From trucking and construction to hauling and disposal, Beverly Companies has spent the last 30+ years developing and cultivating their relationships, as well as implementing business strategies that are vital to their success.

The Beverly Companies was developed in the 1980s through the hard work and determination of AJ Phillip Sr. and Beverly Phillip. Starting off as a truck farmer in the New Orleans area as a child, Phillip Sr. became more involved in trucking as he found opportunities to work in the dirt business. As he progressed, he expanded his operation from one truck to several trucks, now managing a fleet of more than 50. His son, Angelo Phillip, is being groomed as the next generation owner and he actively participates in the business as Vice President who manages the Disposal Division. Presently, Beverly Companies consists of more than 152 employees: 55 in the Trucking Division, 55 in the Construction Division and 7 in the Disposal Division with other project managers and staff in the areas of dredging, accounting and estimating. In addition, to the family leadership they provide, Beverly Companies has several managers that assist with the implementation of the vision and strategy.

Beverly Companies currently serves the Southeast Louisiana area, which includes Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish, Lafourche, St. Bernard Parish and St. Charles Parish. However, they also service customers in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi and transport heavy construction equipment for several customers.

Increasing Opportunities

Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the state of the local economy has thrived. Says CFO, Socrates Toras, “The rebuilding of the surrounding areas has increased our opportunity for servicing customers. Also, we believe that  the constant need for sand and aggregate is in high demand due to the need for maintaining, building and repairing the infrastructure in Louisiana.”

Beverly Companies provides freight services to several of the largest heavy construction material companies in the world, commonly hauling asphalt, crushed concrete, limestone, sand and dirt usually from suppliers. Additionally, with the ability to supply the machines to excavate, trucks to deliver/pickup and supply the construction materials, they provide an “all in one package”, such as product, haul and spread. For example, if a client is constructing a building, Beverly Companies will come in and lay the sand and dirt, do the pipes and drainage associated with the building, any type of water management and even pave the parking lots, etc. “Complete packages like this have evolved over the last 15 to 20 years through our Construction Division, which is 30 to 40 percent of our business. The remainder is trucking, sand and aggregate, and disposal,” says Toras. The company is also involved in unloading barges from point A to point B and assists with stockpiling materials for the maritime industry.

As part of the Disposal side of the business, the company collects scrap metals and tires to be sent offsite to a third party partner. “A common occurrence is that our customers will call us and say that they would like us to come and pick up their tires and metal scraps from a project that they are working on and we will bring to a location to be recycled.”

Internal Operations

The Beverly Companies prides itself on training drivers and staff on a recurring basis and performing drug tests frequently. They GPS track all staff and equipment and monitor asset use on a daily basis to make sure they are meeting the expectations. Toras points out that this assists with their return on investment.  Drivers are also required to obtain CDL A and B. “We provide one-on-one training with our staff and perform group training to remind drivers to use best practices when driving. We also have a safety manager who provides training and monitoring on a continuous basis.” Beverly Companies offers incentive bonuses as well to safe drivers on a quarterly basis. These are employees who did not incur any type of internal compliance errors or write-ups or claims by insurance companies or have any accidents. For those who do not receive any infractions, they are entered into a drawing for an annual bonus, which is raffled off at the annual company event in December.

For fleet maintenance, the mileage on company trucks are monitored and once they hit a certain point, they are brought into the shop and oil changes are performed along with any other check and repairs needed. In addition, the trucks’ tire pressures are monitored on a daily basis to ensure that the tires meet the requirement on PSI in order to help reduce tire costs. If there is a break down on the road, which is a rare occurrence, the driver will call it in and the company owned wrecker will go out to pick up the truck from the jobsite or road. The safety manager will be notified and cones will be placed around the truck at the breakdown location for safety purposes. The truck is then brought into the shop for review and inspection by the manager.

Some of the community outreach programs that the Beverly Companies participates in include: Hogs For Cause, which donates to families with children fighting brain cancer, Crawfish Cook Off Supports City of Westwego farmers market, and the Zurich Golf Classic, which sponsors the For Kids Foundation. Says Toras, “We find that it is always important to interact with the community. We like to donate our time and money to organizations. We have also donated a container or two for festivals or church functions as needed.”

Disaster Planning

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Beverly Companies did suffer high wind damage due to their location along the Mississippi River bank, but did not end up with flood damage. As a result, it gave them the ability to mobilize and offer their cleanup services in the area. “We were one of the first ones out in the community for cleanup. We mobilized our equipment and played an integral part in helping to provide dumpsters to assist with debris removal, trees and bark, large concrete structure materials, broken telephone poles, etc. We also hauled all of it away,” says Toras. “It took a good year and a half to two years to clear everything—it was nonstop.” He also says that there has been a resurgence in the economic development in the area, resulting in many more buildings being constructed and a lot of old buildings and homes now being renovated by investors, which directly correlates with the disposal side of the business.

Beverly Companies does make sure to keep up on their disaster management plan by keeping track at all times of server backups on and offsite, employee addresses, retaining cell phone numbers, having cell phone backups, generators onsite, and other equipment that can weather the storm and get them back up and operating as quickly as possible. “We have learned from a strategy standpoint to implement a better disaster plan to operate and make sure we have business continuity. If it so happens that any of our buildings were destroyed by weather, we would immediately mobilize trailers and use our offsite backups to begin to operate again,” explains Toras.

Staying Above the Curve

Currently, the Beverly Companies’ biggest battle has been the decrease of oil prices, creating a trickle down affect to all aspects of business. As a result of decreases in oil prices, there was a reduction in capital investment from oil companies. However, the company’s ability to maintain good customer service, reasonable pricing, cost reduction through efficiency and increased compliance has allowed Beverly Companies to continue to surpass their competitors. Toras points out that they were able to stay above the curve while oil prices dipped.

Compliance and the nature of the insurance industry is also an industry challenge. “Risk management is essential to today’s business environment because some of our customers require several tools such as GPS, KPIs (Key Performance Metrics) and insurance metrics to be at an exceptional level so we can be considered to be a part of their supply chain,” says Toras. Beverly Companies does a lot of plant work, whether they are energy, petro-chemical or petroleum plants. These types of jobs require certain KPIs and specific insurance requirements. “It’s becoming harder for mid-size to smaller businesses to be accepted to do plant work. Pre-qualifier paperwork is of utmost importance as far as the financial standpoint coupled with the risk management—the business has to be solvent in order to be accepted into these large plants to do work. It is one of the first things that they look at when hiring, along with financials, staff, team leaders, management, how long you’ve been in business, etc.” As a result, Beverly Companies is consistently investing in programming and looking at ways to become more efficient in this area.

Becoming Even More Efficient

The company is also planning to invest in additional technology to stay ahead, including pursuing audio/visual within the trucks and equipment that they maintain in order to monitor the fleet on a daily basis to help keep drivers safe on the road. Toras also believes that the company’s continuous effort to become more efficient by investing in equipment and employees is vital in business. “We are a mid-size company that takes pride in our employees, the good work that we accomplish and in our community. The management and staff are vital to the success of the company and we look to be in business for a long time.”

For more information, contact Socrates Toras, CFO, at (504) 436-2924 or e-mail [email protected].