Number of Employees
Employee Turnover is Less Than 2%
Best Small Business Honoree
Shalimar Maynard had been running the family trucking business for close to thirty years when an unexpected change in business threw her into a panic. Since her father started the business in 1966, they had successfully renewed their transportation contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS) every four years. But now the USPS was going in a new direction with the introduction of a cost-saving program that would eliminate two-thirds of the existing delivery contracts and drastically change how contracts were awarded.
How the SBDC helped
At risk of losing the majority of their revenue source, Shalimar reached out to the Michigan SBDC. Preparing the data and content for a complex, multi-page proposal was uncharted territory. Working with the team at the SBDC Capital Region, she and her son, Nate, were guided through the steps of understanding the lengthy Request for Proposal (RFP). Together, they developed and submitted a comprehensive proposal that not only won them the contract but also set the new standard for proposal submissions at the USPS national level.
Working with the SBDC allowed Shalimar and Nate to not only keep the doors open but to grow the business as well. With the new contract in place, their revenue doubled, trucks were added to their fleet, and they hired 30 additional employees. Shalimar credits SBDC for their most recent success but also knows the core of their ongoing success is the strength of their business culture and dedicated workforce.
Shalimar Maynard’s father, Roger Massman, took a risk back in 1966. He bid on a government postal transportation contract. Winning the contract, he quit his secure law enforcement job, purchased a truck, and launched Massman Trucking. For the next four years, Roger delivered U.S. mail from one post office to another.There were highs and lows,but Roger succeeded and soon added more trucks and began hiring employees.
In 1989, Shalimar decided to take a similar risk. She followed in her father’s footsteps and quit her successful job as an insurance agent to take over the family business. Transferring ownership and management of the family “legacy” had its challenges. Shalimar knew little about the trucking industry,and the employees weren’t initially receptive to working for the former boss’ daughter.
Again, the company experienced the roller coaster of the economy. There were strong years but also tough ones when they didn’t know if the doors would remain open. One of the toughest challenges for them came every four years when they had to renegotiate their contract with the USPS. For the next 13 years, the company grew, they acquired two additional transportation contracts, and they increased employees to more than 20.
Shalimar’s son, Nate, joined the family business in 2002. He brought a fresh perspective and new determination to grow the business. He was an avid negotiator and quickly became the General Manager. Together, Shalimar and Nate would experience the challenges of a recession, reduction in mail delivery with the rise of the Internet, and manufacturing plants closing across America. However, their greatest challenge came in 2017.
For more than 51 years, Massman Trucking had been successfully renewing their contract every four years to haul U.S. mail. Then in 2017, the USPS unexpectedly announced they were eliminating two-thirds of their current delivery contractors as part of their new cost-savings program –Dynamic Route Optimization (DRO).Contracts nationwide would be cancelled and a new bidding/RFP system would be put into place.
“We were at a complete loss as how to tackle this newest challenge,” Shalimar said.“There was so much unknown, across the country and especially for small business owners, as this was a whole new program and bidding system.”
In jeopardy of losing 70% of their business and the pressure of how this could impact 20+ families, Shalimar searched for a solution.They had just over three weeks to write and submit their proposal.This proposal was a “do-or-die” proposition for the business. It could mean losing close to $2.5 million in revenue and having to lay off employees. On the other hand, if they won the contract,it would mean having to purchase additional trucks and adding employees.
Shalimar was in a panic,and it was at this moment that she learned of the services available through the Michigan SBDC, at a Meridian Area Business Association meeting. Nate was skeptical about how the SBDC could help them,but she pressed on and called the Capital Region office.
SBDC Senior Business Consultant Laurie Lonsdorf and her team walked Shalimar and Nate through the 71-page RFP and assisted them in preparing their 26-page proposal for the new single regional provider – Highway Contract Route (HCR) Dynamic Routing Optimization (DRO) Service. The team also provided available funding resources and connected them with an SBDC Growth Team specialist.
“I was blown away to learn they could assist us step by step as we walked through this new proposal process,” shared Shalimar. “Laurie and her team provided us with priceless guidance and suggestions, and helped us to create a winning proposal.”
In March 2018, Massman Trucking was awarded a significant contract with the USPS worth $2.5 million annually, which helped to increase sales by $1.5 million, create 20 new jobs, and retain 30 employees.They also received more than $750,000 in lending to purchase more trucks and prepare the organization for ongoing growth.
Today, Massman Trucking employs more than 50 workers at their Okemos office and offers two lines of trucking services –transporting mail for the USPS and general freight.