For the third successive year, Titanium Logistics was ranked as one Canada’s fastest-growing companies, by Profit Magazine.
The company, which operates a range of transportation services, fleet management solutions, and a brokerage business, has demonstrated remarkable growth in the past few years.
Titanium’s largest division is its logistics department, which has enjoyed the most growth across the business, and along with the company’s large trucking division represents a complementary package that works together to meet the needs of its customers.
The company’s secret, says its president Ted Daniel, is its ability to continually reinvent itself.
“We definitely have an IT edge, but ultimately we’re selling transportation,” he remarks. “With the management’s diverse background in finance and IT we have basically put our heads together and reinvented the model.
“We work in a base industry—we continually reinvent it and make it much better than it was when we started.”
Daniel says he expects the company to be in Profit Magazine’s top 200 companies listing for at least seven or eight years.
“We definitely see ourselves as being one of the companies that is consecutively placed on the Profit 200,” asserts Daniel. “If you feature on it for more than five years you end up with other awards, so we could end up getting an award of distinction and become part of a pretty elite group.”
With such aggressive ambition, it is perhaps no surprise that Titanium Logistics is flying high at the moment, having grown from relatively humble beginnings into a regional powerhouse.
“We started as a small broker with just three employees in the office, and at the time I wasn’t even working there full time,” comments Daniel.
“We started out in a small 600 square foot unit and we made $100,000 in revenue in our first four months of operations. Since that time the company has doubled and doubled and doubled — this year we’re trending more than $30 million, which we feel is a pretty good achievement after only nine years in business.”
Titanium added warehousing and it’s very successful, asset-based trucking division in 2005 which has grown to over 100 power units and 400 trailers in a very short time. All three business segments work together to suit customer’s needs.
Key relationships and staff appointments
The company has benefited from a collection of strategic partnerships, which have fuelled fast growth within the logistics division, according to Daniel. Doug Billau, Vice-President in charge of logistics and co-owner, was brought on board after the company was in business for two years. Doug Billau is a former data base programmer and now uses his IT knowledge along with sales acumen to run the logistics division.
“Most companies need some type of partnership in order to grow, and if you have a good formula in logistics along with a scalable framework , it can happen very quickly. That is what happened with this division.” says Billau. “After years of recruiting the right people and tweaking the formula it just took off.”
But along with these relationships the company has ensured that its staff are also key to its success.
“Diversity in the skill sets of our ownership group has been important,” says Billau. “We’ve got people with different skills who own this business, from IT people, to finance people, to those who have been in trucking for decades.”
The secret to the management’s success lies in the fact that no two people are trying to achieve the same thing, claims Billau.
“A harmonious, team environment is critical so we are constantly looking for people that reflect our vision and core values. Then we mould them into doing things the Titanium way,” Billau says of the company’s mid- and ground-level staff.
“We’ve never been afraid to hire from outside the industry, although obviously we make sure our truck drivers are experienced. A relatively high percentage of our staff come from outside the industry. We hire people with a great work ethic and intelligence.
“For the right people we offer the opportunity to learn the technical side, but they have to have the aptitude and the attitude and want to succeed and contribute to our team,” he adds.
“We hire great people and give them the right tools, but really it’s about servicing the customer in order to keep the business growing. That is what drives us!” Billau says.
Beating the recession and ensuring future growth
Despite its fast growth, like the majority of companies in North America, the company still had to deal with the fallout from the recent financial crisis.
“We changed internally,” says Billau. “We looked at our formulas, the processes and the way we were doing things, and once it hit we found we had to do business differently.”
“We continued to grow, and were still profitable — we just worked differently,” Billau says.
Due to the rigors of recession the company became leaner, tougher and more technologically advanced, and despite having to streamline its work force found that by keeping what Billau describes as “the best of the best” it was able to continue to provide great customer service.
“We want to double again within the next five years and we expect to do at least that,” says the always ambitious Daniel. “In theory we’ve been doubling once every two years, but as you get to a certain size you do slow in growth and to go from $100 million to $200 million in a year is pretty tough.”
“But we see ourselves becoming a major player in the transport industry,” he remarks. “we know what we want to be!”
At the end of the day it is the company’s high levels of customer service that has seen it prosper.
“All our systems are put together with the goal of good customer service,” says Billau. “We are a service industry and therefore everything is based around the customer.”
Having achieved so much in just nine years, and with such focus and drive to provide good customer-service, it will be interesting to see whether Titanium Logistics can keep up the momentum and fulfil its potential.