Welcome to the Small Business Spotlight hosted by JAISIN Insurance Solutions. The goal is to bring more awareness to businesses and entrepreneurs in the local community. We are joined by John Robertson, Executive Vice President of Ship Your Car Now.
Give us an overview as to what your company is all about?
Ship Your Car Now is pretty basic, but also extremely complex. One of the things we bring to the industry is a full-service solution that a lot of our competition doesn’t have. We are literally both a technology company and a services company, and it all surrounds the transportation of vehicles. That is any type of vehicle you can imagine, from regular passenger cars that somebody buys on Ebay that they want brought to their home in Seattle, to a 120,000 pound crane that needs to go to a worksite in the middle of Texas. You name it, we can take care of getting that transported anywhere in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and even some international locations.
Here in South Florida, we have a lot of snowbirds.
Why do you think they gravitate to Ship Your Car Now?
It’s funny you ask that, because the company was built around snowbirds from the beginning. Gavin, our founder who conceived the organization, has been here in Florida and has a lot of relatives up in the Northeast, so moving vehicles back and forth from Florida to the Northeast was really a natural niche to fit into. It is critical for those people as they migrate back and forth (that is why we call them snowbirds, right? Funny term). They migrate back and forth and they are all recurring customers. They want the same level of service, they want to know they are going to call and talk to the same guy, and that their car is going to be as well taken care of as last time. It has become a very important part of our business and is the root of our business to keep those people migrating back and forth.
What is the number one mistake people make when searching for a company to help ship their car back and forth?
Honestly it’s really simple answer: the number one mistake is that they go with cheapest service. In our industry, like a lot of other industries, it is very common to just go with that cheap service. That cheap service doesn’t provide the general liability and commercial auto liability insurance coverage, doesn’t provide the level of service, doesn’t provide the guidance, and doesn’t provide the pre-vetting of our partners that we use as drivers and carriers to move these peoples’ vehicles. The next thing you know, damage happens and cars are lost. People paid the cheap price, they saved a hundred bucks. and now they don’t know where their car is! They are fixing scratches, they are trying to get ahold of the driver in the middle of the night, it’s a nightmare. When Gavin first conceived this organization, he said we are going to do it right. He had a bad experience with moving a car, but his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in from that bad experience. That is why we always stay top-notch, very white-hat, and we are the guys you can trust.
I have a heard a lot of horror stories from people I know moving cross-country; their car arriving in awful shape or just not even arriving at all!
What brings you to the forefront of the industry, besides everything you previously mentioned?
That is a good question, too. One of the things we do in order to maintain that forefront is around technology and people. This business, it can be done quite simply by one guy, and we are not like that. We have business processes, we have documented flowcharts, we have partners that we work with that are also white-hat in their industry. Then we ensure that everything has a systematical approach to making it happen, and recurring the right way every time, as opposed to willy-nilly, just trying to get a car moved from point A to point B. It very much is a system, and within the last year-and-a-half, we really pivoted the organization and begun to to utilize our technology as a service that we are providing to our customers as well. Now we are taking the technology that we use to ensure that consistency of service, and we are providing it as a technology integration directly to our customers so it happens even more smoothly. I can literally give a customer a button, they push it, and car shipping happens.
Addressing the elephant in the room: how has Ship Your Car Now adapted to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions?
It’s interesting because we actually began this journey into providing self-service transportation technology solutions to companies over two years ago. We had really been out to our customers, even though you see people like Carvana and others like that buying and selling vehicles online. We saw that as an opportunity to integrate that technology directly into our partner’s software; like Turn Automotive, Carsker, E-Dealer Direct, CDK Global, there are a ton out there. We integrated our technology directly into that solution in order for them to be able to provide their end customer with that true touch-less online vehicle purchasing service. We started that a long time ago before COVID came along. We are one of the companies (there are several different industries out there) that have actually seen an uptick in our business as a result of this, because it gave everyone a sense of urgency to be able to deliver a vehicle via technology without someone having to walk into a dealership that wasn’t necessarily there pre-COVID. It has been a good thing for our business. This horrible thing, we all hate it, we all want it go away, and we want to get life back to normal as quickly as possible, but it has driven a little spike in people’s sense of urgency to get this type of integration built out.
