Jeremy Weisz 4:05
logistics had to be crazy. Zach with whenever you’re listening to this, you probably heard of the pandemic, okay, maybe whatever it is, how did things change the things that crazy around the pandemic, it was just supply chain was probably much different than it’s ever been before.
Zach Wilcox 4:24
Yeah, it was really strange. It’s, it’s changed so much since we started, you know, right after pandemic, it was three months in and you know, we were thankful that the industries we were in were harmed by by the pandemic, but there were a lot of companies it was really a blessing to us. Our industries that we were in weren’t weren’t harmed. They actually were pretty
Jeremy Weisz 4:49
opposite, right? I mean, your healthcare, pharmaceutical, these are booming during this time.
Zach Wilcox 4:54
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we you know, that’s why we’re really thankful is that happened in New Orleans. Companies that let people go, Let good talent go, that we were able to scoop up from other logistics companies. So we’re really thankful for, for the pandemic in a strange way, you know, been really nice, nice to us as an organization.
Jeremy Weisz 5:17
How did you get into this industry?
Zach Wilcox 5:22
Man, I mean, it’s been I actually had, I didn’t have any logistics experience I was I was more the side of, I really wanted to start a business. Whereas my cousin who co founded the company, he wanted to he was in logistics. So we came together, he left his company, I have just been fired, or not fired. But I was working for a company started a new, a new manufacturing division there. And we had one big client. And I knew as a matter of time, if this client goes, I don’t know what I’m going to do it. So this client went, you know, when I actually went out into my car and started crying in my lap, I was like, man, what do I do? What do I do? And then, you know, I came together with my cousin. And we ended up starting this website, and then turned it into a company. And that was, you know, I was running to the bank, I’ve times a day to send out wires. We had no credit when we started, it was a real mess. But then a journey, and I didn’t think I’d ever been in logistics. But here I am. Yeah,
Jeremy Weisz 6:28
I guess the most dangerous number in a company as one, if you have one big client and that client goes it’s, you know, hard to go to sleep at night when when that’s happening. Yeah, but it sounds like it’s a perfect, you know, combination with your family member. And you know, they’re the expert in logistics, and you are in business. And, you know, before we hit record here, we are talking a little bit about some topics I love for you to talk about, which is growing a company with core values. So yeah, talk about that. Oh, yeah, I
Zach Wilcox 7:07
think that’s really important. Especially just seeing it from we put our core values, I really put our core values in place. The second we hired somebody, I thought it was really important to have that. And just to give you one example, one of our core values is systems. So from the beginning, we’ve always looked at, there’s a few books that influenced me. But from the beginning,
Jeremy Weisz 7:34
what are some of them?
Zach Wilcox 7:36
So I have them right here, actually. So start with why buy, start with wise one. And then the E Myth talks a lot about systems, and so on is good to great. I actually have them all right here. I have them in both offices. But I think it was good to great or the E Myth. Or a little bit of both. They talked about how your company is more like companies system overall. And you plug people in so you aren’t people dependent. So how do you set that up? You set up systems to do everything you put SOPs in place early on, you make sure that things are repeatable, and it’s helped us along the way to prevent repeat mistakes and just allow people to onboard onto the company really fast, much faster than most companies. So we still focus on systems I mean, we reboot we, it’s called Kaizen come from a manufacturing backgrounds, continuously improving. And it’s been really important you hear people in the office talking about can we do this system? Can we do you hear system thrown out there so much. And that’s because it’s a core value. I talked about it so much. And I think just in general, whatever your core values are, as long as you’re, you’re talking about them and you’re living them within a company creates like, you know, it creates a togetherness, you guys are all working towards a bigger why you’re really important.
Jeremy Weisz 9:04
Yeah, I’d love for you to Zach to talk about another core value systems. And I want to tell you just there was we I actually do have an interview with Michael Gerber the E Myth. Check it out. It’s really good. And also Owen McGab who runs the company Sweet Process, which actually is a software that helps you document SOPs. So I encourage anyone listening check that episode out. Because, you know, Zach, you’re you’re spot on. I mean, all the people I talked to come on, you know, the way they’re able to grow and be accurate, efficient is because they have systems in place. So I love that you said that. What’s another core value?
