When small companies begin to see fast-paced growth, it adds additional challenges to doing business. That is exactly the position Hank Newman finds himself in at Recon Logistics, a transportation management solutions provider for small and medium-sized manufacturers.
Newman is president of Recon, and in just six years of business, his company has grown to heights that he never anticipated to be possible. His challenge now is figuring out how he wants to continue growing the company.
“The biggest challenge is whether to just put the gas pedal down or to sit back and grow the same way that we have been growing now, which is more organic,” Newman says. “We have a huge opportunity now if we wanted to really ramp things up and bring on some salespeople and invest more heavily in technology to really push the sales and marketing growth. It’s right there in front of us. We’re very regional, even though we have customers all over the country. We could take that very regional approach and go all over the country in midmarket cities.”
Newman got his company to this position through an often under-appreciated approach of open and honest business with his company’s customers.
“We tend to price in a way that’s from the bottom up, which lends an awful lot of credibility to our customers that we’re going to make a fair dollar for what we do,” Newman says. “I’ve worked for a lot of big (third-party logistics providers) and they tend to price in a way to maximize profit. If they can save a customer 20 or 30 percent on their transportation costs, they might tell them they can save 5 percent and the customer is like, ‘Great, I can save 5 percent.’ We really turn it upside down.”
Newman’s approach has saved customers an average of 30 percent on transportation costs, has allowed Recon to never lose a customer to date and has led the company to its 24th consecutive quarter of growth.
“To me, it’s being open and objective on everything,” Newman says. “The industry that we’re in is rampant with people stretching the truth; for example, people saying the truck is going to be here in an hour, when it’s not. We find being truthful and honest with everything right away, whether it’s cost or service failure or a better way of doing things. Even if it rubs the customer the wrong way … they appreciate that viewpoint, which causes us to get recommended to other customers.”
Link to article: http://www.sbnonline.com/2012/01/opening-up/?full=1