From her earliest memories, Taylor Santiago says, daily conversations in the Santiago house revolved around sports, straight trucks, pallets and skids. In their business- and sports-driven family, terms such as “hustle” and “going above and beyond” were part of every aspect of life. “This company started out in one box truck purchased by my grandmother,” Santiago says. “The family support, from the beginning, was always there.”
Hustle. Tenacity. Teamwork.
The new MTM, Santiago said, draws on the company’s decades of hustle, intensity and A-to-Z completion of service. But the company also has updated compliance and operations practices with an eye toward efficiency and premium customer service, as well as putting a priority on driver safety and care.
Since stepping in to her vice president role in 2019, Santiago has been joined in leadership by Ryan Penix, who previously worked at MTM. “I knew I was coming back to a company I could believe in,” says Penix, who is vice president of operations.
Penix knew MTM’s customer base like the back of his hand. “He came in here, took the bull by the horns,” Santiago says. “And honestly he’s been the best teammate I’ve ever had. We’d never be where we are without him.”
Santiago has realigned other job roles and descriptions. The team has been supported by their adviser, Bill Clark, founder and managing partner of Clark Leadership. The internal team also is supplemented by tech support from CMIT Solutions of Columbia, Maryland; HR support from Alternative HR; and marketing and audience growth support from BrandTrellis. All of this allowed for specialization, structure, and organization.
This 360 approach to the business wasn’t just window dressing: Software systems and technology were researched, tested and implemented, resulting in a more efficient, streamlined MTM. “The changes allowed space for both employee and company growth,” Santiago says.
New Look, Upgraded Trucks, Operations Software
What has emerged is an MTM Trucking and Logistics moving briskly down the highway to growth. The company that has:
- Created a new logo, new look and new website to showcase its revised mission
- Replaced half its aging fleet with 2024 model dry vans, with the help of Brody Transportation
- Implemented safety-first incentive programs for drivers
- Implemented the industry-leading company Samsara, which powers a sophisticated tracking and logging operation manned 24/7 by dispatchers
- Providing opportunity for individual and team professional growth
To get ahead of the more stringent trucking regulations being implemented across the industry, Santiago in 2019 brought in Samsara, a cloud-based operations management platform that tracks every truck’s movements and actions, connects drivers and customers directly to dispatchers, and allows for on-the-fly adjustments to routes.
That implementation was a “kickoff to our efficiency,” she says.
To emphasize the importance the company puts on work-life balance, drivers are now paid by the load instead of by the hour. This gives drivers the opportunity for more time at home and more time with their families. There is much strategy that goes into routing and schedules, with the idea that if a driver needs to be out for whatever reason the team can find alternatives.
Change Made Easier with a Culture of Respect
Santiago wanted to build on the company’s core competencies of integrity and customer service by creating a culture of respect, built on family values. “I want people to be excited to go to work,” Santiago says. “To be inspired and motivated and find a fulfilling purpose.”
She does this by encouraging employees to grow in their personal life, believing they bring that growth into their work life. “Showing that respect toward employees, they will be motivated to be more invested in supporting a team environment,” Santiago says.
Change comes with its rewards. Of its 35 employees and counting, MTM has had less turnover in the past two years than at any time in its past. Employees answer regular workplace surveys and are encouraged to provide honest feedback to leadership. Taylor believes that a family atmosphere paired with efficient practices will be a recipe for growth.
What’s still ahead for MTM?
Santiago wants to expand the company’s footprint and customer base. Both Santiago and Penix expect that in three years the company’s revenue and footprint will have at least doubled.
In five years, they say, the sky’s the limit: They both want MTM to be well known and reputable, whether that means East Coast, Mid-Atlantic or across the entire country. “The most valuable form of currency,” Penix says, “is a good relationship.”
When there are challenges, they are tackled with teamwork. Common vision lights the road ahead.