For the first six months, it was able to keep its old name on invoices, but then it had to educate its customers as to why the paperwork no longer said “Knichel Logistics.”
“We’ve really done a good job to overcome that (change in name). Really being in front of our customers, sending out emails, letters, talking to them about it.” Knichel says.
Because it looked for the right solution, before jumping into something that wasn’t everything it wanted, Knichel Logistics is able to utilize BlueGrace Logistics’ web-based proprietary system and an online customer portal without having to invest the resources into a system of its own. It also retained its autonomy and staff and has benefitted from BlueGrace’s leveraged pricing and vast carrier network.
“As a result, the franchising decision has been very financially advantageous for us,” Knichel says. “At the end of 2016, we saw a 40 percent growth over 2015 and almost 62 percent growth over 2014, our last full year before we became a BlueGrace franchise. And we beat our best year, which was 2013, by almost 17 percent.”
- Working with family can be tough but can also be a good motivator.
- Be open to new ideas. Sometimes the solution to the most difficult problems is right in front of you.
- Don’t be afraid ask for help. Keeping an open mind and seeking opinions is wise.
The Knichel File:
Name: Kristy Knichel
Title: President and CEO
Company: Knichel Logistics
Born: New Jersey
What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My first was busing tables at the Kaufman House in Zelienople. I would say that I learned about working hard. A lot of times, especially in jobs like that, you always have people that slack. I learned to pick up other people’s slack to be noticed so I could move up.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received? Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
If you weren’t a CEO, is there another job you’d like to try someday? Before I did this, I wanted to buy a pizza shop. I had approached my father about buying a pizza shop because I was managing two pizza shops and one was for sale. He talked me out of it. So, I don’t know if necessarily it would be buying a pizza shop, but I enjoyed that for whatever reason.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? My husband and I go riding on our Harley a lot. I go to every home Steelers game and a lot of concerts. Camping is another big thing we do as well.