December 11, 2006
BEST OF DES MOINES
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Cartoon BEST TRUCKING COMPANY
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Business Links Ruan Transportation Management Systems Inc.
Ruan Transportation Management Systems Inc. has changed drastically
since John Ruan founded the company in 1932 with a few trucks. Today,
Find A Job Ruan is one of the largest privately held logistics companies in the country,
Careers At BPC with a fleet of more than 5,400 semitrailers and a workforce of more than
Editorial Calendar 3,200 drivers.
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Comm. Real Estate Acquisitions have been a major part of Ruan's growth strategy, with a focus
Community Events on the retail sector. Last year, Ruan acquired Arbor Freight Services, which
produced additional revenues for the company, and this year, it bought Kings
County Truck Lines Inc., a California-based bulk milk carrier. According to
company reports, Ruan¡¦s annual revenues are approximately $600 million.
Ruan offers a full range of supply-chain solutions, including contract carriage,
logistics management, bulk carriage, warehouse management and certified
brokerage services. According to Mike Kandris, Ruan¡¦s president and chief
Letters to the Editor operating officer, his company¡¦s strength continues to be its focus on supply-
Subscription chain solutions that are efficient and cost-effective for its customers. A few of
Ruan¡¦s clients include Target Corp., ConAgra Foods Inc. and HNI Corp.
Enter RUNNERS-UP: Barr-Nunn Transportation Inc.; TMC Transportation Inc.
BEST PRO-BUSINESS BANK
Wells Fargo Bank Iowa
Get Small businesses are big business to Wells Fargo, the nation's No. 1 small-
business lender. Wells Fargo¡¦s business banking team in Des Moines works
one-on-one with customers to meet their needs.
The breadth of its product line and the strength of its commercial lending
services are two reasons Wells Fargo rates highly as a pro-business bank,
according to H. Lynn Horak, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank Iowa.
Besides the personal attention businesses receive at local branches,
companies can also access the bank¡¦s services electronically.
The Wells Fargo Business Spending Report, a Web-based financial
Google Search management tool for small businesses launched in January, gives businesses
an automatic consolidated overview of their spending, updated each business
day, allowing them to monitor and track expenditures from any location, at
any time. And with Wells Fargo Business Online, business customers can
manage their funds ¡ review account activity, pay bills, apply for loans,
search transfer money, handle payroll 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
RUNNERS-UP: West Bank, Bankers Trust Co.
BEST LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICE
King Delivery Service Inc.
Though King Delivery Service Inc. has moved to the East Village at 101 E.
Fifth St., it still offers the same service that has kept the family-owned
business going for the past 84 years.
Buy the Book of Lists The company has been named best delivery service for the fifth consecutive
in digital format. year by Des Moines Business Record readers.
"Our goal is to always get a little better at what we do," said Jerry King, a third-
generation owner. "Keeping up the appearance of our fleet and being visible
to our customers is important."
Buy the Commercial
Real Estate lists King Delivery's 28 employees, who include a number of third- and fourth-
generation family members, combine attention to detail and technology to
in digital format.
provide quality service to the company's more than 500 clients, which include
banks, pharmacies and other local businesses.
It's those employees who "are out there every day busting their butts for you"
that make the business what it is, King said.
King Delivery moved nine months ago from 1406 Grand Ave. after the city
condemned its building for construction of Gateway West. King said once
some renovation is completed at the new location, the company will begin
offering short-term warehousing services for businesses.
RUNNERS-UP: Huston Delivery Service; Priority Express Inc.
BEST COMMERCIAL PRINTER
Colorfx's business has more than quadrupled since 1979, the year John
DeVries bought an existing business and started Colorfx. DeVries credits his
company's dedicated employees and wide range of services as major forces
behind the growth.
Today, Colorfx employs 245 people at three locations; two in Des Moines and
one in Waverly. About 200 of the employees are based in Des Moines. Iowa
companies account for about 65 percent of Colorfx's customers, but DeVries
said out-of-state sales are growing quickly.
