Atlas Amplifier PDF — Winter 2005 (2.1 MB)
In the not too distant past, people who study the dynamics of the transportation and logistics industries saw Atlas as one among several names jockeying in a domestic market dominated by a few larger players.
As recently as 1995, Atlas Van Lines was the fifth-largest domestic transporter of household goods.
Atlas now stands as a recognized force in the relocation arena, a provider of considerable presence known for diverse capabilities.
"According to industry statistics, Atlas Van Lines ranks as the third largest van line overall and the second largest carrier of household goods," says Jim Stamm, Atlas President and COO.
With more than 800 agents and affiliates worldwide, Atlas World Group companies realized $869 million in revenue in 2004, including more than 139,000 U.S. shipment transactions. And this year the company is on track to exceed $900 million in revenue. This represents a doubling of the Atlas World Group annual revenue from operations of just ten years ago. "We can be proud of our growth," says Jim. "Not only does it speak to the success we have met in the market, it validates our commitment to service excellence and testifies to our shared vision for worldwide leadership...a leadership we have aptly demonstrated in the domestic niche for corporate relocation."
In 2003, Atlas Van Lines provided transportation for 27.1 percent of all domestic corporate moves, an impressive share of this important market segment. Atlas serves more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 firms and more than 2,700 national accounts in the United States. Atlas Canada extends services to another 200-plus national accounts and boasts market share numbers approaching fifty percent in several categories.
The recent banner years for Atlas are no surprise to those who have helped craft the company's growth strategies. In 2002, the company reintroduced itself to the market with a more broadly positioned brand representing services for global relocation, logistics and travel.
"All along we have been responding to the needs of our clients with the addition of products and services that answer their requests," says Sr. Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Greg Hoover. "Our expansion of the Atlas brand was a logical step to bring the perception of Atlas World Group into alignment with the reality of who we had become."
What Atlas had become was a highly diverse family of companies dedicated to the transportation of people, products and lifestyles—and sharing core values of integrity, quality and solutions.
"Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your customers is to remind them of all you can do," says Greg. "For us, that simply became a matter of effectively communicating that Atlas comprises a complete range of relocation, transportation and management services. We represent a true, single-source solution."
"It's no accident that 'quality' holds the center place among our core values," says Chairman and CEO Mike Shaffer. "It is the engine that drives continuous improvements in service and, we believe, our most essential tool for competitive advantage."
The Atlas quality ethic is unlike any other in the transportation industry. The Atlas Board of Directors, which sets policies and procedures at the highest level of the organization, is composed of Atlas agents to ensure that the company answers the "real world" needs of those it serves.
"Agent ownership is fundamental to our business," says Mike. "Atlas agents themselves set the priorities. They are the people who are responsible to the customer—and responsive to the customer."
The fruits of quality are evident in solid growth. But several other measures substantiate just how deeply quality runs throughout the Atlas organization.
Again this year, Atlas has earned the Quest for Quality Award sponsored by Logistics Management magazine. And, according to its own stringent internal criteria, Atlas this year recognizes 46 agents with the annual Milt Hill Quality Award—the most to earn this ultimate distinction, tying with 2003.
Atlas continuously assesses ways to improve quality. "This year we became the first domestic van line to implement labor screening for all permanent new-hire laborers and rider-helpers," says Mike. "This policy gives our customers one more assurance of quality."
What's more, the company has added a technology standard to its quarterly measurements of agent quality.
"This new standard helps ensure our agents are taking advantage of the very best tools for enabling superior customer service," says Mike.
With so much evidence of success, one might be tempted to think that Atlas entrepreneurs and employees have little time for anything but generating income. But numbers do not tell the whole story of what Atlas really is.
"At its core, Atlas is a company dedicated to serving others with integrity, quality and solutions," says Jim Stamm. "This dedication also takes the form of being responsive not only to our customers, but to the special needs of others in our communities." For examples, Jim points to the recent outpouring across the Atlas family to aid storm victims on the Gulf Coast; the Swim Across America event in New York that raised over a million dollars this summer for cancer research and treatment; the Habitat House that Atlas employees built last year; Atlas Headquarters successful United Way campaigns; and to the ongoing support of the military being carried out in a number of ways by employees.
"I've heard it said that you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give," says Jim. "I am proud to say Atlas—as a company and as individuals—practices good citizenship. I believe that makes us successful in the best sense of the word."