Zach Wilcox 9:50
Another core value for us is just our clients. So people, systems by profit, they’re all our big four values. But terms of clients, we’re always trying to provide this. Above and Beyond service, every shipment, every client every time doesn’t matter if you’re, you know, if you have a tractor, and you will never do business with this again, but you need to move it from a to b. Or if you’re a large corporate public company that has 1000 shipments a day, we treat you with respect. And we try to provide this above and beyond service, every shipment every client every time that we have big letters on our wall and our sales floor above and beyond. You know, I love it. It is when we’re talking about it. We’re talking about ah, I do this, should I tell the client this? Should I tell them this? Well, what gives them that above and beyond service? What What would go above and beyond? What do they expect? Great. They expect that let’s do this one step higher. So I we talked about that our conversations to just the above and beyond approach. Everything we do
Jeremy Weisz 10:59
speak, Zach to the moving tractors situation, there was a specific instance.
Zach Wilcox 11:06
Yeah, I mean, just moving tractors in general. And in going back to the pub and beyond service or experience, I think it’s pretty unique for us, because a lot of times when we get those quotes, they come in through the website, they go to an email distribution email to our whole sales team. And our goal there, we’re trying to get that quote, trying to call them or email quote to them, and under a minute, 30. We don’t have an automated, but under a minute. 30 is our target time on new quotes. And we get it a lot of the times I will say that people picked up they’ll say, just put that it I just clicked Submit. Are you is it? Yeah, that’s us, you know what you actually do for you? So we’d like to hold that standard. I love it.
Jeremy Weisz 11:54
Yeah, if you go to the website, and it goes to Fide Freight, fidefreight.com, you can see right front and center is you can request a quote, quote, and you put it in, and you guys are super fast.
Zach Wilcox 12:07
Be careful, Jeremy, you’re gonna get a call.
Jeremy Weisz 12:13
How do you because, again, we’ve all dealt with companies, it could take them an hour a day a week to get back? What’s the one of the secrets to doing this? And it kind of goes into hiring, I imagine. And I love to talk about how do you? What’s the process for hiring, and specifically is talking about customer service first with hiring and we’ll talk about other aspects of the company to hmm,
Zach Wilcox 12:46
I mean, hiring is there’s one, so I created a fly wheel. I want to say that book is. I want to say that is good degrade is the flywheel concept. So when we look at our flywheel as a company, what is it start with? It always starts with hire that people? Do you really have to step back and say, What is someone who’s fit for this position? What am I looking for? What questions can I ask during the interview, but during the interview process, to really dig out? What does a fit person mean for my company, you can always get it, you can’t always get it. I’ve had some good hires. I’ve had some bad hires, learn quickly which ones which but the idea is that whenever we’re trying to do anything, it starts with bit people, then you have a great drone trading program. And then from there, you give a great service, you bring on more clients, you bring on more clients who hire more fit people. It’s the flywheel concept that we have here. But it all starts with how you interview and those questions you ask to really filter out. Somebody telling the truth it anybody can give a great interview, they can prepare, they can have, you know, they can have words ready, they can have all these phrases. I’ve heard it cookie cutter answers it and sometimes you don’t catch that and you’re like, this person’s Great. Sometimes you’re like, you asked something out of the box, like I don’t know how to answer that. So hiring hiring is very important. Just as important is training people once you bring what’s
Jeremy Weisz 14:33
the process for training, right because someone may come in maybe they’re a good fit, and they’re not used to responding within a minute and a half to something and and then when they get on saying the right things and making that person feel welcome and competent and professional. What’s the process for training?
Zach Wilcox 14:54
We did the hit on the welcome fire. We have a great great Office admin here who helps us she puts up a big welcome sign with their name. So they walk in the door. And it’s Welcome, welcome. Welcome. You know, it just sets that setting a tone. But then I spent a whole day, the whole day with this person, we don’t hire too many people at a time to max. Like I said, we’re not growing too fast. But so I spent a whole day with them. And I talked a lot about the systems, our core values, what we’re trying to build here, how they can be successful. And I talked a lot about their past, what was great at their past, what wasn’t great, how was your culture? What did you like, What didn’t you like, and hit on those things. But with training, the key is to have have enough people that can train, I think that’s what we’re running into is like, we’re all so busy, this company is just, it’s growing, in terms of our clients and stuff. So we’re having a hard time giving people enough attention to train. So we’ve put in some systems to the we’ve put in an LMS learning management software that we’re actually implementing the next couple of weeks, that is going to help us be time and help the people that we bring on. I mean, if you have an all star and you don’t teach them how to hit the ball, they’re probably not going to hit the ball, they could be an all star deep down. But if they don’t know how to hit the ball, or swing it, you got a problem. So that is it’s really important.
