The team at Premier Transportation, from left to right: Corey Wintzel, Kimberly Iadevaia, Eric Devlin, Don Hammond, Sherry Wilson, Ted Hernandez, Laurie Johnson, and Todd Davis.
The office headquarters of Premier Transportation in Dallas is an impressive site. Located on the first floor of a multi-level commercial building, the office space is vast, with a network of hallways connecting executive offices that then traverse through dispatch, a chauffeur lounge, and a corporate meeting room. The vehicles are stored onsite in both an underground covered lot, and a top-level lot that has some shade coverage.
Each of Premier’s 76 vehicles is kept in mint-condition and detailed nearly every night. The appearance of the fleet and office facilities acts as a great sales tool for the company. “One of the reasons we built the space out like this is that when clients come in here shopping between three or four different companies, they are really blown away by our facilities,” owner and CEO Eric Devlin says.
The attention to detail in appearance extends down to operations, where Premier’s Todd Davis, manager of operations, takes great care to train and continuously educate chauffeurs to keep a high level of service.
“One of the hardest things for us is finding new quality chauffeurs,” Devlin says. At Premier, each new chauffeur is teamed up with an experienced veteran chauffeur, and taken on two ridealong drives, where they become accustomed to the routes and local lay of the land. After that, they embark on a two day dry test run, where they have more than 40 locations a day spaced out throughout the city, and coordinate with dispatch to arrive at each one and give designated markings that they are there.
“The dispatcher will say what’s the building directly to the north of you, and we know what that is, and we know how long it takes to get from one point to the other. After they pass that they go out in the field, but training is non-stop,” Davis says.
The training pays off. Premier boasts a less than 1% service failure rating on a monthly basis, and that still doesn’t keep Devlin from trying to improve and continue bringing new efficiencies to his company.
Premier recently has revamped its mobile service, offering a new branded app for mobile booking, and has shortened its reservation time requirement from 24 hours down to 12, and hopes to lower that by even more.
“More and more our bread-and-butter client, that started with us 18 years ago, is moving out of the vehicle procurement phase of their life,” Devlin says. “We’ve got to replace these clients, and guess who’s replacing them? Millennials, who are used to being on their phones all day. So that’s something we understand and have already started to address.”
As the Premier team was showing me around the building, it was apparent they all have a nice rapport with each other and are committed and passionate about helping the business succeed and have each member do a great job. The company averages more than 250 runs a day, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Thanks to the Premier Transportation team for having me.
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