Bonded Transportation Solutions, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., has been in business for more than 50 years. The company has stayed successful because of its quality transportation services and same-day, or next-day, delivery of anything.
Courier Magazine recently got in touch with Pam Witt, president at Bonded Transportation Solutions. Witt discussed how the delivery company got started, and how it has changed for the better and evolved through the years.
Courier Magazine: Tell me how your company has survived and thrived over the years, and a bit about its history
Pam Witt: Bonded Messenger was started in 1955 by the Perlstein family. It was the first courier service in Milwaukee, Wis. Carrie Ehlers and I worked for the Perlstein family as operation managers and purchased the company in 1999. We grew the company with excellent customer service—different services were added and new terminals were opened. We changed the name to Bonded Transportation in 2005 to reflect the true nature of the business—a one-stop solution for our clients’ same-day transportation needs.
CM: How did you and Ehlers develop the organization?
PW: Carrie and I worked our way up through the company and were trained by the founders. After the purchase in 1999, we continued many of the same ideals while updating other ideas, methods and procedures. The family atmosphere has always been alive at Bonded and continues today. Many of our ideas or techniques were discovered through networking at industry events such as Courier Magazine Weekend, the MCAA Convention and ECA. Carrie and I went from a two-shift operation to a three-shift “24/7” operation after visiting a courier company in Atlanta, Ga., during one of the Courier Magazine Weekend events. Although Carrie passed away in 2008, our company still continues with many of the principles that she stressed.
CM: What are some of the new things your company is doing to modernize its operation? Are you using any new technology?
PW: We are always looking at new technology to help decrease costs or increase efficiencies, from using vehicles with high fuel efficiency to new computer technology that gives real-time information to our customers. We recently updated our communication devices to signature-capture Android devices so the clients can see their PODs in real time through our website.
CM: What is the one key to your company’s success?
PW: Fantastic employees, great managers and hands-on owners. A customer can call our offices and someone will always be available with an answer to their question or delivery problem. We empower the employees to solve each delivery [question] and get it done correctly in the required delivery window.
CM: How important is customer service at your business?
PW: All we sell is customer service and we constantly remind our office employees and drivers of this. Our customers know that anyone in our office can help them when they call -- from a CSR to a dispatcher, to a manager and even the owner. We tell our people to answer the phone with a smile on their face -- a client can hear that in their voice. We also stress communication, communication, communication. We are honest with our customers and will advise them if we are running behind or cannot service their needs prior to it being an issue.
CM: How do your employees help your organization succeed?
PW: Our employees are our greatest assets. Drivers are the front line and sometimes the only real contact that the customer has if they enter their orders online. We train our drivers to be professional and courteous at each pickup and delivery. Many of our drivers go beyond and we reward them with “Make a Difference” dollars when they do something out of the ordinary. We have many employees with over 30 years of service for which we are very proud.