Jeremy Weisz 16:31
One of the keys to success for you, it seems in a short period of time is hiring really experienced people also. And, you know, you said, um, you know, your family member is really experienced, and you brought an other experienced people to help run those aspects of the business. Um, you know, was it you know, as far as your your memory had connections in the industry, that seems like, you know, you fill in these gaps where you don’t have that expertise. And the same thing goes for your family member too.
Zach Wilcox 17:06
Yeah, yeah. I mean, we’ve done that all along. He’s actually no longer with the company. But he helped, he did help found it, but he’s no longer with the company. But we have. Early on, we he he knew a few people in the industry, which helped us. And then like I said, during COVID, a lot of people were letting, letting talent go. So we were scooping it up, we may not have been able to afford the talent, or we may not have been able to manage the talent, but we scooped him up and we figured it out. During COVID. And even now, a lot of times it’s I’ll see talent, our HR will see talent and we’ll scoop it right up. You know, anytime any opportunity we get
Jeremy Weisz 17:54
out there. Say I’m gonna play devil’s advocate for a second, okay, I’m a big public company. Alright, and, um, I’m like, listen, Zach, there’s these huge brokers like huge brokers out there. You know, Zach, why would I go with you when I can go with some of the biggest brokers out there who could maybe service a public company like me?
Zach Wilcox 18:22
I mean, that’s, that’s a great, that’s something we run into very often is working. Being challenged, you can get the biggest brokerages in the industry. I mean, I can think of a few clients that we brought on to large public companies that now exclusively work with us one in specific who that, oh, well, we need a provider, they brought on the biggest name that they could find. And it all was great during the honeymoon stage, and then it kind of dwindled out and they couldn’t even get a hold of anybody there. So it was a very easy transition. When we told them, hey, you get somebody dedicated, you’ll get personal service. Here’s my cell phone. Here’s the Director of Sales cell phone, you call any of us anytime. And so we just we really beat the competition on service and just being personable being there. It was it was interesting to hear that a large company was struggling to get a hold of somebody at this firm, it was surprising but it put a smile on my face. I will say that so
Jeremy Weisz 19:38
what are the biggest issues you see that your customers come to you with?
Zach Wilcox 19:47
Oh, you know, a lot of times I would say a lot of times the issue is that when we’re competing against other brokerages they will you Except you say, hey, I’ll move something from A to B. Yeah, I can do that at this cost, then they figure out, they can’t do it at that cost after they already committed to it. So they go back to the customer and say, hey, you know, I can’t move it at this cost, I got to give it back, someone else has to move this. That’s, that’s one of our philosophies that we abide by not giving stuff back. When we, if we commit to it, if we take it that’s across the board, internally, when we’re talking to my other employees, if I commit to something, and same with the customers, if we commit to something we’re going to stand by that’s just what we will do. Whether it’s, it doesn’t matter, the cost, it doesn’t matter. Anything except the fact that we committed at this time, we’ll make it happen, though. That’s, that’s an area where we really excel.
Jeremy Weisz 20:52
So what are some of the milestones? That when you think of the company, these are milestones you’re especially proud of?
Zach Wilcox 21:01
Um, I mean, last year, we went 50%. I mean, I guess, as a company, sales is always a great milestone, right? Being able to sell more or grow more. But I think that a more of a subjective milestone is, Are people happy to come to work? Everybody, you can ask them. And you can have multiple people ask them, Are you actually happy to come here? Do you come here? And do you have a smile on your face, maybe not every day, but more often than not? I think if we continue to do that, and we continue to hit our quarterly milestones around systems and building platforms, then the sky, the sky’s the limit for us. But in terms of sales numbers, that mean, we’re, we’re blowing out those numbers that we set last year, and then this year, as well already. So we’re pretty excited about that. That kind of comes with a great culture, great people.
