Serving a need Featured

8:00pm EDT October 4, 2007

Sometimes the best way to expand your business is to find a growing niche market and climb aboard for the wild ride, as W. Michael Jarrett can attest to.

After gaining experience at Roadway Express and Caliber Logistics, Jarrett became founder and president of Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc. in 1999. The Orrville-based company serves as a supply chain management, transportation management and logistics service provider for high-growth North American companies.

Jarrett realized that larger third-party logistics providers typically don’t provide service to companies with less than $500 million in annual sales. He realized this was a great business opportunity because those businesses can benefit most from transportation management services: They have staffing limitations, and logistics is often not their core competence.

“As just-in-time manufacturing and inventory reduction continue to gain momentum, controlling transportation costs is becoming even more critical in maintaining a competitive advantage for the growing segment of the marketplace,” he says.

Growth in both sales and employees has been dramatic. From 2002 to 2006, sales increased 567 percent, and payroll grew 150 percent. The company’s growth has been honored in the Inc. 500, Entrepreneur magazine and Weatherhead 100, and JLS has received the Cascade Capital Business Growth Award for the last three years.

Jarret says the keys to his company’s success are business ethics, employee character and operational efficiency. JLS uses a centralized routing center concept to receive daily shipment information from both its customers and their suppliers.

The company also created proprietary software called Shipment Handling and Information Planning (SHIP) Systems, which provides detailed transit and rate information. This software helps service agents gain instant access to the best service/least cost solutions for each shipment and coordinate shipping arrangements with the appropriate carriers.

JLS also provides freight bill payment services, premium freight management, claims processing, shipment tracking, freight consolidation and customized management reports.

Jarrett plans to maintain a high-growth mode for his company by continuing to invest heavily in two main areas: integrity-based, skilled people and leading-edge supply chain technology.

HOW TO REACH: Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc., (330) 682-0099 or