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See how Andy has grown!

transport-routier_cover_sept2016A TRANSPORT ROUTIER ARTICLE by Steve Bouchard – SEPTEMBER 2016

translated from French to English by Andy Transport

septembre-2016_transport-routier

In four years, Andy Transport has experienced tremendous growth.  The portrait of a company attracting more and more attention.

A succession of certificates and newspaper articles surround the conference room of Andy Transport in St-Laurent; plates of the Profit 500 Canada’s fastest growing companies in 2015, and finalist of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies for 2013, 2014 and 2015; newspaper article entitled: “An inspirational entrepreneur.”

The expression “to have the wind in the sails” is an euphemism when describing the company’s explosive growth, which ranks 10th in the Top 25 of the largest fleets for-hire in Quebec.

In 2012, we published a portrait of Ilie Crisan, a 48 years old Romanian immigrant who although at that time barely spoke English managed to build a transport company from scratch. At that time, we wrote that the company had 75 tractors and 140 trailers. Four years later, we are presently talking about 310 tractors and 730 trailers with orders pending for the next six months, to be distributed between the head office in Valleyfield, and terminals in St-Laurent, Boucherville and Toronto.

Since its beginning, the company provides dry van transportation services in Canada and the United States, but over the past four years, it has become much more diverse by adding flatbed,  drayage, and  refrigerated transportation services, as well as warehousing services.

The year 2008 was quite significant for this young company, which, at the time, was a subcontractor for another carrier.  Due to the recession, that carrier lost contracts which caused major repercussions for Any Transport. “It was our only client so it hit us pretty hard”, remembers Andreea Crisan, 26 years old, daughter of Ilie, law graduate, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at Andy Transport (Andy is the diminutive of Andreea). “It was the biggest challenge that Andy had ever faced. We had to park our trucks and start from scratch. From one day to the next, we were faced with either going bankrupt or finding a way to get back on our feet.”

“My father and I had a discussion.  He told me: “whatever happens, I could always go back to trucking to pay for your education and to survive.” We decided to give it another try.”

After law school, Andreea Crisan joined her father Ilie to work in the business
full- time.  Since then, Andy Transport has known an explosive growth.

The Crisans learned a great lesson from their 2008 adventure; never again would they put themselves in the vulnerable position of relying on one client only.

“Since that time,  we’ve decided to diversify as much as we can!”, says Andreea. Andy Transport is aiming for diversification not only with clients but also with industries, territories and services.”

During a slowdown, the company does not want to park their trucks or lay off staff.  “Having several divisions, we can transfer staff if it’s quiet in one area.” That’s another advantage of diversification.

The company has known a particularly remarkable growth with the drayage division in the greater Montreal area. ”We thought it was a saturated market, but no, we have grown rapidly”, states Andreea Crisan.

Andy Transport’s growth is fully organic.  The divisions are literally being created by the customers’ demands.

”We are a very young company in that market, so we need to be extremely dynamic and attentive to our clients,” states the young Vice-President.  ”For example, we created the flatbed division at the request of a client.  If we have a drayage division, it’s because CSX opened a terminal in Valleyfield and we were the closest company. (Editor’s Note: The head office of the company is in that city). ”We are young, dynamic, flexible and attentive to our clients’ needs, but the service has to be top-notch or else the business won’t last.”

The dream of a better life

If Ilie left Romania, it was to offer something else to his daughter:  an education, opportunities, a better life. Unable to get hired as a truck driver, he bought his own truck. Even in his wildest dreams of a better life, he never would have imagined being at the top of such a  lucrative business in such a short time.

During our interview, he repeatedly said: ”It’s simple!” Since his arrival in Canada, he has never complained that things were difficult. He appreciates the opportunities that arise and he works hard.

”He can’t stop and do nothing. He always has to move and stay busy. Vacations are not for him”, says Andreea with a smile.

”I am happy here. Nothing makes me happier than to meet people and go to work,” says Ilie.

At the head of Andy Transport, Ilie and Andrea form the perfect complementary duo.

Andreea holds the position of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.  She oversees operations, legal affairs, claims, human resources and safety.  Ilie oversees maintenance, relations with truck drivers as well as expansion projects and infrastructural development. A financial director was hired a little over a year ago.

Andreea grew up in Romania, where she learned Romanian, English and German. She was ten years old when she arrived in Canada. At eleven, she was in charge of the employee payroll. It wasn’t clear to her if she will stay within the family business.

