Archive for the ‘Day in the Life’ Category

Starting a new business in Toledo

January 5, 2010

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!

Family Business: A son’s point of view

December 1, 2009

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.

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.

A Day in the Life of a Dispatcher: Got your game face on?

October 13, 2009

Aggressive Football Player Face

Being a dispatcher at Reliable Delivery isn’t for the faint of heart.  Any given day is challenging and fast paced, requires the people skills of a Major League Baseball manager, the focus of a diamond cutter, and the patience of Job.

The day begins with the walk-in from the parking lot.  Much like a middle linebacker getting ready for a game on Sunday, you have to get your game face on to be prepared to dispatch hundreds of jobs, communicate with the personalities of over 100 drivers, survey the work to make sure all same day deliveries are picked up and delivered according to deadlines, update and adjust orders according to changing situations, communicate those changes to our clients, and update road managers with status reports.

Fortunately, here at Reliable Delivery, we have the latest technology to assist our dispatchers with accomplishing almost all of these tasks.  Our gigantic dispatch board displays mounds of information, including a listing of all pending jobs for hours in advance, and all the information pertaining to those jobs.

The board also displays a square for each driver on the road and indicates by color whether the driver is empty, on-schedule, or nearing deadline.  Point and click on a driver square and it will list the current Detroit delivery or deliveries that driver is working on, and the status of each one.

In just the two years I have been at Reliable, we have had numerous upgrades and improvements to our dispatch technology, all geared to improve the service to our clients and make our dispatchers more efficient and effective.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to have our improved technology allow our dispatchers to ditch the game face, but we are working on it!!!

 

Have an experience with our dispatch center or a comment about a day in your life?  We’d love to hear it, please leave a comment below , email us at blogeditor@reliabledelivery.com, or connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/reliabledeliver.

A Day in the Life of Reliable Delivery Courier

September 22, 2009

Reliable Delivery Driver

Fourteen hours; 399 miles; and 34 critical deliveries. That’s one day in my weekly routine at Reliable.

Ever see the Sprint commercial that shows how the world might be if delivery pros ran it? The idea is simple: we make tough logistical problems easy. It’s something that I do every day as a Michigan courier from Reliable Delivery’s Grand Rapids operations. And many of those days, I go home feeling a sense of accomplishment, and that I really helped people do something important.

On any given day, I spend the morning dispatching jobs all across the state of Michigan to our busy crew of delivery drivers before hitting the road. Reliable Delivery uses what we call a “free call” system. This allows our drivers to freely call on jobs that they are in the best position to take, saving our customers time.

We have a diverse base of customers, but a growing segment is health care. One route for Saint Mary’s Hospital includes 20 stops, including carrying vital patient lab tests from the hospital and its satellite locations to the lab. Like everyone else, I know waiting for the doctor to call with test results can be nerve-racking. We take our mission seriously. Just recently, Reliable had three live kidneys being delivered to donor recipients in three different locations. The kidneys absolutely had to arrive on time and in pristine condition. It doesn’t get more serious than that.

All said, in one day, I made 34 stops for our customers.  I drove 399 miles, and went home knowing that I had indirectly helped these people and wanted to get up the next day and do it again. This an example of what our 300-plus drivers do every day.