Even as many carriers are reporting losses and precarious financials, Daylight Transport is enhancing its LTL services, investing in IT, and providing flexibility to customers. All while charging low rates. Daylight’s CEO attributes this trucking paradox to innovation and financial strength, over 32 years.
Online PR News – 13-August-2009 – – For Immediate release. Contact: Greg Steele, Daylight Transport. 1-800-468-9999 firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Beach, CA - Daylight Transport is known for speed. Long-haul LTL transit times across the country are 2 to 3 days, standard. Says CEO and founder Richard Breen, “Daylight is super fast. But we’re not more expensive. In fact, many times we’re less expensive than anybody else. We can do this because of our financial stability and our business model.” (VIDEO: Richard Breen, CEO: “Inside Daylight”)
INVESTING MORE, CHARGING LESS: AN LTL SHIPPING PARADOX
Breen emphasizes that it hasn’t been easy. ”It costs us more to put two-man sleeper teams on our coast to coast lanes, but we do it. Years ago we brought speed and reliability to the LTL world by using sleeper teams, and we haven’t stopped. No LTL carrier is as fast as Daylight between LA and the East Coast, or as consistently on time. But to compete in this market, our LTL rates have to be lower than competitors who are slower and less consistent. Believe it or not, we‘ve found ways to make this model sustainable.”
Daylight Transport has been able to sustain this counter-intuitive rate/quality equation through a combination of business structure, streamlined systems for efficiency, and a proactive culture. “We use our financial strength to help customers get more for their dollar,” says Breen.
EMPOWERING THE FRONT LINE
Anticipating a sharp downturn in the economy and the freight transportation sector early last year, Daylight acted decisively.
Daylight began empowering front line team members, such as Account Executives and CSRs (Customer Service Representatives), to make independent decisions that normally would need a supervisor’s approval. “We knew that in tough times our customers would need even more flexibility from us, whether in customizing a service to help with a supply chain issue or handling an unusual problem resourcefully. A CSR will use his or her own good judgment to make a customer-friendly decision on-the-spot,” says Greg Steele, Senior Vice President of Sales.
The company gives special recognition to people who take the initiative and deliver on Daylight’s promise of being more flexible and proactive. Just the other day one of Daylight’s newest customers, who had experienced damaged freight with their former carrier, wanted to know the exact condition of a shipment as soon as it arrived at our delivery terminal. Daylight’s CSR at origin called the CSR at the receiving end and asked her to take a cell phone picture of the freight, which was in perfect condition, and email it directly to the customer.
“The customer needed reassurance beyond our normal electronic report, so we gave it to them,” says Steele. “Interactions like this are taking place at every level at Daylight. Flexibility is all about doing things the customer’s way, not making them conform to ours. At another carrier, the CSR would have had to ask a supervisor to ask a manager to go through a chain of command at the other end before taking action. Being flexible saves time and money, makes our customers look better to their customers, and builds relationships.”
SERVICING CUSTOMERS INSTEAD OF SERVICING DEBT
Daylight Transport is debt-free. Richard Breen says that he has been rigorous about maintaining this position ever since he founded the company in 1977. Daylight’s debt-free status and cash reserves have a direct impact on customer service. Carriers who are caught short can be forced to cut service levels, which can mean slower transit times, late deliveries, or inconsistency.
TRUSTED ADVISORS OPTIMIZING SUPPLY CHAINS AND SIMPLIFYING LIFE
Daylight’s sales force is trained in the disciplines of supply chain management and consulting. “This way we can be flexible in the areas that matter most to the customers, save them money, and simplify their lives,” says Steele. How much could the customer reduce DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) and improve cash flow by cutting LTL transit times 3 days? How much could be saved annually by being able to ship a couple days longer when an order is filled, instead of sending stragglers by air at the last minute? Does a customer have an overtime problem managing shipments going to big box retailers? For the latter issue, Daylight has a Vendor Compliance Services group to take over that function and reduce costly charge-backs.
In the end, it’s all about passion and unwavering vision. Breen says, “If we can’t be better, faster, and more flexible so we can give our customers real value, I don’t belong in this business. It’s why I started this company in the first place.” Based on the results, it looks like 32-year-old Daylight is going to be in business for a very long time to come.