Author Archive

A Hero’s Welcome

November 10, 2009

Vet Day BLog

There was a member of our country’s military in uniform on a business flight I took a while back.  When he walked on the plane, the passengers broke out in spontaneous applause.

I couldn’t help remembering back to when I was a 19-year-old Marine coming home from Vietnam.  Returning military weren’t received quite as warmly in those days.  When we touched down in the U.S., my friends and I quickly changed out of our uniforms and into civilian clothing to avoid being recognized as returning warriors and being booed-or worse.

Times do change for the better.

I don’t harbor any grudges for the way we were treated during the Vietnam era.  The opportunity that I have been provided by my country far outweighs all of it.

I have always believed that we have a country and lifestyle worth defending. There are few other countries where I would have had the opportunity to start out with next to nothing and end up owning a delivery company with offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Toledo, Ohio.

Our warehousing, logistics and trucking divisions have the privilege of employing a number of veterans.  Reliable Delivery is a service organization, and those that have voluntarily served our nation adapt quickly to our high standards of customer service.  They know what it means to serve, and to place someone else’s needs first.

These days many have thanked me for the time I spent in the jungles of the Mekong Delta and participating in operations outside of Saigon.  In fact, I have a nephew that is currently a career Marine on his way to his second tour in the Gulf and he calls or emails me each Veterans Day to thank me for my service. That simple gesture means a lot to me, and every other American veteran.

If you know a veteran this Veterans Day, be sure to thank them for their service.  I know I will.



October 29, 2009

The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.

–Rick Warren says to lead is “to go before or with, to show the way; to guide in direction, course, action, or opinion”

Reliable Delivery works hard at being a leader in the transportation, warehousing and logistics industries. In these industries, that often means learning from others to keep pace with how the business is changing. The pace of change continues to accelerate. Anyone that is not involved in continuous learning is lagging. Without constant education you would never be able to “show the way” or “guide” anyone.

That is why two members of our Leadership Team are presently in Dallas, Texas, attending training provided by the International Warehouse & Logistics Association (IWLA). As members of this organization we take advantage of their ongoing education opportunities.

A few of the topics covered in Dallas will include:

• Using Logistics & Warehousing to Gain a Competitive Advantage

• Warehouse Law

• Warehouse Security

• Inventory Control Technology

Knowledge of these and many other aspects of warehousing and logistics give our team exactly what we need to design in-depth solutions for our clients. It makes no difference if it’s a Detroit delivery or Grand Rapids warehousing, it gives our partners the confidence to know that they can trust this important part of their business to Reliable so that they can direct their time, effort and energy toward their core business.

I am sure when they return from Dallas our team members would tell you that ongoing learning is the hardest part of leading. But I am also sure they would tell you that they would not have it any other way.

What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below, email us at or connect with us on Twitter at

Still Going – An Economic Survivor

September 15, 2009

Reliable Delivery team

Operating as a Michigan Delivery Company presents some interesting challenges in today’s economy.  As most know, because of the hard-hit automotive industry, Michigan has become a national symbol of the economic downturn.  With offices in Grand Rapids, Flint and Romulus, Michigan, Reliable Delivery has ample investment in the state. 

We have more than 200 employees and independent contractors that continue to support their families through some of our nation’s toughest times.  Yet even during these times … we’re growing.  We’ve actually acquired over 500 new customers in the last year.

We determined from the beginning of the down-turn that if we were going to keep our team employed and continue to gain new market share, we were going to commit to increasing our spending in marketing and sales.  We were determined not to contract and wait for things to get better before investing in new business.

Some time ago we had resolved to structure our sales and marketing efforts to build a broad customer base rather than focusing exclusively on automotive manufacturing or any single industry like so many in Michigan.  That proved to be an important advantage.  If any one market contracts, another expands, providing a steady stream of business and opportunity.

Another aspect of our business strategy which has worked to our advantage, is rather than establish a one-size-fits-all approach to our services, we design custom solutions for our clients that solve their biggest delivery headaches.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a medical delivery for a hospital or a manufacturing delivery; all businesses today are looking for ways to reduce the cost of their distribution systems.  We spend a lot of our time working with business decision makers finding ways to outsource warehousing, distribution and delivery services.  In many instances we have even been able to hire those that have lost positions in these companies because of downsizing.

Discovering new ways to help our customers reduce cost and find new efficiencies has by far been the most important way to ensure our growth, both now and in the future.

Our recession is not over and, so far, we have been blessed in that our people have continued to maintain their income and Reliable Delivery has continued to add customers.  We and our customers are in the proverbial “eye of the storm” but working together, we’re finding we can not only survive the recession, but find unique ways to grow now and in the future.