When David Lyons founded Saddle Creek Corp., he used a lesson he learned as a child. As a kid, at the height of the Great Depression, he would ride with his father, a peddler, in his truck to collect goods that could be sold to support the family. The truck’s dashboard had a metal plate that warned, “Overloading will void your warranty,” but every day, he saw his father overload the truck. He learned then that you can and should void your own warranty and that you can always do more than you think you can — for yourself, your family and your customers.
This “whatever it takes” philosophy is at the heart of the third-party logistics company. When he and his partner founded it in 1966, there were just two people, and he says they were overstaffed. They worked hard to build the third-party logistics business and overcome the challenges that faced them. They had just a 12,000-square-foot facility.
They had no financial backers, so he and his partner were personally liable for the business’ startup and operating costs, but they did whatever was necessary. Sometimes that meant going on sales calls, driving the lift truck or doing janitorial duties.
Their lack of experience drove them to get better. On his first sales call, Lyons realized he couldn’t answer many of the prospect’s questions, so it led him to dig for information, connect with industry experts, join related organizations and hire talented people when the time came.
In 1990, Lyons decided to buy out his partner, which is what he calls the second best decision he’s ever made (the first being to propose to his wife). He seized opportunities for growth, and today, the company has more than 50 million square feet of space.
How to reach: Saddle Creek Corp., (863) 665-0966 or www.saddlecrk.com