The owners of EOL Logistics, LLC in Lincoln, AL, built the business with the ultimate goal of passing their legacy on to their children and grandchildren. The owners started with one truck and a dream of having a fleet of straight trucks and tractor trailers. EOL Logistics is well on its way to attaining that goal and part of that is a result of assistance received from the Alabama SBDC at Jacksonville State University.
EOL Logistics, LLC is a family-owned-and-operated logistics provider located in Lincoln, Alabama. The founders of the business are Renita Leonard and Eddie Leonard; Renita is the majority member of the LLC. Since its founding in 2012, EOL Logistics has furnished comprehensive logistics services in a public and contract environment for customers who require merchandise to be delivered on time every time. EOL Logistics “Customer Driven Logistics” principle means EOL’s primary focus is providing superior quality freight transportation services.
In 2012 EOL Logistics started with two straight line (box) trucks, two full-time employees, and one part-time employee. The company was offering expeditated and LTL (less than truckload) delivery for the auto industry. Typically, the delivery would be to one of the major car manufactures in Alabama from their 2nd tier suppliers when an inventory item may have been damaged or not up to specifications. Time is of the essence since shutting down an assembly line would cost the automotive manufacturer thousands of dollars. This demand created a market in the transportation/delivery industry that EOL Logistics was tapping into.
In the first year of operation, several of the automotive manufacturers and 2nd tier suppliers told Renita or Eddie that they were looking for minority-owned businesses. With Renita owning the majority of EOL Logistics, she and Eddie thought that they should apply for their minority and woman-owned business certification. They contacted the Alabama SBDC at JSU to request assistance in getting EOL Logistics certified as a M/WBE company.
Business Advisors at JSU reviewed the M/WBE application and check list from the ADECA’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise, and provided several sample documents of the various items required on the application. The SBDC team worked with the Leonards to craft two years of projected cash flows. After a final review with the SBDC, Renita submitted the application. Less than three months later, EOL Logistics, LLC was certified by ADECA as a Minority Woman-Owned Business.
The M/WBE Certification was a huge benefit to EOL Logistics and a turning point in the business. Based on EOL’s prior excellent job performance and then adding the MBE Certification the company began to grow.
In 2014 sales jumped 209% from the prior year. In 2015 annual sales increased 160% from the prior year and sales in 2016 increased 126% from 2015. The improved sales and cash flow starting in 2014 and continuing the next two years allowed EOL to also start offering long-hauling with semi-tractor trailers. Today EOL Logistics has three straight line trucks, three semi-tractor trucks, and four 53’ enclosed trailers. In addition, EOL quadrupled it of employees, from two to eight full time, and one part-time employee.
Mrs. Leonard wrote in a past ASBDC counseling survey: Mr. Joseph Grimes was very courteous and helpful to me in helping me pursue my WBE, he also told me about and the requirements for other Government contracts. He was and is a tremendous help.