“Not at all!” I started because someone had to do the paychecks.   “We can say that I grew up at the same time as the company.”

She took the decision to work at the company during her last year of law school. “I had the opportunity to attend several internship programs, but nothing gave me the satisfaction, the freedom and the opportunities that I have here. Here I can build something, make my own choices and build my own teams. Nothing is better than working on your own projects. You get more involved.”

Once she finished her bachelor’s degree in 2012, Andreea went to work full-time at the company and that is when its growth expanded. A simple growth for Ilie Crisan.  Evidently! “It just happened. I bought 100 trucks that year. We didn’t buy any during the last few months because the market has slowed down a bit. Next month might be different. We will buy trucks and hire drivers if we need to. There is no need to rush.”

A multicultural workforce

The demographic profile of Andy Transport’s workforce was almost entirely Romanian but a few years ago it changed.  People from Eastern Europe have a large interest in the company, but since the acquisition of a terminal in Valleyfield, it has attracted local workforce and the same phenomena has happened with the opening of the terminal in Boucherville.

Andreea Crisan emphasizes that the company understands the multicultural differences. She even finds unexpected benefits!

“Managing different cultures is not that difficult”, states Andreea.  “We understand the cultural differences and we adapt to them.  For example, certain communities don’t celebrate on December 25th. Therefore, the employees can work on December 25th and take their holiday according to their calendar.”

“The company’s culture reflects the character of these people: they are not scared to work, they want to grow, they don’t like the status quo and they are not afraid of challenges, and often, when we open a new division, it’s an internal hire”, states the young entrepreneur.

The hiring of staff is primarily done through employee referrals. “More frequently, people come to us rather than the opposite, particularly drivers”, says Andreea.  Surprisingly, the company never had a sales department. “It is the clients who come to us”, affirms Mrs. Crisan.

Technologically ready

The implementation of a new management system is the core project on which Andreea Crisan and her team are working on at the moment.

The company used different softwares which did not communicate with each other. This resulted in manual work, tasks performed in duplicate and a large margin of error. TMW, the new system, will allow for a comprehensive approach. “For example, garage personnel will be able to communicate directly with the accounting department, which in turn will communicate with the dispatch department.”

This software will be integrated with the management module of electronic logbooks which the company acquired two years ago. “We could not move ahead precisely because we didn’t have an integrated system. We are up to date with the rules and regulations on electronic logbooks and we will start testing as early as January 2017”, announced Andreea Crisan.

Andy Transport’s strategic plan is to develop growth over the next three years, depending on opportunities arising from fluctuations in the economy.  “We will follow our growth plan, but at the same time we must remain alert to what will happen with the economy and the market”, indicates Ilie Crisan. “We foresee buying a number of trucks over the next few years all depending on changes within the economy.”

With the growth that Andy Transport has known during the past few years, the company has not parked nor sold any trucks; all it did was buy new equipment! The fleet is very new; the older trucks are from 2011. Since 2010, Andy has bought Volvo tractors. “We love those trucks, the drivers love them too, and we trust the product”, explains Ilie. As for the trailers, Manac has the exclusivity.
“We’ve been buying Manacs for four years. We have a very good relationship with them also. We are a good client of Volvo and Manac. I will not change the product for a better price, but I will change if the manufacturer forces me to buy something I don’t like.” All maintenance is performed in Andy’s own workshops.
“We use Volvo’s maintenance system. Our technicians know the product very well,” says Andreea. “As soon as a mechanic joins the company, he learns how to work on Volvo and Manac products.”

Andy promotes uniformity of  its vehicles in order to benefit from a consistency in its parts inventory which allows for immediate replacement of any part as soon as the truck comes back from a trip.  When Andy acquired new office space in Boucherville, it kept a small portion of the building which is now rented to Camions Sainte-Marie, dealer of Volvo/Mack/Isuzu, who will perform the work under warranty of Andy’s trucks. The transporter has literally brought the dealer in his building. Furthermore, Manac is located a few feet away from this building.
We asked…
…  Andreea, what are your father’s strengths: “He is not afraid of work, not afraid to put the effort. He is a very attentive person, but makes his own decisions, has a good business sense and a good vision. He knows how to surround himself with the right people. To grow that much in a few years, we need to be surrounded by the right people. He sees no limits.  For him, everything is possible.”

…. Ilie, what are your daughter’s strengths: “She is educated. She went to university and is a lawyer. It was very important to give her an education. She does everything better than me. She learns from me and then she does it better.”

