After completing the sale of “old JBS” late last year, we knew 2017 was going to be a year of transitioning. It has proven to be that and more. Starting with the retirement of my long-time partner and good friend Sam DiMaio, we headed into 2017 a little anxious but no less excited about the “new JBS”. The overall culture of our new parent company (Stan Koch & Sons Trucking) is more similar then different from ours, which made the transition much easier to accomplish.
To help us through the transition, I laid out 3 key objectives:
- Expanding our sales to include the new services available to sell with Koch Logistics.
- Integrating our IT and software programs
- Implementing new policies (HR and Work Safety) that could guide us through the next phase of growth.
For the first objective, Dan Mastropieri was promoted to direct our sales efforts. Koch’s additional services such as LTL, Maritime, and Air Freight required someone with Dan’s experience and knowledge to lead us through the expansion.
IT integration proved to be the most challenging objective as we switched TMS and accounting systems in the second half of the year. Just ask Penny how difficult it was moving from our homegrown easy-to-use TMS to the more complex TruckMate. Still to come in 2018 is a new phone system and moving our servers to Koch Logistics in St. Paul.
One of the most noticed changes involved the last objective. We created 4 new committees that included; Work Safety, Security, Food Compliance / Safety, and Social. Each committee has been very active in achieving their goals and making JBS a better place to work. A sincere Thank You for everyone involved on those committees.
There have been many other great successes throughout the year including adding a net-gain of 17 new warehouse customers, hiring 11 new employees, and the creation of an 8-person management team spearheaded by veterans Tom Keller (warehouse) and Steve Krisch (Transportation). Speaking of Steve, he celebrated his 25 year anniversary with us in February, Congratulations!!
Like any other successful business, we have had a few stumbles along the way too, but we learned from those only to be stronger as we head into our 32nd year of business. Speaking of 2018, I am excited to announce the start of a “Quarterly Bonus Program” for all qualified employees. More details to follow but it will be based on the overall profit generated during the 3-month period.
Finally, to all our employees, vendors, and customers, we say Thank You for all your hard work, dedication, and loyalty shown in 2017, and we hope that the New Year brings you many blessings and good cheer!