Candor Profile

Candor logo.

Candor is a supply chain and transportation solutions company helping businesses expedite processes.

Founder(s): Nicole Glenn

Industry: Mobility

Founded in: 2017

Location: Dallas, Texas

Interview With Nicole Glenn

Describe your product or service & the problem it’s solving:

“Candor Expedite puts the power of solutions in our client’s hands. Our mission is to turn our partners into supply chain heroes by equipping them with solutions for their sensitive shipments. Specializing in ground and air expedite, expedited less than truckload, white-glove services, and specialty truckload, we have been able to service numerous industries by reducing their freight spend, giving them more time in transit days, and helping them speed up their inbound and outbound inventories.”

How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!

“I had the concept of Candor Expedite two years before opening our doors with the name selection and the mission. Going out on my own was terrifying, but then I realized that it was a form of security that I could not get anywhere else to create the mission I wanted to deliver to the marketplace. The name Candor was selected based on my experiences of being in logistics for 18 years. I had witnessed time and time again the dishonesty that ripples throughout our industry. This dishonesty comes in all forms and creates a domino effect within the supply chain for a client; it stops production lines from running and causes manufacturers to lose clients. It has an unidentifiable amount of time spent for a company tied to it; whether it’s chasing answers or making contingency plans, it’s a waste. I knew we could develop a company that cut through this issue and bring clarity, honesty, transparency, and deserved service to the manufacturing world, allowing our clients to become the hero of their stories when partnering with us. Our logo is simple but strong in its messaging; we offer a circle for the meaning of infinite and connected. The text ‘Can • dor’ (the dot presenting the word straight from the dictionary). Candidness is not always comfortable, but it is necessary for evolution. As a company, our objective is to bring candidness to our employees, vendors, and clients. Growth takes change and challenge; the only way to obtain that is through TRUE candidness. Having an operational background has helped me identify solutions for change that require candidness to a client. We challenge the status quo on standard modes of shipping to our customers to bring them the value within their supply chain that they did not even know existed. The fact that Candor specializes in expedited shipping can intimidate potential clients into believing that expedited equates to being expensive. We are focused on bringing value with tailored equipment solutions that match the shipment’s size, allowing our clients the time they need to deliver superior service to theirs. Long story (six years) short, we have since evolved our company due to the candidness that comes back from our clients on what matters most to them. This has led to the growth of our truckload division, our white glove services, our air freight services, and our first and final mile division. We grew a company focusing on candidness, which led to growth for all parties involved, including our employees, vendors, and clients.”

How is your startup funded, and what advice do you have for other founders seeking funding?

“I was a bootstrapped company. I did not have any outside funding. When I came to the conclusion I wanted to own my own company one day, I started to save. Not just a little, but for five years, I saved 70% of my executive salary. It was such a dream to me that I was ready to do ALL that I could to make it a reality. Now that I am in my seventh year, I would like to say that I could have made it a little easier on myself had I known some simple insights. Covet your banking relationships- Since I was an executive in the past, I had started networking with banks to help my current company. I did not realize that those relationships would be so important in the future. These individuals had seen the results of my work at other corporations, which gave me internal banking advocates. Have a plan! You have to focus and spend the time to understand WHAT your business solves, how you intend to grow, and exactly what you need to make this happen. Think of obtaining capital from ‘yourself’ – If you were to make an investment, what would you want to see to feel confident in your investment? That starts with every touch of your company and what value you bring to a marketplace.”

How big is your team, and what qualities do you look for when hiring new employees?

“30 teammates currently. We look for people that want to be successful for themselves willing to take initiative in all they do. I like to ensure that the candidate will be a great fit within our culture so they can SOAR with us.”

Who is your target market? How did you determine this, and what strategies did you use to reach and engage them?

“Being in transportation for the past 23 years had given me insight on a target market as well as a solid education of what my target market is experiencing as ISSUES that needed to be solved. We are seeking strategic, operational positions within a manufacturing company. We currently service automotive, medical supplies/equipment, pharmaceutical, food/beverage, aerospace, and general manufacturing, meaning we are always expanding our customer touch points within the industries of where we bring current success. Current methods include email campaigning, outreach via LinkedIn, public speaking at industry-focused conferences, podcasting of market trends.”

