Florilli outsources equipment maintenance
Feb 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Retaining the transportation business of such refrigerated and frozen food industry leaders such as Kraft Foods, Farmland, Hormel, and Pilgrim's Pride requires a level of service that can only be achieved with a concentrated focus on the core business. “That focus has to include a determination to meet stringent delivery schedules, as well as meticulously maintaining the precise temperature the customer demands inside the trailer shipping his product,” says Murry Fitzer, chief executive officer (CEO) of Florilli Corporation, West Liberty, Iowa.
Outbound freight for the Florilli Corporation fleet comes from upper Midwestern states such as Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and eastern Nebraska. Most of those moves are in traffic lanes to eastern Pennsylvania, Georgia, northern Texas, and California.
Return freight is solicited back to the upper Midwest to get the equipment positioned for Florilli Corporation's key customers' next outbound moves.
“Our management team was convinced we could best maintain that focus by outsourcing our maintenance efforts,” Fitzer says.
To best understand his management strategy, one needs to know a little more about the company CEO. An Iowa farmer before he became a trucker, Fitzer was first attracted to the industry because of the legendary tales associated with trucking.
“My farm was right next to Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa,” he says. “During a 1979 winter storm, I walked to the interstate and invited 30 snow-bound travelers into our house so they could stay warm. It was about three days before traffic started moving, so we had a chance to become close to some of those house guests.
“One of them was a trucker who would call or come over whenever he returned to the area. Later he introduced me to a friend who also was a trucker. That friend offered me an opportunity to purchase half of his truck, and I did.”
In 1982, with a declining farm economy, Fitzer started driving a truck. He and his business partner later took different roads, but Fitzer remained in the trucking industry.
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