Jeremy Weisz 22:01
You mentioned the people and the culture, what are things that you do that helps you maintain a good culture, the other company should think about as well.
Zach Wilcox 22:11
I mean, we talk about it all the time, we challenge ourselves all the time. What a great culture is where we talk about building a foundation here, as we’re smaller, we have 25 people. This, all of us keeping this very secured as tight knit, you know, let’s, let’s hold on to this, this is our foundation, and what builds that is not not necessarily just breakfast on Wednesday mornings, that’s great. But continuing to bring on people that have the same philosophy of culture is very important, and bring on people that fit. There’s companies I won’t get too far into it. But there’s companies that do hire, you know, 30 people at a time, how do you maintain a culture hiring 30 people at a time to think that’d be very difficult. That’s why we hire slow, and we’re not growing as fast as we could. But we are protecting our culture and growing slow to protect that culture. So it’s very important.
Jeremy Weisz 23:17
I want to go back to the accident section of the company for a second, if anyone’s watching the video. I’m, I’m amazed by what you’ve done. You’re a young guy. Um, it’s amazing. Right? When you were talking to first start this company, I would think it’d be a bit scary, like, just the path that you took, I know that you kind of have a background in engineering. Um, what made you decide to make that leap? Because you could have after that job, cool. Listen, I’m a smart guy. I’m gonna go and work for another manufacturing company, I’ll be successful. It is a big undertaking to start the company. So what was your thought on at that time when you were talking to your, your family member?
Zach Wilcox 24:09
Yeah. It was a big undertaking, because it was all built with the leftover college student loans that I had. So that was kind of that was that was a bit risky. I was supposed to give those back. But ultimately, that’s what ended up starting and funding. The first few months of this business. I mean, since since the age of 15. I’ve been reading business books, I’ve been in the market. I bought and sold a CBD business while in college. Decent decent exit on that. I’ve always been I’ve never been happy at a job. And I think a lot of people feel that I think a lot of people feel that maybe they are so happy at a job and we all have the opportunity to go out and build something and it’s takes time and you have to get it. Yeah, I think that you have to think about it for a very long time and you have to almost obsess about starting a business and building it out. And that’s that’s what I did for seven, eight years before starting this and I’m alone way been really fun though. Somedays
Jeremy Weisz 25:20
first of all, Zach, I have one last question for you before I do, I just want to point people towards your website. I just appreciate your approach and sharing some of the lessons learned and people should go to FideFright.com It’s fidefreight.com My last question is it’s apparently you’re an avid reader. So I’d love to hear any other books that you would recommend people read or listen to outside of any mentioned E Myth, that’d be great. Start with Why any others that stick out or any other people mentors or books that you recommend people check out?
Zach Wilcox 26:05
Yeah, I think in terms of men mentors, Patrick Bet David, I talked to you actually about him a little bit Patrick Bet David has a really good channel called Valuetainment that I grew up on if you will, and I started this business and these are all business these are all business based the myth Degray Patrick Bet David but some some maybe just mental growth books are the Untethered Soul, The Power of Now just read both of those recently and then Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. It’s it’s a bit dated, I will say that but it’s interesting to hear his perspective and I’ve read all these books in a matter of a month and it’s been very good for your soul for your for your mental, more than just thinking about business all the time, how to grow, how to hire people how to do all this stuff, like think about yourself a little bit too, and it pays dividends, it pays dividends to work on personal growth as much as the business growth. So Ben really powerful.
Jeremy Weisz 27:10
I love that Zach read
Zach Wilcox 27:10
Jeremy Weisz 27:11
Thank you. A number of people actually mentioned Untethered Soul so maybe it’s a sign I should probably pick it up. It’s not one I have. But I love Tony Robbins stuff. I think over here I have the whole personal power series and other things. So I love that suggestion as well. We can the Giant Within so Zach I want to be the first one to thank you everyone check out Fidefreight.com and more episodes of the podcast inspired insider and Rise25 And thanks, everyone. Thanks, Zach.
Zach Wilcox 27:42
Thank you so much.