Back on top—with a plan to stay there
More than Canadian breezes are rustling through the maples. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a roar.
“Atlas is like the proverbial lion,” says management guru and author Mike Lipkin. “It was standing at the top of the mountain in 2014. But the lion lost its footing and almost overnight found itself halfway down the mountain and asking: ‘What happened?’”
Four years later, Atlas® Van Lines Canada has reclaimed the summit. This time, they have a plan to stay there.
“Staying on top will require a different approach than what got us here,” says Barry Schellenberg, President, Atlas Canada. “I’m reminded of something I read recently: There is no safe way to be great.”
Reasons vs Results.
Atlas had reasons for falling. But, as Barry observes, “only results matter.” It was important to get them started with reorganization and a plan .
“Our strategic roadmap gave us room to be creative,” says Barry. “But it also made us disciplined and accountable.”
Certain tactics were key early in the process. Sales training across the Atlas network gave 200 agency professionals an upgrade for winning business. Revised pricing ensured agents and PVOs a reasonable return for their hard work. At the same time, the industry (Canadian Association of Movers) took a more serious stance on exposing rogue movers and holding members accountable to service standards—efforts long advocated by Atlas.
In 2017, Atlas focused on five strategic targets—and hit every one. This year, the company will realize about a 30 percent rise in revenue, a combination of organic growth and diversification resulting from the acquisition of Connect Logistics.
“Our strategy propelled us to reap rewards,” says Barry. “We’ve earned the right to feel some growing pains. Now, we are finding ways to serve the volume. It’s easier to keep a customer than gain one.”
“Being on top is exhilarating, but it is also scary. There’s no group I’d rather be on this journey with than our Atlas Agents. We have a strong team.”
President, Atlas Canada
"Leading the Way".
At its annual convention in October, Atlas Canada marked a 55-year milestone. More important, it celebrated its return up the mountain—and paused to reflect on what’s next.
“We are now the number one van line in Canada according to market share,” says Barry. “But we don’t take it for granted; we know where complacency leads. We’ll continue to sell our value and deliver on our promises—to lead by doing what’s right for our customers and for our business.”