12 Jun 2012

Looking Toward the Future!

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In 2002, I received a phone call from my long time friend and business partner, Mickey Seeman. He proposed that we try a new business. “Let’s try to start a freight brokerage” he said. At that moment, I was completing a construction project in the heat of July. Neither of us seemed to be experts in the freight brokerage field; but, it sure sounded better than working outside in July. So, with a promise of Air Conditioning, I welcomed the opportunity.

Aspen Transportation was founded August 2002. We rented 1200 ft or space in Pecan Square across from Sam’s Club. There was room for about 8-10 freight brokers in that office. To begin, we had one very GREEN broker, ME (John Sawyer). As the rubber hit the road, my job seemed simple: find loads of freight from Customers, then find empty truck companies to haul this freight.

I quickly learned that I needed help. Aspen grew to 3 people by 2003 and 6 people by the 2004. Thanks to our employees, we were starting to get into a “groove”. We had several customers that began to depend on Aspen to get their daily shipments moved. From 2003 to 2007, the Department of Defense became a crucial customer to our growth. The war placed high demands on companies like Aspen to ensure that military equipment was delivered to the soldiers on the ground as soon as possible.

As the demands of war waned, Aspen quickly realized the importance of diversifying our customer base.

Aspen built a new office and moved in 2007. Our new facility would hold 22 employees. This would allow us to double our employee base. To ensure diversity in our customers, Aspen was divided into 5 teams as we moved into One Place. The employees panicked for a moment; but, soon became satisfied with the financial opportunities of becoming a “team leader”.

By 2012, Aspen was bursting at the seams of 3434 One Place. The building was designed to hold 22; we had more than 30 employees there. All new employees were issued small, white cafeteria tables since we had no more room. The lobby became an office for two. The kitchen became an office for 3.

I gave my office space to a new growing team. I traded my office for comfortable shoes. I would just have to be on my feet with this many people in the building.

In 2012, Aspen purchased the former Social Security Building at 2608 Fair Park Blvd. Our history said that we needed to buy a building twice as big as we needed. We did just that. I counted the parking spaces to see how many people we could put in the building. Our new facility has room to grow to 64 employees.

After remodeling, Aspen moved into 2608 Fairpark in July, 2012 with 30 employees. I am an eternal optimist; however, it was an intimidating site to see this 12,000 sq. ft office “half full”.

It was time to go to work. We needed to begin replicating the model that had allowed us to reach 30 employees. I hoped and prayed that the Field of Dreams was right, “If we build it, they will come”.

That is exactly what has happened. Our new expanded location has allowed us to attract and support more new employees. Applications and Resumes are flowing in quicker than ever. In the past 9 months of occupying the building, Aspen has grown from 30 employees to 43 employees. Half full is in our rearview mirror. We have already begun considering where we will go when all of those 64 parking spaces are full.

Experiencing more than 35% annual growth over the past 4 years, Aspen has become the largest Privately owned freight brokerage in Arkansas. We have been recognized on the INC 5000 list as one of the nations “Fastest Growing Companies” for 3 years.

None of this would be possible without our teams and team leaders. Today Aspen has 10 logistics teams that handle truck loads of freight for more than 75 different customers every month.

What’s Next?

We want to grow the accounts we have while we simultaneously nuture new teams and new accounts.

We continue to invite applicants to consider Aspen Transportation as a long term career. Aspen currently has positions for Hourly, Salary, and Commissioned Team Leaders. It is only with qualified employees that our company can grow our customer base and the number of truck companies we serve daily.
Check us out at www.aspentransportation.com. Or apply now at http://aspentransportation.com/view/28.

John Sawyer
Aspen Transportation
Principal/Partner
870 243 6429

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