Successful Dealer Award Semi-Finalist: Beltway Companies

Jason Cannon

July 1, 2015

The 10 semi-finalists for the 2015 Successful Dealer Award will be announced over the next several weeks. Three finalists will be selected and profiled leading up to the award ceremony at CV Outlook in Dallas, Texas in August. 

Company: Beltway Companies

Location: Baltimore, Md.

Dealership Background: Beltway Companies is a diversified transportation services holding company in Maryland with nine locations, 92 service bays, over $3 million in all-makes parts inventory, industry-leading support programs, and financing services. The commercial truck division is the largest International commercial truck dealership in Maryland with seven locations in Annapolis, Baltimore, Cumberland, Elkton, Frederick, and Hagerstown that offer the full line of International Trucks and parts and service for all-makes of commercial trucks.

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Beltway Companies provides commercial truck leasing, rental and dedicated maintenance services through Idealease of Baltimore. Maryland Carrier & Wrecker Sales, a division of Beltway Companies, sells and services Jerr-Dan towing and recovery vehicles, and Kalmar yard tractors in Baltimore and mounts truck bodies and specialized equipment in Frederick, Maryland. Beltway Companies operates a used truck facility in Baltimore, and also provides after-market truck and auto parts through the Beltway Napa Auto Parts store in Baltimore. Beltway Companies was honored as the American Truck Dealer of the Year for 2010. Additional information can be found at www.beltwaycompanies.com.

History: Beltway International opened in Baltimore in 1982 under Jack Murray and still remains the headquarters location. Jack Saum Sr. joined as the general manager in 1984 and eventually bought the business in 1997 when Murray decided to retire. The company quickly began to expand its reach so that by 2008 Beltway Companies included six more dealerships authorized to sell Kalmar-Ottawa and Jerr-Dan equipment in addition to International trucks.

In 2009, Jack Saum Jr. took over the reins as Dealer Principal of the company. With the corporate goal to diversify, Beltway Companies opened up a dedicated Idealease facility in 2012, and Beltway NAPA Auto Parts and Used Truck Center in 2014. There are currently nine locations throughout the state of Maryland. Beltway Companies was honored as the American Truck Dealers (ATD) 2010 Dealer of the Year.

Environmental Initiatives: Beltway Companies is committed to being a “Green Truck Dealership.” It opened its 36,000 sq. ft. facility in Frederick, Md. in 2009. The facility follows the National Automobile Dealers Association guidelines for green construction and the International Dealership design criteria for new dealerships.

The dealership has a state-of-the-art green technology heating system, using waste oil stored in a holding tank so all the heat is generated by recycled oil. And it also uses high-intensity florescent lighting that turns on and off automatically and the building has enhanced R36 insulation. The service shop features one overhead entrance and one exit door which reduce heating and cooling losses and improve customer and employee comfort in the more extreme seasons. The dealership’s “green features” save more than $78,000 in energy costs annually.

Community Involvement and Civic Responsibility: Beltway Companies and its employees support a variety of important community organizations including:

  • Special Olympics – Participant Sponsor
  • Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry – Company-wide food drives
  • Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter
  • Bubba’s Belly Run – Honors the memory of Army Captain Brian “Bubba” Bunting and supports the families of fallen soldiers

As part of his personal commitment to the truck transportation industry, Jack, and his wife Jeanne, established the Beltway Companies Endowed Scholarship Fund of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The Fund provides a scholarship plus two paid internships at Beltway Companies to a St. Mary’s student who meets the financial and academic criteria. The goal is to help develop individuals who will want to build careers in the commercial truck and transportation industries. The fund has raised more than $145,000 since 2010. The scholarship has been awarded to two deserving students thus far.

Customer Education: Beltway Companies offers Beltway University, an online training portal tailored for fleet customers who are self-maintainers with their own service technicians and service shops. BU provides access to Navistar engine and truck service training programs and pathways to technician certification that can be tailored to each customer’s needs. Annual Safety Seminars hosted by Beltway bring safety and compliance education and training to commercial motor vehicle carriers—the Idealease Safety Seminar is an industry-leading program.

Staff Education and Training: Several years ago the dealership embarked on an extensive corporate culture initiative that encompasses core values, continuous education, career planning, recognition, and individual development, and tuition reimbursement program. The elements of this initiative include:

  • Beltway Coins – employees can recognize fellow employees for performance, assistance, customer service, and living the core values of Integrity; engaging; mentoring; innovation; collaboration; common sense; positive attitude; continuous education; community involvement. This program encourages employees to be vigilant and aware of how they are working together to serve customers and contribute to a positive environment.
  • Departmental performance is recognized by the Hedgehog of Excellence, a stuff mascot that resides in the departments awarded this recognition.
  • Operation: Clearpath, an initiative focused on employee education, career development and recognition. It is also a system that provides transparency for advancement and the resources to help employees achieve their career goals. The Circle of Excellence honorees have met the performance criteria in their department, and progressed in their personal development through education, training or job advancement.
  • Circle of Excellence: Annual recognition of employees who have achieved performance goals, as well as service technicians who have achieved Master status.
  • Beltway University: online training courses available to employees.
  • Employee Communications: Monthly employee newsletter reinforces values and culture messages, provides recognition for employee achievement and contributions, profiles successful employees, company events, and more with a message from the dealer principal.

Marketing Efforts: Beltway Companies markets its products and service through its dealership websites, email marketing program, flyers and brochures, sales blitzes, social media, special customer events, sports events, media relations, and has been featured in TRAIL magazine. Comprehensive annual marketing plans link all departments to foster an all-dealership approach to presenting and selling their services to conquest accounts. Beltway Companies is committed to building its brand image through all media, and strives for consistency in messaging and graphics.

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