What’s your primary marketing strategy?

  1. “Website – Creating and maintaining a website that is focused on our service offerings and tells a story of who we are. We are always tweaking it to show ‘where is Candor’ today and where we can help our clients. 
  2. SEO – We are always ensuring that our keywords are highlighted as we have NICHE services, so it is crucial to be search-ready for ‘white glove.’ 
  3. Content marketing – I attend podcasts that are on our industry so I can share my thoughts on the market, where it is headed and best practices for businesses to succeed in this world of logistics. 
  4. Customer testimonials – we are always sharing these professionally on social after asking for our clients to tell their Candor story via Google reviews. 
  5. Partnerships and affiliations – We are members to the top transportation associations as well as make a point to speak and network at these events. We are currently in seven different associations and are on committees, and hold board roles in some. 
  6. Research and reports – we are always finding information on the expedited market to show our clients what is happening and how we can educate them on having an expedited strategy. 
  7. Personalized messaging – each customer has a different story and a different need within their organization. We are always reading the news to see how a service or mode we offer touches a potential issue that they might encounter due to their evolving organization. 
  8. Trade shows- we attend a handful of tradeshows and industry conferences.”

What has been your most successful marketing campaign? Why do you think it worked so well?

“Our expedited report that was featured in Inbound Logistics – this is a strategic guide on how to approach your expedited shipping. This was and still is successful because it is a relevant topic; many companies lack a strategy around this freight spend and have no knowledge of how to utilize tailored equipment for their benefit. Not all expediting has to be expensive; this report shows them how to leverage this mode in their favor.“

What do you consider to be your company’s biggest competitive advantage, and how do you maintain it?

“Communication. Sounds cliche, but it is VITAL in operating a successful partnership. Many say, few really do it. We put so much as a company around our communication with our clients and our providers. Operating transparently on every shipment, and when something goes off course, we are proactive to communication and creating a solution. Along with TELLING THE TRUTH on how things are going with a relationship, a shipment, a project so we are able to consistently help our customers and partners tweak their operational procedures to bring the best values to their supply chain or equipment.”

What were the biggest challenges you faced in the early stages of building your startup, and how did you overcome them?

“While there are many challenges to overcome in the industry alone, the people who make the supply chain move, evolve, and function are essential to the puzzle. We learned that businesses could operate in a remote environment due to the world being tossed into a pandemic and forced to become an out-of-office workforce. From my perspective, what is starting to show is the disconnection of our world that has taken place since many workers are still remote. There has been a standstill in the methods, thinking, and operations that typically take place in an in-office environment; these lessons bring evolution to organizations. The ability to get others on the phone and “talk things through” has become limited and hard to accomplish. We have hybrid, in-office employees, and some individuals have been fully remote since the beginning of the pandemic. We have become much more intentional with the inclusion of everyone to ensure that our team consistently gains knowledge across our industry, cross-training for the development of our staff, and fostering a workplace where people are developing relationships among teammates, customers, and vendors. This challenge has just ultimately started and will impact the supply chain further down the line as time marches on with no change to activities today. Our future employees will be less equipped for promotions to the management of others and potentially less empathic to their colleagues if the culture these individuals belong to does not focus on putting their employees’ needs and abilities first.”

What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?

“How much patience is required. I am a person with my foot on the gas in life and work, not everyone is this way. This was something that I had to “learn” again. We have to be focused on our objectives and limit them in order to have precision and results. I want to do it all … and all today. I have an amazing team of people surrounding me, so I have to make sure that I am clear and focused every day with our mission.”

What is your #1 piece of advice for startup founders?

“If I were to go back in time, I would tell myself it would all work out and that some things will be out of your control; let those go. Focus on your continual strive for personal growth, professional development, and building up your network. Hard work will bring success but being vulnerable and open-minded to your blind spots will make all the difference. Ask outrageously for everything you want; you will not know if your mind is creating a stopgap instead of a forward movement unless you ask. Take all you learn and put it into massive action; passiveness will get you nowhere.”

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