This article appeared on the Courier Magazine blog in October 2016.
Courier Magazine: Could you give me some background on your company? Fill me in on how your company has survived/thrived over the years, along with its history.
SB: Quick Courier Services, d.b.a. QCS Logistics, corporately headquartered in New Orleans, La., is a multi-service transportation logistics firm. Established in 1984 by founder Ronald V. Burns, Sr., we recently celebrated our 30th anniversary in business last year. We provide expedited and routed delivery service to a diverse clientele across many industries throughout southeastern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. QCS maintains service on a twenty-four hour basis, seven days a week, including holidays. Our drivers are uniformed, drug-tested, and trained.
In this competitive industry, we are fortunate to have loyal customers who have stayed with us because we focused on quality service at affordable prices. Many are still with us today.
CM: Comment on the success of your company’s founders and their ability to develop the organization.
SB: The company’s founder marketed the business through extensive networking and service on several public and corporate boards, which gave him access to the business leaders in the community. He also sought out the business advice and acumen of other established business owners who acted as mentors to him.
Each member of our senior management team is an experienced professional, with directly related expertise in the transportation and logistics industry. We have directed and managed large personnel systems for enterprises within the public and private sectors. Because of our streamlined organizational structure, senior management is accessible to our clients at all times and offer direct lines of communication and decision making. This has proven to be a priceless value-added benefit to our customers.
CM: How has the company grown since its start?
SB: Early on, we developed a market niche within the medical transport industry, which requires time-sensitive and temperature sensitive delivery of blood products, as well as ambient, refrigerated, and frozen specimens. Today, we have maintained this service offering and are the trusted transportation provider for over 30 healthcare clients who use our service on a daily basis. In 2009, we rebranded the company as QCS Logistics and expanded our service offerings to include freight distribution and warehousing services. We currently serve as the designated last mile delivery solution for several online retailers, such as Wayfair, HSN, and Cost Plus World Market. Most recently, we have ventured into the refrigerated goods industry, delivering fresh food items to a major convenience store operator and wholesale flowers to several florists in the New Orleans metropolitan area.
CM: How did you know what alternative avenues to travel in the courier business?
SB: In some cases, our business offerings were initiated through customer needs and demands. For instance, one long term customer needed us to store some files while they relocated their business. We are also active members of The Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (CLDA), where we interact regularly with other courier/logistics business owners. We share our frustrations as well as information regarding business opportunities with each other. Most importantly, we are always seeking out proposals and bids on national, regional, and local levels. Often, these searches led us to diversify our services based on what the customers required.
CM: How did you diversify your business to stand out?
SB: When we decided to rebrand our business, we changed all of our marketing materials, our business cards, the signage on our vehicles, our website, and our logo. We had a complete makeover to advertise our new branding. We also launched a marketing campaign to inform our existing customers of our new service offerings. We also enhanced our website via optimal search engine maneuvers.
CM: What are some of the new ideas your company is using to modernize its operation? Is new technology pushing business?
SB: QCS offers a robust technology platform that automates several manual processes: it provides transparency and accountability, incorporates route optimization, and tracks inventory via barcode scanning and data flow in real time. We have incorporated technology at all levels of our business. We recently began using automated route optimization modules for our routed services to ensure route efficiency; we have remote access capability for our work computers for designated personnel; we host our sever off site through our software provider to avoid losing critical client files during any diasters or outages. Our drivers can also download our dispatch software directly to their phones so they do not need to carry multiple devices.
CM: What is the one key to your company’s success?
SB: We are fortunate to have acheived success in this industry. However I believe the key has been our reputation for quality service and going the extra mile for our customers.
CM: Comment on customer service within your company. How important is it?
SB: QCS Logistics is fortunate to have a solid base of loyal customers, many of whom have been with us since the inception of the company. Over the years, QCS Logistics has built our business on the premise that we must first understand our customers’ needs and then deliver exceptional service that exceed expectations. We have built an enviable reputation for high-quality service with a proven track record of innovative technology, customized logistics solutions, and an experienced and dedicated management team.
CM: Talk about the importance of your employees. How do they go above and beyond at your operation?
SB: Our employees truly embody our corporate philosophy of customer service. They take ownership of the business and know our customers’ likes and dislikes. They are there to handle our customers’ needs and troubleshoot any issues that may impact service. We often get compliments on our staff and our drivers regarding how courteous and responsive they are in handling client accounts. Our customer service reps are trained to answer each call with: “It’s a great day at QCS…How may I help you?”
Our staff is dedicated, self-motivated, and they go above and beyond to complete a task or help each other during unscheduled absences. We absolutely trust them to take care of our customers.
CM: How do you go about adding services at your company and how do you manage them all?
SB: Before adding new services, we perform our due diligence to determine if the investment of time, additional resources, and equipment is worth the potential ROI. We talk to other courier companies to assess potential volume. Because of our technology, we have excess capacity to add services without adding dispatchers or CSRs. However, we do often add project managers to oversee a major account if required.
*This article appeared on the Courier Magazine blog in October 2016.