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Business as a Force for Good

Employees enable our work, our community matters, and the earth sustains us.

Normal business at JetCo involves a continuous cycle of challenging ourselves to be better. After reflecting on ways to improve our impact on our employees, our community, and our industry, we decided to pursue B Corp certification.

What is a certified B Corp?

Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. B Corps “Envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.” Members of the B Corp community are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges and building a new economy that benefits all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

What is B Corp certification?

B Corp Certification is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. It evaluates how a company’s operations and business model impacts its workers, community, environment, and customers. From supply chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves a business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.

Why is JetCo Federal getting B Corp certified?

  • It will make us better. What we like about B Corp Certification is that it will not just acknowledge what our company excels at now—it commits us to setting goals for improvement so that we create more positive social and environmental impact.
  • We win the right way, because our stakeholders deserve it. This is one of our value statements. We are passionate about doing things the right way. By doing things right—with all stakeholders in mind—we believe that certified businesses like ours can solve social and environmental problems.
  • We want to stand out. The B Corp seal instantly communicates that a company is a verified leader when it comes to positive impact and empowerment. The third-party validation that comes with B Corp Certification will be another feather in our cap to help JetCo Federal stand out in our industry.

How do we measure up?

Certified B Corporations must achieve a minimum verified score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment. According to B Lab, which administers the program, the median score for “ordinary businesses” is 50.9. After completing our B Impact Assessment, JetCo Federal scored 54.4.

We have to say, when we read that our score was “ordinary” it felt like a compelling kick in the ass. Over the next several months we will be working as a team to achieve specific goals to earn those extra needed points. Because we don’t settle for ordinary. We want to be a force for good.

Good is Baseline, Better is Competitive

I used to have a coach that would tell us “early is on time, and on time is late” when we came in for practice. If you were only ‘on time’, you ran laps, and I spent a lot of time running laps.

It wasn’t until after a few years of customer-facing professional roles that the lesson really connected: in business, meeting the requirements is not the same as being competitive (there’s a life lesson too, but that’s for another blog). Truly serving your customers isn’t about offering a good product or experience, it’s about a better product or experience. Good is baseline, but better is competitive.

Better can mean more innovative, more customized, cheaper, or faster. Whatever it means in the metrics of an individual market is where organizations need to be looking for opportunities to improve. History tells us that no matter how special our sauce is or how rarefied our position, there’s no safety from better.

Finding those opportunities is a main objective of a motivated sales team, so when one lands in their lap, it’s incumbent upon them to recognize it and act. For example, in 2019, a major JetCo client began handling hazardous materials, but without Department of Transportation (DOT) certification, we were unable to help them move it. We evaluated the opportunity, built a training plan, and brought in a partner to help get the certification for our operations staff. Our sales team also demanded certification in the spirit of better understanding the business.

Did we expect to ever rate a shipment? Would we ever need to know how to read a code on a bill of lading? Not likely, but knowing how the sausage is made was intended to help us go beyond the “yes” for our clients, and help get into that consultative, problem-solving mode that we love so much.

Fast forward to 2020, and we’re seeing the unintended effects of that decision. The same clients that asked us about HAZMAT last year are now reaching out with a new project: COVID vaccine storage and transport. As that supply chain develops, partners who can handle dry ice (it’s hazardous!), pressurized gasses, and related materials are finding themselves fielding capability requests, JetCo Federal included. Without responding to the original request with the intent of becoming better for our clients, we would have never put ourselves in the right position for these opportunities.

The lesson in this isn’t TED-talk profound, being better at something isn’t a new way to competition. The secret is building the culture of being able to identify those opportunities when they appear and harness them effectively.

 

JetCo Federal Adds Hazardous Material Handling to Transportation, Warehousing Capabilities

JetCo Federal, a Grand Rapids-based supply chain management and warehouse supply company, recently added hazardous material handling to its supply chain management, transportation, and warehousing capabilities.

Hazmat certification is required for workers who handle, remove, or ship hazardous materials. JetCo Federal’s sales and operations teams have completed hazmat certification training, allowing the company to fulfill hazardous material orders and transport hazardous materials.

“This is an extension of how we work for our customers,” said Erik Greene, Director of Sales and Marketing at JetCo Federal. “A client identified the need for contractors who have this certification, and we jumped at the chance to deliver additional value.”

Hazmat certification incorporates general, function-specific, safety, and security training for all employees managing hazardous material operations.

Greene said, “We’re proud to be a company who handles complexity for our clients, and this certification adds to the ways we can provide comprehensive solutions in the market.”

For more information about JetCo Federal’s services, please visit www.jetcofederal.com.

4 Certification Programs for Women-Owned Small Businesses

In one of our most recent blog posts, we highlighted some of the ways to better market your company as a women-owned small business. One of these ways was to know the women-owned small business (WOSB) program inside and out and to look into becoming WOSB certified.

What does it mean to be WOSB certified?

In order to be eligible for the WOSB Contracting Program, in which you compete for federal contracts that are set aside for your diverse status, you need to be a certified WOSB – either through self-certification or through third-party certification. This lets the government verify that you are what you say you are: a women-owned small business. Here are four different certification programs for you to choose from seeking third-party certification.

Certification Programs

1. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Also known as WBENC, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. Becoming WOSB-certified through WBENC has a variety of benefits, including opportunities to network and pursue business deals, scholarship and award opportunities, and a variety of ways to promote your business. View all the benefits here.

2. The National Women Business Owners Corporation

Also known as NWBOC, the National Women Business Owners Corporation became the first organization to create a national certification program for women-owned businesses more than 20 years ago. The benefits of becoming WOSB-certified through NWBOC include a mentoring program, trainings and webinars, and award opportunities. View all the benefits here.

3. The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Also known as USWCC, the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce helps women start and build successful businesses and careers. The organization is an authorized 3rd party certifier for the federal WOSB and EDWOSB programs. The benefits of becoming WOSB-certified through USWCC include access to conferences and summits throughout the year.

4. The El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Also known as EPHCC, the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce offers several Federal small business certifications for any business that would like to become a supplier for the U.S. Government. Business development specialists assess your business and help you with the certification process.

Interested in self-certification? No worries. Check out this preparation checklist from the Small Business Administration to kick-start your self-certification process.

Becoming certified as a WOSB can help you stand out among your competition and can result in federal contracts set aside for your diverse status. Take it from us – JetCo Federal is a WBENC certified company. Though the certification program may require some paperwork, it pays off in the long run by helping further differentiate your company. By using one of these four third-party certification programs, you’ll be on your way better marketing your company as a WOSB.