Although printing still dominates Colorfx's business, the company has
expanded its range of services over the years through several acquisitions.
DeVries said customers like the fact that they can count on Colorfx to handle
everything from product design through distribution.
Business Record readers aren't the only ones who have recognized Colorfx
this year. Printing Impressions magazine included the company on its list of
the top 400 printing companies in the United States and Canada. The
company moved up 10 spots this year to No. 177; not bad, DeVries said,
considering there are more than 44,000 commercial printers in the country.
RUNNERS-UP: Acme Printing Co. Inc.; Action Print
BEST PLACE TO PARK YOUR MONEY
Wells Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo has become a company that offers a full spectrum of financial
services: investments, insurance, mortgages, home equity lending, student
lending, small business banking and wholesale banking. It delivers its
products when, where and how its clients want them. Customers can walk
into an office and make investments, manage their small business finances,
take care of their insurance needs, get a mortgage and a home equity loan all
under one roof.
"At Wells Fargo, our vision is to satisfy all of our customers, financial services
needs and help them succeed financially," said Richele Messick, a
spokeswoman. "This means we get to know our customers and understand
their financial hopes and dreams. Then we help make those dreams a reality."
Wells Fargo is also devoted to community involvement, both through
charitable giving and volunteer efforts. In 2005, Wells Fargo gave more than
$4 million to Iowa organizations. Additionally, Wells Fargo team members
contributed another $1.5 million to United Way of Central Iowa and other non-
profit organizations. Team members also logged 36,000 volunteer hours in
RUNNERS-UP: Bankers Trust Co.; West Bank
BEST CHARTER AIR SERVICE
Elliott Aviation Inc.
Once people discover how safe, convenient and affordable it can be to travel
with Elliott Aviation Inc., they come back again and again, according to
Charlie Stockton, the company¡¦s flight department manager.
Elliott Aviation has operated out of Des Moines International Airport since it
opened its Des Moines branch in 1957. The company, which has a fleet of 12
aircraft, also has operations in Moline, Minneapolis and Omaha.
Stockton said Elliott Aviation has a strong clientele of business travelers,
aboutzycnzj.com/http://www.zycnzj.com/ service monthly. He said
25 of whom use the company's charter air
these customers are people whose time is valuable, and they cannot afford to
waste a whole day traveling on a commercial airline.
Although Elliott's fares can be comparable to what you¡¦d pay through a
commercial airline, the company has competitors who charge a little less. But
Stockton said his company believes it is more important to have a proven
record for safety rather than the cheapest rates. Over the past 20 years and
35,000 flight-hours, Elliott's flights have been incident-free, Stockton said.
RUNNERS-UP: Signature Flight Support Inc.; Allegiant Air
BEST TRAVEL AGENCY
International Travel Associates
Planning a business trip with a tight itinerary and multiple destinations can
cause any reaction but a smile. Since 1963, International Travel Associates
has prided itself on having consultants available to handle travel details, and
more recently, an online program that also can help customers.
Although consumer confidence in traveling has risen since the 9/11 terrorist
attacks, airline prices are increasing rapidly this year, said ITA manager Lynn
Ewing, causing consultants to work harder to find the best airfares and
schedules for their clients.
"I think probably our biggest accomplishment (this past year)," said Mary
Phillips, supervisor of ITA, "is 100 percent customer retention. In the travel
industry, that's a challenge because things are ever changing. For us to be
able to get our clients through those changes and do it to our satisfaction and
know everyone is pleased with what we're doing is an accomplishment to us."
Ewing and Phillips also attributes ITA's perennial top finish in this category to
the leadership of their CEO, Steve Chapman, who recently celebrated his
30th anniversary with the company, along with several other longtime
"Our employees are very dedicated and work hard for our customers," Ewing
said. "That kind of combination, it's a perfect scenario."
RUNNERS-UP: Travel and Transport Vacations; Travel World