Convoy Servicing Company’s Road to Growth
Convoy Servicing Company has carved out an “arctic” sized niche in the transport refrigeration industry. “Even if we’re not cool, we do cool things,” jokes Executive Vice President Jim Marino as Convoy forges its own path in an industry projected to grow to over $17 billion in value by 2022.
Convoy has built its business on its expertise in many aspects of the transport refrigeration industry including distribution, service and maintenance, and consulting. To that end, Convoy is a major dealer of Thermo King equipment and parts. The team also services and maintains transport refrigeration equipment and provides strategic consulting to its customers. Convoy has differentiated itself in the market by aligning its mission with customers and alleviating their pain points. As Mr. Marino describes, “We get in their operations and learn what their struggles are. Then, they can focus on what they do well and we can focus on what we do well.”
Chief Financial Officer Lester Bell highlights the importance of the role that Convoy plays with its customers, stating, “Our goal is to minimize our customer’s downtime and give them the peace of mind that the products they transport will be at the precise temperature so products arrive safely to the end user.”
With the rise of food delivery services, advances in medicine, population growth, and globalization, the demand for temperature-controlled transport is booming. As a corollary, trustworthy equipment and suppliers and quality servicing in the transport refrigeration industry impacts health and well-being of the nation. Mr. Marino explains, “We make lives better. Things vital to life — drugs, blood and food — need refrigeration. People wouldn’t eat without climate controlled transport. Food you see in the produce and freezer aisle need refrigerated transportation. What would happen if a trailer breaks down? Without refrigeration, there is a loss of inventory and that hurts the consumer.”
“Our clients view us as an integral part of their operation. We feel the same way about MCG. We view them as valued members of our team.”
Convoy serves numerous local, regional, and national customers in North Texas and Colorado. Convoy’s growth has been organic, which Deke Knowlton, Convoy Vice President, ascribes to strategic initiatives focused on expanding the scope of value-add services provided by Convoy to its customers.
By 2011, Convoy’s success forced it to enhance the breadth of its financial reporting. Convoy needed an audit and engaged Montgomery Coscia Greilich. Convoy’s relationship with MCG began a few years earlier when Convoy principals engaged MCG to provide investment advisory services. Convoy found MCG by referral from one of Convoy’s trusted advisers. MCG and Convoy, though, were a natural fit to work together: like Convoy, MCG prides itself on being a strategic and integrated partner to clients. To ensure that Convoy had the best resources available for the audit, Gary Boyd, who led the advisory engagement, brought audit partner Paul Greilich to the engagement team to lead the audit initiative.
Lester Bell explains that having a full audit by a reputable company has proven invaluable to Convoy. “We didn’t need MCG to legitimize us, but they raised our prominence. [MCG] increased our ability to get credit and investment, which helped fund our growth.”
Since then, Convoy has continued to work with MCG to provide it annual audits. Tricia Daniels, Convoy Director of Finance and Human Resources, reflected that audits are time and labor intensive, and MCG made the arduous process easier. “The MCG audit team is great to work with. As our needs evolve, the MCG team evolves with us. Even with additions to the MCG team, they are always up to speed and understand our business. MCG does a great job training team members and maintaining leadership’s knowledge base, so I don’t have to teach anybody.”
The Convoy and MCG relationship has continued to grow over the years. In addition to the annual audit services, Convoy has continued to work with MCG on other accounting functions, including 401(k) audits of Convoy’s retirement plans and a sales tax nexus study. The Convoy team believes the MCG brand goes far in the business world. MCG is large enough to handle many aspects of Convoy’s business needs and intimately engaged so there is a home-town feel to their relationship.
As a partner to each of its clients, MCG uses its resources to help clients in ways beyond accounting and advisory services. When Convoy sought to hire a staff accountant, Ms. Daniels knew she could lean on MCG to help with her search. MCG tapped its recruiting network to provide candidates for Convoy to ensure that Ms. Daniels found the perfect fit for the position.
The relationship between MCG and Convoy has evolved into a mutually-rewarding partnership between two organizations with a demonstrated commitment to client engagement. Lester Bell explains, “Our clients view us as an integral part of their operation. We feel the same way about MCG. We view them as valued members of our team.”