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ALL TRANS Shatters Industry Traditions

All Transportation Travel Blog

When I started writing for this blog, one of my goals was to catch up the All Trans customers on our website with sprinkings of good info, knowledge of the industry, happenings in and around New York City and some background on our company that goes beyond just our company. I wanted to delve into the personalities that make up the infrastructure of All Trans and why and how it is still around 20 years later. In keeping with this mission, I came across an article that ran in Limousine Digest a few years back. The following is an article written by Susan Rose of Limousine Digest that captures the imagination of the founder Mike Zappone and how All Trans came to be what it is today: a successful, ground-breaking (pardon the pun!) ground transportation provider for the New York area and beyond.

Here is an exerpt from that article:

As many operators can attest, owning a limousine company can be tremendously rewarding as well as incredibly time consuming. Between the time spent at the office, the overnight and on-call hours, and oftentimes working the weekends, it’s easy to see how someone can burn out quickly.

Michael Zappone, owner of All Transportation Network in Newburgh, N.Y., is no different.

He looked at his young family and decided that he needed to work smarter not harder—and to find a balance between the passion for his business and his family. “I was spending all my time on the business,” he says. With his own hectic schedule and his kids’ busy lives, he wanted to make sure that the opportunity to see them every night didn’t pass him by. He just needed to figure out how to do it.

All Transportation is a very different company today than when it first opened its doors in 1988.

Originally called Affordable Luxury Limousine and primarily retail-based, Zappone did it all with one car, a grassroots marketing campaign, and a sheer desire to make it work—all accomplished by working long hours. Through the years it grew to an all-time high of 40-plus vehicles in 2005; today’s diverse fleet includes Town Cars, Expeditions, a Turtle Top van, Lincoln stretches, and an Accolade stretch SUV. He worked his way up to a small but extremely efficient office staff, two of whom are still with him today, and that allowed him more time to focus on growing the business. Zappone, who once was the company’s only driver, now uses a blend of full- and part-time chauffeurs as well as independent contractors to satisfy customer requests.

In 1998, Zappone took the most important step and opened up the business to corporate work. Affordable Luxury Limousine morphed into All Transportation Network. He hired IMC, a marketing and public relations firm that is specific to the limousine industry, to put together a marketing package and PR campaign for him. He created a new logo and he went to work on solidifying his brand. “What drove us into the corporate world was we needed a new stream of revenue,” he says. At the time the company was literally doing no corporate work to speak of, but today it makes up over half of all of its business. All Transportation was growing by leaps and bounds, and consuming more of Zappone’s time than ever.

It was his core clientele that allowed him to find the balance between work and home. “I decided to change my focus. It was scary, but we found the groove of customers who fit us, and they really respected our service enough to understand what I was doing.” What Zappone did was focus on providing an exceptional level of customer service to his faithful clients rather than just being a general transportation service for price-shopping customers. “At the end of the day it worked out wonderfully, and it makes this business so much more enjoyable,” Zappone says.

All Transportation has the reach of a large company, but with the feel of dealing with a friendly local small business owner.

While All Transportation handles affiliate work from nearly every major network including EmpireCLS, BostonCoach, and Music Express, to name a few, Zappone says that his customers are all treated like family. “When they call, it’s like talking to a friend. We know them, and we’re on a first-name basis with almost all of our customers. They’ll call up and say, ‘Hey, Mike. How’s the family doing?’ They really love that we know what they want and consistently provide it for them.” His customers’ loyalty made the shift possible.

Zappone is also not only older but much wiser than when he opened the company at 19. “I’m in a very competitive market, so most of my education came from the limo shows and going to all the classes,” he says. “At the time, I didn’t have a friendly competitor that I could call up and ask a question. It was pretty cut-throat. I now have friends outside the market, but in the beginning it was all me making the mistakes and changing course. It wasn’t so hard to start out when it was just me behind the wheel. It was hardest when I initially had to rely on others to convey the company’s image.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Posted on Feb 09 2012

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