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Andy Transport Ranks No. 157 on the 2016 PROFIT 500

 – PROFIT and Canadian Business unveils 28th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies -

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (September 19, 2016) Canadian Business and PROFIT ranked Andy Transport No.157 on the 28th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Canadian Business and at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Andy Transport made the 2016 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 431%.

“Companies become a part of the PROFIT 500 through innovative thinking, smart strategy and sheer grit,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business. “These firms demonstrate what Canadian entrepreneurs can achieve, both at home and across the globe.”

“We made the list for the third consecutive year, and we are thrilled with our results! It’s very rewarding to see that our incessant efforts are being recognized and set as benchmark. We are growing very fast, we constantly add new services, recruit additional team members, and improve our operations. We are grateful to our clients, our employees, all our partners for believing in us!” – says Ilie Crisan, President of Andy Transport.

Andy Transport provides transportation and logistics services across Canada and the United States. Recently, Andy Transport added to its services warehousing solutions, flatbed, drayage and temperature controlled transportation services. The company is known for its on-time transportation solutions on medium and long distances, as well as for its reliable and modern equipment.

About PROFIT and PROFITguide.com
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 34 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT online at PROFITguide.com.

About Canadian Business
Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the country. With a total brand readership of more than 1.1 million, it is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. We provide concrete examples of business achievement, thought-provoking analysis and compelling storytelling, all in an elegant package with bold graphics and great photography. Canadian Business—what leadership looks like.

About Andy Transport
A company founded in 2001, Andy Transport combines youthful ideas with experience. Its trucks travel throughout Canada and the United States. In 2015, it was the 13th largest in Quebec, 66th in Canada, and 153rd amongst Canada’s 500 fastest growing companies according to Profit magazine.
The company strives to provide quality customer service, as well as special attention to its employees and partners.
Andy Transport was selected as a Regional Finalist in Canada’s Best Managed Companies program for 2013, 2014 and 2015, and ranked # 153 and #166 in Canadian Business & PROFIT 500 Fastest Growing Companies in 2015 and 2014 respectively. The recognition reflects hard work, commitment, and success.

Media contact:     Codruta Prefit, Marketing Manager, Codruta.Prefit@andytransport.com

Andy announced today the opening of a first warehouse in Montreal

Andy is proud to announce the opening of its warehousing facility in Montreal as it continues to invest in its infrastructure to maximize its capability to perform as a leading supplier of transportation and logistics offerings. Situated in the Lachine borough of Montreal, a short distance away from Andy’s new offices in Montreal, the warehouse benefits from its proximity to major highways: A13, A520, A20, and A40. Phase I of the opening comprises a 35,000 square foot facility with loading docks (internal and external) and full drive-in door.

With the addition of this new permanent warehouse, Andy has a total of 50,000 square foot warehousing offering and operates out of three locations.

“At the demand of a few existing clients, we started offering warehousing services this past January to complement existing transportation services. Within weeks, we reached full capacity which motivated us to launch Andy Warehousing and Distribution Inc.,” said Ilie Crisan, President of Andy Transport. “With the new warehouse in Montreal, we have the possibility to double capacity at any time to reach approximately 100,000 square feet.”

Salim Mroue, Andy’s Distribution and Warehousing Manager commented: “The new warehouse will be fully operational starting end of July and we already have an announced contractual 20% occupancy. Additionally, the newly added dry storage and cross-docking services will be complemented in the near future by pick-and-pack and bonded warehousing services.”

Andreea Crisan, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer added: “We are very pleased to welcome Salim Mroué to the team as our Distribution and Warehousing Manager. With over a decade of accumulated experience in the field, he has proven to be a valuable team player and entrepreneur. Two major qualities that we value from a recruiting perspective.”

Source: Codruta Prefit, Marketing Manager

Andy Transport announces second real estate acquisition in less than six months

Andy Transport acquires maintenance center in Boucherville, second real estate acquisition in less than six months. Conveniently situated at 35, rue de Montgolfier, the maintenance center spreads over 96, 000 sq feet of land, includes 18 service truck bays, and covers the service needs of Andy’s trucks and trailers based in Boucherville.

