Today, The Custom Companies, a Northlake, Illinois company, is a leader in providing transportation services. Founded by Perry Mandera in 1986, the business has pioneered the “full-service” approach to transportation, and offers a broad variety of services, ranging from “small package” to “full load” trucking, local and contract cartage services, air freight forwarding both domestic and international, and even a U. S. Customs bonded warehouse.
The business is successful in part by also being a leader in utilizing technology for managing those services. It uses its Cheetah Dispatch software to allow drivers to access information such as pickup times through a tablet. It has a Warehouse Management System that allows customers to track their products from pickup to delivery. And its propriety, industry-standard-setting Dock Management System minimizes delays and avoids problems, using bar codes for each shipment.
But another way to understand the focus on service is by realizing what the founder and CEO of the business during its years in business is himself like: Perry Mandera has long made providing service to others a priority in his life. It is unsurprising that a business that he created would have service as a fundamental part of its DNA.
This is seen in Custom Cares Charities, a charitable arm of The Custom Companies, which focuses on children’s and youth organizations, but has also supported veterans and those related to the prevention and cure of cancer.
Mr. Mandera graduated from a Chicago public high school in 1975 and joined the Army. His assignment to drive a truck proved to have major implications for the future. When he returned to civilian life, he started a transportation business.
After a four-year stint in public service as a Republican Ward Committeeman, he returned to the transportation industry, founding The Custom Companies, that took the approach of a “one-stop” solution (“One call does it all”) for transportation needs.
Perry Mandera is also personally involved with charitable giving and spends much of his time coaching youth sports, including basketball, football, and baseball.