Ship Your Car Now is recognized as one of the largest B2C providers of vehicle logistics to large enterprise corporations; that is a very long, big sentence, and to me that means trust.
Why is trust so important for Ship Your Car Now?
I think it is just like any other service: when you enter into a contract and enter into an agreement with someone that is going to provide a service for you, you don’t want to have to babysit that the same level of service that you got the first time you engaged. You want the same level of service you get the twentieth time or the fiftieth time or the seventieth time. Whether it’s a snowbird who is moving back and forth with us for thirty years in a row because they have had that true consistency in the service and built that trust with us, or it’s a dealership who is buying all over the nation and he doesn’t care where he buys, he just knows that he can trust us to go in and ship it back to his dealership in Florida, it doesn’t matter. That trust is what we count on, and trust comes with consistency; perform every time and you build trust.
If someone who is going to pick up and move to California tomorrow, why should I pick Ship You Car Now?
I think the number one thing is we are more interested in the customer who appreciates and recognizes the value of quality service. We literally have this conversation with people whether they are business or whether they are consumers and we say, if you are just looking for the lowest cost service, we can recommend some people to you. We are of that mindset and have built our business around being the person who is going to give them fair price, but we are also going to give extraordinary service and take care of them. Our ability to deliver that via the technology on a consistent basis all over the United States is the key. I think in today’s world, one of the number one things that would help a consumer to select Ship You Car Now is one of the things we introduced into the industry which is nobody else is doing: a tiered pricing program. We have tiered pricing just like Amazon (we are all online shoppers, right? We go to Amazon, I need it overnight, I am a Prime member, whatever it is). This one I don’t need for another week, because I don’t need it until it starts to snow (well, that is a Michigan problem I have, not a Florida problem we have down there at corporate.)
But you know we get our choice and we pay accordingly. No one in the industry does that. I offer that to clients every day, our team offers that selection and then we guarantee it, which no one else does, either. Our network of carriers is so large, our pricing and our technology, the artificial intelligence, and the real-time pricing that we do behind the scenes is so unique. No one else can do it even if they want to bring that message to the market. They don’t have the backup to do it; we are the guys that do.
Why have you chosen to work with JAISIN Insurance Solutions?
One of the things as you can tell from our discussion is that we are very complex, we have a lot of moving parts, we are very white-hat, and we like to stay above board. Insurance is one of those things that we can’t not do right. We have to do it right. In this business things happen; a carrier can be in an accident, a carrier can slide into a snow bank, a carrier can run through a hurricane, and things may happen. We need an insurance provider that got the T’s crossed, the I’s dotted, and the documents are all lined up so that we can take care of our consumer and our business customers. If I don’t feel confident that JAISIN’s behind my back and got me covered when something goes wrong, I don’t feel confident selling that service to customers.
True story: I have a friend of my father-in-law who is moving a car (I don’t usually do a lot of single moves like that, but he is my father-in-law’s friend), so I am taking care of him. Here comes an email and he says, “John, what you guys do for insurance? Am I covered?” His name is also John. I said, “John, I have to tell you, I have been in this industry for a long time. With Ship You Car Now and our insurance coverage, I couldn’t be more confident to let you know that if anything happens to your 2014 Chevrolet Corvette that you just spent $49,000 on that I need to now ship from Michigan up to the woods in Minnesota – not sure what you are going to do with it up there, but I am going to ship to the woods in Minnesota – if there is a scratch on your Corvette, don’t worry.” I can say that with complete confidence because of our relationship with JAISIN and that I can trust all the programs and the things they have put in place for us.
Again, whether it’s from a POV like that for a personal move, all the way up to huge corporate contacts that have special insurance requirements such as cargo insurance, commercial property insurance or workers’ comp, they go to the contracts with us, they help us make sure that we have met all those requirements, they dive into the legal documents and supports us there. I couldn’t ask for a better relationship and it’s those kinds of relationships that make us a great company. You’ve got to choose great partners like JAISIN Insurance Solutions.