To date, Andy Transport operates three maintenance centers strategically located in the proximity of Andy’s terminals in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Montreal, and now Boucherville. All centers run at full capacity, providing 24-hour full-service maintenance to keep Andy’s fleet performing at its best.
Almost simultaneously with the acquisition of the new center, Andy entered a partnership with Le Centre du Camion Ste-Marie, a distributor for the reputable brands Mack, Volvo and Isuzu. “Due to the high demand of our clients, we decided to open the first Mack dealership on the South Shore of Montreal. We will be opening a full service dealership with a sales and a service team for Mack, Volvo and Isuzu products,” says Marc Tardif, President of Le Centre du Camion Ste-Marie.

“It is a strategic, yet natural partnership that we have built with Le Centre du Camion Ste-Marie for this location. They will occupy 12 truck bays and we will occupy the rest of the building. It is another big step in our effort to lower our fleet maintenance operating costs, while reducing the commute and downtime of our drivers based out of the Boucherville terminal,” says Ilie Crisan, President of Andy Transport.

“This new maintenance center enables us to provide an even better support to our fleet in the South Shore area of Montreal. The acquisition and operation of a first Andy paint shop represents a key milestone in the maintenance and repair of our fleet. It gives us a competitive edge on the market,” says Daniel Barbu, Fleet Manager of Andy Transport.

Source: Codruta Prefit, Marketing Manager

Andy Transport wins two Accolades Awards

Andy Transport was honored by the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce (WIMCC) with two (2) Accolades Awards in the following categories: Distribution and Business to Business Services. Andy’s business excellence and dynamism was recognized among the West Island business community during the Accolades gala held at the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel last evening. We are grateful to our partners at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) for the nominations and the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce for the double recognition.
Congratulations to the entire team that makes our company grow and shine! IMG_6924

$55,000 to be raised this August

Andreea Crisan, Andy Transport and Claude Reid, Moisson Sud-Ouest Moisson Sud-Ouest announced through a media event today that the 17th annual Golf Tournament will be held on August 17, 2016, under the honorary presidency of Andreea Crisan, Andy Transport’s COO and Executive Vice-President. The goal is to raise $55,000.

The funds that will be raised during this 17th edition of the golf tournament will allow Moisson Sud Ouest to continue its activities, mainly the recovery and distribution of food products to 65 accredited organizations it supports annually. “This fundraising activity is of great importance as 47% of the 3,550 people aided each month are children” said Claire Raymond, General Manager at Moisson Sud-Ouest.

“I am honoured that the team at Moisson Sud-Ouest nominated me Honorary President for the 2016 Golf Tournament. Moisson Sud-Ouest ‘s mission is aligned with Andy’s social corporate responsibility, which aims at improving and promoting healthy living in our community. At Andy Transport we believe that healthy communities are important for present and future generations ” said Ms. Crisan.

Andy Transport Announces Expansion with New Office Space in Montreal to Support Growth

Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, May 23, 2016 — Andy Transport announces expansion with the opening of office space in Montreal. An approximate of 5,000 square feet of brand new office space has recently become a third home for Andy Transport’s team. Located at 3950 Hickmore street, in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent, the new office answers the needs to accommodate an increasing staff following the rapid growth of the company. The new space allows Andy to grow its core teams, while positioning itself in a central location closer to its existing and prospective clients.

As of today, Andy’s team operates out of three different locations: Valleyfield which remains the company’s headquarters, Montreal which is the newest and most modern of Andy’s locations, and Boucherville which hosts the intermodal and drayage operations.

Felix Tue, the architect who was trusted with the conception and the interior design of the new offices, confessed that while working on the project, he wanted to recreate the dynamic character of the company as well as its entrepreneurial spirit. As you enter Andy’s new offices, you will find an airy and modern space lit by natural light windows and a living area that is divided by OSB walls. To reflect the industry in which Andy operates, the closed working stations and the conference rooms are named after North American cities with sliding doors on rail tracks. The entire atmosphere is friendly, stimulating, and collaborative. The materials used are environmentally friendly and recyclable.

“We opened the new offices to better accommodate our drivers, mechanics and office staff that live on the island of Montreal and on the North Shore of Montreal. Some of them had been commuting for years to our head office. We wanted to help improve their work-family balance by shortening their commute time.” says Ilie Crisan, Founder and President of Andy Transport. “In order to participate in the work and family reconciliation of our staff, we made some internal changes according to our employees’ needs and commute distances. Today, the Montreal office is home to some operations staff, legal and marketing departments, as well as workstations for mobile employees.” says Andreea Crisan, EVP and COO of Andy Transport.

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Source: Codruta Prefit, Marketing Manager

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