by Pride Transport | Sep 24, 2019
Pride Transport has been around for a long time. We love the folks at Pride, the way they run their business, the way they see everyone as part of their family and how they spend time, energy and resources to help the community around them and the folks who live there. Pride is aptly named. They take considerable pride in all they do.
Jay England is the CEO of Pride and the son of the President and Founder of the business, Jeff England. Recently, we sat down and talked to Jay about Pride, his work in the company and what he thinks makes Pride Transport special in the business. Jay is an honest, intelligent, interesting and passionate guy so, with great Pride, we present ten questions he was gracious enough to answer for us.
You’re a very non-traditional CEO, immersing yourself in the business instead of going to college. That changed in 2008 when you went to school to get a business degree. What prompted that change and made you decide to continue your education?
Jay England: I knew early in my professional career that not having any post-high school education could become an issue when the business environment changed…in 2008 the business environment changed! I just simply didn’t have the necessary skill-set to lead our company forward. That is a pretty humbling position to be in so a college education at the time seemed like my only option if I wanted to perpetuate the family business. Also, I wanted my kids to know how important an education is in addition to hard work and dedication.
How have you melded your father’s hard-working, conservative bottom-up philosophy with the analytics and the forecasting you picked up in school?
JE: My father built a great foundation for our company, so he kind of gave me a head start. His was a focus on people first, then hard-work, dedication and a passion for trucking. This philosophy successfully carried the business for 30 years, but eventually, we began to fall behind the competition and we weren’t able to pinpoint why. Numbers don’t lie and I saw a real gap in our data and analytics processes that would provide an opportunity for me to make my mark on the family business and help our business become competitive again.
Where would you like to see Pride in five years?
JE: I really like where our business is right now. If anything, I’d like to see our people accomplish their professional goals in the next 5 years. I think with that focus our company will naturally grow. Growth for the sake of having more trucks isn’t important for me, growth because our people are capable, talented and motivated to evolve and progress is exciting to me. We have a very capable team of 600 individuals.
Are you hoping to pass the business on to your children and if so, what are you doing to get them ready to take the reins?
JE: I would love to pass this business on to my children and at this point, there is interest from a few of my children. The path my father had me take while I was working to eventually buy the business from him is a path I’ll also have my children take. Know and understand the people within the business. Treat them with respect, be kind, be generous and be transparent about the business and its performance. Then when your people know you care about them, the people will care for the business and success comes more easily. It’s still very hard to succeed in trucking, but a caring group of like-minded people can accomplish most anything.
What is something invaluable you’ve learned from working with your father that you couldn’t have learned in school?
JE: How to treat people within our business, not just employees but those vendors and customers that have a significant influence on our business success.
What was the transition like going from driver to manager? What were some of your difficulties?
JE: That requires a good memory and unfortunately I don’t possess a great memory. I do know that it’s never easy managing yourself and then having to manage a fleet of individual people…. that I know was difficult.
What do you like to do in your free away from the company?
JE: Lake Powell boating with the family and working on old cars.
What do you feel sets Pride apart from other trucking companies?
JE: Our whole organization knows what sets us apart from the competition, it’s not the equipment, the customer base or even our compensation. It really boils down to the respect and transparency we give to our people, driving and non-driving employees alike. Our people understand the challenges present in transportation, we don’t hide the ugly stuff and we celebrate the wins when they come…..we’re a team and we win together and sometimes we lose together, but in the end, we all benefit not just the company coffers.
Any advice for someone looking to get started in the trucking business?
JE: Trucking is becoming a really sophisticated industry. This was not the case when I came into the industry in the early ’90s. Back then a truck a trailer and someone that could drive a lot of miles was all you needed. Today you need several dynamic departments all aligned in processes built to ensure high safety standards, challenging supply chain requirements, human resources capabilities, maintenance strategies built to drive efficiencies while adapting to ever-complicated equipment, and so on and so on….
Transportation is a difficult industry, be prepared to work very hard for a very long time!
The industry has changed a lot and it continues to do so, what are some changes you’d like to see in the trucking industry and why?
JE: Driving a truck as a career has got to become more attractive from a work-life balance perspective and also more financially rewarding. Our industry has a people problem, no technology solution available today can solve this issue. When industry participants, carriers and shippers, decide together that sustainable and efficient transportation requires real partnerships then our industry will finally change for the better for those that drive a truck.
Humility, intelligence, understanding and experience, it’s all right there. This is what makes Pride such an incredible company and what makes Jay England the perfect person to be leading them into the future. For more information about Pride Transport and how you can join this impressive team as a driver or non-driver visit them here: https://www.pridetransport.com/ today. Who knows, maybe in your future you’ll be driving with Pride.