Group Transportation Services – Michael Valentine, founder & CEO
Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
Growing in a “down” economy. GTS balanced investments in organic growth as well as acquisitions in 2010. Very targeted efforts were made to market to specific prospects leading to a higher percentage of wins. We also acquired a mid-size truck load brokerage to add critical mass to our volume in that market. By diversifying its growth strategy GTS experienced a healthy 2010.
Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
Innovation is a relative term defined and recognized by different industries a multitude of ways. GTS is fostered on a culture of process improvement and better ideas from top to bottom. In a service based organization like GTS, with no physical product to display innovative attributes, we focus on the speed and quality of our decision support to our clients. Through Web-based applications, electronic data feeds from our partners, and automated alerts of information, GTS has remained innovative in meeting the needs of our clients.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?
The greatest lesson learned is that in an age of superior technology, global communication, and sophisticated market forecasting, nothing replaces a common sense approach when developing growth and managing cost. In the midst of the economic recession GTS relied on simple principles to not only retain but grow its market share: one, support our existing clients in prudent decision making in the face of their worst down turn by reducing their cost by leveraging more of their business and two, approaching new prospects with a long term commitment with our value added services instead of a commoditized short-term cost reduction.
Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
GTS has more than tripled its employee base since we have been associated with Weatherhead. We are a suburb-rooted organization that contributes to the local and regional merchants in our area through job creation, service and product purchases, and charitable contributions. We are part of our community not just a representative of it.