January 18, 2022

Lily Transportation delivers a personal touch to transportation

PORTLAND — One day not too far off, the Lily Transportation Corp. will offer its customers a “zero-defect” truck.

According to David Wilson, director for Lily Transportation’s operations in Maine, the New England-based company has committed its resources to eliminating vehicle downtime and to reducing delivery delays for its customers. Lily is one of the largest privately owned transportation companies in the country.

Lily operates 18 facilities across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England, including facilities in Auburn and Portland. Wilson said that within Maine, Lily maintains more than 250 vehicles and employs 52 people.

Lily offers customers a variety of transportation services through two major divisions, Wilson pointed out.

Through Lily Truck Leasing, the company provides large or small companies with trucks specced according to their requirements.

Besides painting the truck to the customer’s specifications, Lily will supply the registration, permits, fuel, driver-safety programs, scheduled maintenance, and emergency road service at locations throughout the continental United States and southern Canada.

The other division, Lily Distribution Services, “is the fastest-growing part of our business right now,” Wilson said. In this situation, “Lily supplies a customized transportation system that can include a driver, a truck, warehouse assistance, and management.

“We’re finding that today, companies are getting away from the trucking business to concentrate on their products, which is what they’re in business to do,” he said. Maintaining a truck fleet “represents a big variable in unknown expenses. By contracting their transportation needs with Lily, we can take that variable away.”

LePage Bakeries in Auburn typifies the customers using this Lily service.

For a customer who prefers owning his truck fleet, Lily offers a fleet-maintenance program that provides “all the benefits of a full-service lease,” Wilson said.

Under this program, Lily will provide a replacement truck while servicing the customer’s truck.

Working closely with manufacturers who must deliver their products to market on time, Lily Transportation has strived to reduce unexpected over-the-road failures that can delay deliveries.

Through its affiliation with the NationalLease system, Lily “can guarantee a customer that his truck will be repaired wherever it breaks down in the continental United States and southern Canada,” Wilson said.

Each Lily Transportation truck bears a sticker printed with a 1-800 number that a driver can call if his vehicle breaks down. This number connects him to an emergency-service department called Lily Alert! Central, where a team of dispatchers will contact the nearest service facility to repair the disabled vehicle.

Wilson stressed that “right now, our average uptime for getting the driver going again is 80 minutes, which is unheard of in this business.”

Under the Lily Alert! quality program, facility employees meet weekly to review and discuss their facility’s performance. The meetings are designed to discover new solutions to problems and to improve customer satisfaction.

According to Wilson, Lily maintains a 2 percent ratio on the number of its trucks that break down each week in Maine. “That’s an incredibly low number, yet we want to reduce that figure to zero percent,” he said.

With its vehicle-maintenance programs closely monitored, Lily has reached the point where “we’re striving for a zero-defect truck,” Wilson said.

The company now works with preferred suppliers who are committed to “building the kind of vehicle that our customers need to honor their delivery guarantees to their customers,” he said.

Wilson anticipates working with more businesses in Maine, where Lily has established a reputation for dealing honestly and personally with its customers. He pointed out that a more than 98 percent renewal rate proves that Lily provides high-quality equipment and superior service to its customers.

“We deliver what we promise,” Wilson said.

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