Sunset Transportation: The Keys to Rapid Growth

Sunset Transportation’s Success Comes from Culture, People, and Technology


ver the past 15 years at Sunset Transportation, we have boosted our annual revenue from around $17 million to around $190 million.

People across the organization deserve credit for working hard to achieve this success, but hard work alone doesn’t guarantee results.

Sunset’s company culture has been the guiding force that has funneled everyone’s energy in the right directions. Staying true to our core values has ensured that we have worked as a team toward our common goals. We also would never have been able to manage this rapid growth without the right investments in people and technology. Put the right tools in the hands of talented people, and you gain the ability to accomplish so much more than you ever could before.

Culture Rules

It’s easy for a company to put its core values on display as posters on a wall, but it’s something else to live them out. At Sunset, we wanted to be sure our core values were clearly understood by everyone, so we created a video that every new employee watches. The video shows people demonstrating the values in their behavior to provide examples that make it clear what the ideas mean in terms of everyday actions at work.

We also established the Sunset Way Core Values Awards as a way to sustain our focus on the company culture. Each month, people whose behavior demonstrates one of the core values can be nominated by their peers for the award. The winners are honored each month, and a special prize of $500 is given to anyone who eventually collects awards for all five core values.

Although our growth has been largely organic by gaining more business from existing customers and finding new customers through referrals, we have also grown through acquisition. Here again, culture plays a crucial


role, because the cultures must be a good fit when two companies merge. We’ve acquired one other company, and like Sunset, this company had a history as a family- built business that valued its employees highly.

One aspect of culture that many companies face today arises from the expectations of the younger generations.

In the past, the management style at Sunset and many other businesses was more hands off. Managers would address problems as they arose, but otherwise people were free to do their work without intervention. No word from your boss meant you were doing a good job.

That approach doesn’t cut it anymore. Today people want feedback, and they want help with developing their careers, so we’ve moved from annual reviews to quarterly

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