My April road trip was centered around NationaLease’s Spring Business Meeting, which we hold every year in conjunction with the Truck Rental and Leasing Association’s (TRALA) Annual Meeting. The folks at TRALA always choose a fabulous location, and this year was no exception. Our destination was Scottsdale, specifically the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
The resort is probably best known as the host of the PGA Tour Phoenix Open, but even for the non-golfers in the group, there was plenty to enjoy. Between the spa, the pools, and the unique indoor/outdoor spaces to lounge, there were lots of opportunities for relaxation. My agenda didn’t leave a lot of time for relaxing, though, as I was there to attend the meetings, which were information-packed. You can read about the details of our Spring Business Meeting in a previous blog post. On the final day of the event, TRALA hosted a golf outing prior to the Awards Dinner. Instead of golfing in the 100 degree+ weather, Joe Gallick, NationaLease’s Sr. VP of Sales, and I decided to take Ryan and Andrew Flynn of TCI Leasing/Rentals, a NationaLease Member, up on their invitation to spend some time at their Phoenix facility.
As we arrived, Andrew met us to give us a tour of their impressive facility. It is on 17 acres, which includes a retail used truck center, a new Ottawa yard truck dealership, a full service fuel island, and a shop with 12 bays for power units and an additional 8 bays for trailers. They also run a 24 hour dispatch out of this facility for their dedicated and truckload divisions. Steve Kroeger, Service Manager of this location, also joined us as we got a closer look at the shop and the repair capabilities they have.
After the tour, Joe met with some of their sales staff, and I had the chance to spend some time with Chrystel McNerney, TCI’s Director of Recruiting and Retention. Recruiting and retaining diesel technicians and drivers is near the top of the list of challenges for everyone in our industry right now. Before coming to NationaLease, I worked in the recruiting field for several years, so I am always eager to talk to our members to learn about what they are doing to overcome this challenge. Chrystel and her team have some great processes in place to track and measure their recruiting efforts as well as to work as a team with all of their locations throughout California, Arizona and Nevada to streamline and maximize their hiring process. I learned a lot about how they are utilizing technology to assist in their recruiting efforts, and heard some great ideas Chrystel has to take those efforts even further. I shared with her some of the initiatives NationaLease has launched to assist our members with recruiting, including our Careers page on nationalease.com, our partnership with Universal Technical Institute, our Hiring Process webinar series, and the upcoming 1st ever NationaLease Human Resources Summit. I am very excited about this new event that NationaLease will be hosting in July. The main objective of the Summit is to share best practices around recruiting and retention with our members, and to help connect the people in each of our member companies who are responsible for these functions. In my travels, I get the chance to learn from each of the members, so I’m glad that our members will get that opportunity, as well. On our way back to the hotel, I convinced Joe (and our Uber driver) to take a detour. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t be in Arizona without taking advantage of the opportunity to get a Double Double Animal Style from In-N-Out Burger!
I often write about how important people and relationships are to our business. There is no place this is more clear than when it comes to recruiting and retention of employees. Hiring the right people and providing them with proper training and management is the key to building an outstanding organization. As Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” Our NationaLease member companies understand this. They are diligent in finding the right people to take care of their customers, from answering the phones to maintaining the trucks. That’s what makes NationaLease member companies great places to work, and great partners to do business with. Jim Collins also wrote, “Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.” NationaLease has been growing since 1944, so they have clearly figured out how to get and keep enough of the right people. I can’t wait to get together with our members in July at the HR Summit to learn more about how they do it.