract.  This was going to be a new line of work for us, and give us our big splash in the medical field.

I was happy all the way until I got to my car and called my boss who brought me back to reality.  It’s great that we sold a new piece of business, he said. But the real work is just starting.  

We work every day on being the best transportation company in Michigan, so we had to get everyone up to speed on this new project.  That involves more than briefing our drivers in a conference room.

To meet our service standards, every driver had to be Haz-mat trained, had to have a cooler and a spill kit in their car – oh, and by the way, we need to be able to have dry ice at a moment’s notice any place in the state. 

To pull this off correctly we needed to apply one simple principle to this project: Everything walks the talk. It’s a lesson we learned long ago from the book “Inside the Magic Kingdom,” something our entire leadership team studied together.

We apply this to everything we do at Reliable Delivery, from a new project to the first day we bring someone in to work with us.  Our training has to be top notch and we need a total team effort.  We have their paperwork in order, a training scheduled so they know exactly what to expect over the next week.   We teach our drivers from day one how important our uniforms are to our customers and how everyone needs to look sharp with their shirt tucked in, ID badge showing, black shoes and a belt must be worn.  We spot check our drivers so we make sure this is how they look every day. All of our drivers carry rain bags in case they are instructed to leave a package at the door or out where the weather could damage the product we deliver.  

Our trucks are washed once a week and inspected every day for damage. When you walk into our office you will find that the people working in the dispatch center also wear uniforms.  The dispatch center is clean with no papers lying around. Everything has a place to be stored. Every customer service representative has a flat panel monitor. National customers have visited our center and have commented to me that they have visited hundreds of courier services all over the county and have never seen an operation that looks as good as we do.  I just smile and thank them for the comment and think to myself everything walks the talk.     

How does your organization walk the talk? Please leave a comment below, email us at or connect with us on Twitter at


A Smart Way to Outsource

October 6, 2009

Say outsourcing, and in these difficult economic times images of lost jobs and overseas call centers come to mind. But there’s a smarter way to outsource; a way that keeps jobs at home, and actually allows people to grow and develop their careers. We discovered it at Reliable Delivery years ago, and found that it’s not only helped us, but our customers, and their employees.

Outsourcing the transportation services for many businesses can be a smart move. For most, transportation isn’t their core expertise; but a necessary part of doing business. Leaving the delivery to people that do nothing but, day in and day out can cut cost, improve customer service and streamline their operation. But for many, the worry of what happens to their employees becomes reason enough to keep their in-house operations in place.

What Reliable Delivery has found is most employee drivers are only making $8.00 – $11.00 per hour and, for many, the work is a dead-end job. But what we’ve discovered is that when we become the logistics service provider for a new company, their employees become valuable assets to us. They know the customers, they know their industry, and they’re eager to learn and grow.

In many instances, Reliable Delivery ends up offering some, if not all, of the drivers jobs.    Because of our pay structure and the amount of work Reliable Delivery has available, our drivers can and do end up making twice as much and sometimes even more as they did when working for a single company doing the same route or job daily. 

And, because of our extensive training in handling medical specimens, bio-hazard and documents for legal professionals, our drivers work for several industries at the same time, which gives them more opportunity to maximize their pay potential.   

This is a true win/win relationship.  Their company has saved money, their service has improved and most of their former employees are making more money working for Reliable Delivery. Hardly the conventional idea of “outsourcing.” But then, we like to think that we’re hardly a conventional company.

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