Teaming up with your Landstar BCO Advisor
“The only way you’re going to be successful is if you admit what you don’t know and you ask for help.”
– Randi Zuckerberg, author
You’ve heard it before – teamwork makes the dream work. At Landstar, there’s a team of friendly, helpful and experienced professionals dedicated to helping independent business capacity owners (BCOs) succeed. They’re called BCO advisors, and every BCO leased to Landstar can call on an advisor for a truckload of information and resources.
WHAT IS A BCO ADVISOR?
To hear BCOs tell it, advisors are a fountain of knowledge for independent owner-operators who are a part of the Landstar network. “My advisor took a lot of the ‘being new’ anxiety away – and certainly helped me make more revenue. I’d strongly recommend people take advantage of what their BCO advisor has to offer. It makes a difference!,” says Landstar BCO Ibrahim Muhammad, who is approaching the end of his first year leased to Landstar.
“The first year learning a new business model is usually the most difficult,” say Gregg Nelson, Landstar vice president of BCO retention. “That first 90 days, even the first year, can be a little overwhelming. BCOs come with all types of previous experience, and learning a new system can be challenging at the beginning.” Muhammad says his advisor made him feel welcome. “I got a lot of hands-on help in my first few months from my advisor, Marybeth in Georgia. I was doing all right in the system, but she would call and email me, asking what I might need to help me better understand it.
BCO advisors are not just for those new to Landstar, and not for a few days or weeks, but for as long as the owner-operators are leased on. BCO advisors are always available to provide information, assistance and support. Nelson explains that because there’s a level of independence at Landstar unlike anywhere else, “once a BCO understands how to make Landstar work for their business, the opportunities truly are limitless. So we encourage every BCO to reach out, because after all, their success is our success too.”
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
Landstar has advisors based at each of its seven Field Operation Centers across the U.S. and Canada – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Texas – and each BCO is domiciled with one of these centers. “Whether a BCO is new to Landstar or has logged a million safe miles while leased onto Landstar, each one has a base of operations with dedicated personnel who will become more familiar with them and their independent business needs and goals,” says Rocco Davanzo, Landstar executive vice president of capacity development. Contacting BCO advisors is as simple as making a phone call or sending an email.
BUT TECH AND APPS ARE WHERE IT’S AT … WHY A PERSONAL ADVISOR?
Landstar embraces the use of technology to create efficiencies, provide business advantages – like finding loads and fuel savings – and make life on the road a little smoother for our business capacity owners. But Landstar’s business model itself is proof that even with great technology, it’s the human element that jump starts the connection and collaborates on solutions. “Tech should enhance business relationships, not replace them,” says Nelson. “No matter how much technology you put into transportation, in many ways it’s still a relationship-driven business. Getting to know the people in the industry – whether it’s independent agents and BCOs, customers or Landstar employees – helps open doors, grow networks, and increase business opportunities. And many times, saves the day!” Davanzo agrees. “We didn’t want an impersonal nameless, faceless call center. That’s not our style. Having an actual person who can help, who can listen, who understands your business, your goals, your needs, gets your specific question answered – it makes all the difference when you’re at a crossroads,” says Davanzo. “BCO advisors are there to provide individual support, and we hope any owner-operator feels comfortable reaching out for assistance when they need it – no matter how long they’ve been with Landstar.”
Nelson says he has talked with many BCOs who tell him that having the help of a Landstar BCO advisor has made the difference between a successful business and a failed one. “I’ve talked to several BCOs who said they were a week from canceling their lease, but they reached out for help, and now they’re running thriving, profitable businesses.” Landstar BCO Ron Ross has one of those stories. “So far, twice I thought I might fail as a business owner, but my advisor, Elaine, pointed me to helpful resources, and I’m going strong today,” says Ross. “I like having someone I can go to, that I can be totally honest with about a mistake I made or a concern that I have, who can tell it to me straight, without being judgmental.” Ross continues, “Because the advisors have walked so many BCOs through their first year at Landstar you have access to many drivers’ knowledge. This is why I’m thankful to have a BCO advisor!”