The transportation industry has existed for a long time, perhaps even going back to the very beginning of civilization. Of course, the nature of the industry has changed many times over the years and more often than not these changes have been spurred onward by changes in technology. As the pace of technological change reaches new speeds in modern society, the companies that thrive today are the ones that use these changes to better serve their clients. Custom Companies is a great example of a firm that keeps abreast of the latest technologies and even innovates to create new ones as well. For those curious about the state of modern transportation, the company makes a great case study as to what it takes to thrive in this day and age.
Founded in 1986, Custom Companies was created with a simple vision in mind: “To provide a broad base of Transportation Solutions under one roof to their customers.” This approach, articulated by founder Perry Mandera, has helped to propel the company to the forefront of the transportation industry. One of the many ways this can be seen is through the rapid expansion of capacity and equipment that has become associated with the company over the years. From its start as a small two-truck operation, the firm now operates over two thousand pieces of equipment throughout the country, including dry vans as well as temperature controlled and flatbed machinery.
Known as a full-service transportation firm, the company operates a wide range of services from its headquarters in Northlake, Illinois. Some of these services include domestic and international air freight, less than truckload (LTL) services, expedited ground services, local cartage, direct contract cartage, and more. This extensive range of offerings stems from a desire to offer world-class customer service to all clients. By providing numerous shipping options and transportation methods, the company can work with a wide range of clients to ensure their specific needs are met in the most complete way possible.
One of the ways in which this client-centric focus is prominently manifested is through the design of the company’s website. While it is common practice in both the transportation industry and throughout the general economy to design online resources from the point of view of the company, Custom Companies opted for a different approach. For their website, they actually invited clients to chime in on the features that could be incorporated that would best serve them and their own businesses. This feedback from clients helps to fuel an online presence that works for clients in the ways they find most useful. The resultant design has been used to answer questions, provide documentation, and even provide real-time information on every shipment in the company’s system.
In addition, efforts undertaken towards web and software development have afforded clients a degree of customizability in their shipping pursuits that have previously gone unseen in the industry at large. With an intuitive interface, the web-based software allows for custom quoting, pickup requests, and bill of lading requests. In addition, the software can be customized to offer robust accounting services and reporting that can be scheduled at whatever interval the client chooses. These analytical tools encompass many aspects of shipping information including client information, transportation destinations, and specific time period requests (https://www.customco.com/careers.html).
Along with the above focus on online tools comes an enduring commitment to technology that has helped the company cement its position as a leader in its field for decades. This commitment is characterized by a constant drive to search for new tools from a variety of services that can help better meet the needs of an increasingly connected world. One powerful example of this philosophy in action is the company’s design and implementation of their back-end software, which is enhanced by their Cheetah Dispatch Software. Through these tools, dynamic routing services help to optimize both pickups and deliveries for the latest fleet of delivery equipment. By empowering drivers and operators with software access through the use of tablets, the company is better able to optimize deliveries and reduce waste such as excessive fuel consumption or unnecessary paper usage.
In addition, the company’s dock management system helps to ensure all shipments are transported efficiently and without misrouting. In conjunction with the warehouse management system, which offers superior visibility of shipments on a piece level, clients now enjoy an unprecedented ability to monitor and control shipments. Not only does this provide peace of mind and the assurance that all shipments are on schedule, it also allows clients the ability to plan their own operations in tandem with shipment logistics. The result is an increased efficiency for clients that is felt not just in their shipping efforts, but in other aspects of their operations as well.
Though the above technologies are being used to deliver high-end service throughout the company’s offerings, the core of its business is still its high-quality fleet of delivery trucks and equipment. These holdings are not only poised to moved shipments across vast distances throughout North America, they are also able to operate extensively in local areas as well. For instance, the company operates 105 local pickup and delivery trucks in Chicago and over forty-five throughout the greater Los Angeles area. These local holdings compliment a fleet of over the road trucks that number in excess of 500.
With technological capabilities playing such a key role in the services a company can offer to its clients, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a common thread amongst leaders in their respective industries is their prioritization of cutting-edge equipment. This focus has been a part of the strategy for Custom Companies since its inception over thirty years ago. Through their efforts to optimize their fleet, software, and web-based offerings, the company has been able to provide a level of service that would have been unthinkable even a short time ago. Their operations are a great example for those seeking a deeper understanding of how modern companies work to evolve with changing marketplace contexts and needs.
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