Texas Operator Keeps Morale High

Lexi Tucker
Posted on June 12, 2019
(L to R) Eric Devlin of Premier Transportation of Dalls and LCT contributing editor Jim Luff sat down to discuss how the operator has grown his business.

(L to R) Eric Devlin of Premier Transportation of Dalls and LCT contributing editor Jim Luff sat down to discuss how the operator has grown his business.

[This is the third episode in a recurring series of educational videos by LCT editors Martin Romjue, Lexi Tucker, and Jim Luff]. 

Eric Devlin started Premier Transportation of Dallas in 1996 with three employees and two cars: A white Town Car with a red interior, and a champagne colored car with a green interior. “It was the completely wrong vehicle to buy. I had no idea what I was doing, and quickly shifted into black Lincoln Town Cars,” he says. In 2019, his company is now at 97 vehicles and over 150 employees total. In a video interview, he talks about how he’s been able to grow and thrive.

Raising Spirits

LCT contributing editor Jim Luff visited Premier’s new offices in 2017. Devlin says it was a decision made to help boost the morale of the office staff. “We outfitted the office with technology, painted it fun colors, and have lots of amenities for our employees.” It’s about 9,000 square feet, with a 45,000 square foot warehouse that houses everything from sedans to minibuses. Coach buses are located on a lot outside. The company has just purchased its twelfth motorcoach.

Devlin says this has provided continuity to their processes. “If we're not in a lot three or four blocks away, the coach bus operators don't feel like 'redheaded stepchildren,' but part of the team. It’s helped morale and it was a great real estate investment as well.”

Standing Out

Many owners of limousine companies talk about their service, branding, consistency, and having a servant's heart. Devlin has those values plastered all over the office. “Your staff has to understand every phone call is the biggest, best, and most important they’re going to take. We try to instill those values throughout all of our personnel, and we think that's what really differentiates us,” he explains.

Devlin likes coming to LCT shows because it provides him opportunities to network and mentor smaller operators. He also believes in the importance of local associations. “We just had great improvements in our staging area at DFW because of the Dallas/Fort Worth Limousine and Motorcoach Association (DFWLMA). Attending association meetings so you can learn from one another and network is important. I want to do business with people I know. If a local affiliate comes up to me and says, ‘hey, I want your work,’ if I don't know them, I'm not going to. That's where associations can help.”

He also says in order for your investment of dues to pay off, you must be an active participant and attend association meetings.

Discovering New Revenue Streams

Premier Tours Global was started March 17, 2017. Devlin purchased an existing tour company and grew it. They build tours and then market them to people in Dallas and is one of the business’ verticals. “We might take a tour to Waco to see Magnolia Farms. We'll build a tour to go to the Grand Canyon or fly into Lexington and then do the Arc tour. We've got an Ireland tour we're building. It's just another revenue stream.” It’s been a huge success for the company.

To see the full interview between Jim Luff and Eric Devlin, click here.

Related Topics: 2019 LCT video education series, Dallas operators, employee management, Eric Devlin, mentorship, networking, Premier Transportation, staff management, Texas operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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