Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Bender Group.
Steve Reid: Bender Group is a full service third-party logistics/supply chain provider. We offer end-to-end supply chain services including freight forwarding, customs clearance, drayage, local cartage, national multi-client and dedicated warehousing/distribution, asset-based western region transport ation (with a unique dedicated fleet model), common carrier contract management, and national transportation brokerage. Bender Group is a third-generation, family-owned company founded in 1945 and employs about 200 employees, roughly half of which are based in Reno.
NNBW: What role do you play in the company?
Reid: My role is to perpetuate the excellence and entrepreneurial spirit that represents the Bender family. Ultimately, I am responsible for the ongoing success of Bender Group. Most importantly, I am responsible for driving a culture that that yields strong ethics and respects each employee for their contribution to the success of our customers and company alike.
NNBW: How did you get into this business?
Reid: While working my way through college as a warehouseman, I pursued a degree in business administration, majoring in logistics. I interned for a third-party logistics company and was hired upon graduation.
NNBW: What do you enjoy about it?
Reid: There are so many things to enjoy. I enjoy the competition and strategy. I enjoy the relationships and corresponding results of those who have mentored me and those I've mentored. I enjoy earning the trust of colleagues, employees and customers.
NNBW: What do you find annoying or frustrating about it?
Reid: I get frustrated by people (employees, customers, colleagues) who have selfish agendas, rather than acting for the good of the whole.
NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?
Reid: I wanted to be a professional athlete. It was my first choice, but it requires talent.
NNBW: What effect has the changing economic environment had on your company?
Reid: Operationally, there hasn't been much affect. Our customers' activity is down. However, it hasn't affected the way we operate because, as a rule, our business requires that we flex our labor daily to correlate with demand. Due to the uncertainty, we have put additional measures in place regarding asset acquisitions. We are postponing these types of investments unless they are tied to an immediate increase in revenue. On the positive side, we've had an uptick in business development opportunities. Companies are taking a hard look at their cost centers, and we're finding that often times it makes sense for these companies to outsource their supply chain functions.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from the office?
Reid: My favorite time away from the office is gatherings or outings with family and friends...preferably something with an activity like barbecue, sports, hiking, picnicking, etc. I relish this time because I believe family values and support are the cornerstone for success. I also spend a lot of time playing basketball, tennis and golf. I love the competition and camaraderie, and I need the exercise.
NNBW: Who were your childhood heroes?
Reid: In retrospect, my heroes are my mom and dad, my grandparents, my older brother and many of my aunts and uncles. As a child, I thought my heroes were sports figures, including O.J. Simpson (who knew?), Magic Johnson, Joe Morgan and Jack Nicklaus.
NNBW: What school activities and sports did you participate in?
Reid: During high school, I participated in student government, Key Club, basketball, baseball, golf, football and track and field.
NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Reid: I don't recall any one "most important" nugget of advice. The following may be cliche, but are some of the principles I live by:
* Put yourself in the other person's shoes
* Knowledge and preparation are power
* It's OK to be early
* Do what you say you're going to do
* There are no dumb questions
* Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time
NNBW: What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
Reid: I hope that in some way I've enriched the lives of my friends and family.
Name: Steve Reid
Position: Bender Group, president
How long have you been in this job? Since 1996, president since January 2007
How long in the profession? 24 years
Education: B.S. Business Administration, Logistics (Supply Chain) Management
Best book you've read? "To Kill a Mockingbird"
What's on your iPod? I don't have one, but if I did it would be loaded with classic rock.
The best movie ever? "Caddyshack"