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Turning Lemons Into Lemonade
Could there really be an upside to a downturn?
If you’re passionate about being the best in the industry and shifting your business to meet customer needs, like the independent agents named to Landstar’s Chief Executive Circle (CEC), you might just find that your glass is half full – of lemonade.
The agents in the CEC have generated a minimum of $40 million in Landstar revenue over 10 or more consecutive years. Agents recognized as CEC Gold Level inductees have generated a minimum of $125 million in Landstar revenue and have been a part of the Landstar network for at least 15 consecutive years.
In 2020, Landstar named 10 agents to the CEC Class of 2019 and one agent as a Gold Level honoree. According to these top level entrepreneurs, the ingredients for success include meeting customer needs, adapting to change and looking for silver linings.
Richard Walker | Richard Walker Enterprises, Inc. | Birmingham, Alabama
Gold Level CEC 2019
“We made sure we continued to listen. We learned how our customers’ business models could change so that we could offer all the tools Landstar provides to help customers stay profitable.”
Lindley Johnson | LKJ Agency, Inc. | Iron Mountain, Michigan
“Thankfully, our customers have stayed busy through this challenging year. Mining, construction and shipbuilding remained strong and ‘essential,’ which meant we could not afford to miss a beat for these customers. We look forward to using what we learned in 2020 – true simplification and realignment of personal time with family and friends. Less time spent running between activities and fewer extracurricular choices made time with family SLOW DOWN. With one son in college and a 6-year-old at home, I am keenly aware of how time can get away from us. I would like to officially thank the pandemic for that reminder. The pandemic has caused so much suffering but I have always been a fan of silver linings.”
Jack McFadden | McFadden Group, LLC | Cedar Hill, Texas
“This year we improved our listening skills and honed the tools in the Landstar ‘toolbox’ so we stayed flexible. It has made us more adaptable and a stronger company. Many things we took for granted are now more appreciated - such as personal relationships with our customers and co-workers. There is opportunity in chaos if you keep your head on straight.”
Ken Perruquet | US Carriers, Inc. | Monroe, North Carolina
“Operating during this coronavirus pandemic has created many opportunities to rethink the way we work and interact with everyone. Personally, I feel it has given us a sense of calmness and time to refocus on what our priorities should be. Family, friends and building the bridge of the future with our customers. We made tremendous efforts to provide a better customer experience. First, we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes. What are their deadlines, their responsibilities? What can we do as a supplier to relieve their stress? After determining the answers, provide the solution in a consistent and timely manner. This moved our agency from being a service provider to a trusted friend and partner.”
Jim Richardson | Faith Logistics LLC | Spicewood, Texas
“Although this year has been one of a kind, it hasn’t changed my working relationships with my customers. I sell service, so keeping in contact is something I have always done. I do not want them to think of me as ‘just another freight guy selling business,’ I have personal relationships with them – they know my kids’ names.”
Chris Vogeler | STXGLOBAL, LLC | San Antonio, Texas
“Selling to a niche market has two upsides. The area of business is not quite as competitive, but it may require a higher level of service. The niche market also is typically willing to pay more for that service. We micromanage each shipment and provide a higher level of service than can be found anywhere else. Be adaptable. Change can be difficult, but make change work and make it work in your favor, as change is unavoidable.”
Other Members of the CEC Class of 2019
- Mitchell Davis | Mitch Davis Transportation, Inc. | Elizabeth, Colorado
- Todd Dennis | Belcher & Dennis Corporation | Burton, Michigan
- Michael McKee | McKee Transport, Inc. | Delray Beach, Florida
- Ann Metheny | Metheny Transport | Chandler, Oklahoma
- Vicki Sawyers | Vicki Sawyers Agency | Somerset, Kentucky