BlueGrace Logistics Franchise Review: Q&A with Jason Eckhardt
Meeting with BlueGrace CEO Bobby Harris led New Jersey businessman to open his logistics franchise
Jason Eckhardt describes himself as “an entrepreneur and a sales guy.” After temporarily leaving the logistics business, he was looking for a new franchise opportunity in the industry. After meeting Bobby Harris, BlueGrace’s CEO, and learning more about the company’s proven systems and innovative technology, he purchased his franchise in 2011. His franchise, BlueGrace New Jersey South, is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
What were you doing before becoming a franchisee with BlueGrace?
For five years I was a franchisee with another global shipping company that served as a small parcel reseller for Airborne and DHL. I made the decision to sell my business and go into sales in another industry. But I knew I wanted to get back to my core business. It was a matter of finding the right opportunity.
When did you join BlueGrace Logistics?
Six years ago I became affiliated with BlueGrace, and I became a franchisee in 2011. Like many entrepreneurs, I invested not just in the business but in the leadership. I knew somebody who knew Bobby Harris. I learned about his vision, got to know the people. The culture is something special.
What do you like about the brand, the management team, and the tools and support you have to build your business?
This is so different. Bobby is approachable; he is a very compassionate, caring person. That permeates the organization, from the culture perspective.
The technology is special, too. Other companies understand the need for technology, but BlueGrace has a dedicated, in-house support team. BlueShip, our web-based transportation management system, empowers clients to manage their entire supply chain. I can serve as the entire logistics department for a client.
What do your customers like best? What sets BlueGrace Logistics apart?
They like the technology, the ability to control their costs. They like BlueGrace’s customer service — we differentiate ourselves by getting to know our customers on an individual level.
Our name recognition is important. In a sense, when one franchisee does a great job, we all benefit. The internet makes that important. It’s easy for someone who’s dissatisfied to complain publicly. When everyone does great, we are recognized as a whole.
What should an entrepreneur know about third-party logistics if they are evaluating the franchise opportunity?
You should select a company with a proven track record of success, but one that’s still hungry and not complacent. BlueGrace is in that space right now — you can get in early with our company that is showing rapid growth and not slowing down.
One of the benefits of joining a franchise is that there are processes in place. Someone has built the technology. These are smart people and a positive culture. That said, it’s important to remember that all of that is not a recipe for instant success. It still comes down to the individual entrepreneur; the franchisee still has to go out and execute.
What motivated you to start the business? What’s your goal?
I have a lot of different motivations. Building wealth and taking care of my family is a huge element. I also want to be successful in business and create opportunities for people in the organization. I owned my first franchise at 23 and had people mentoring me and giving me opportunities. I want to pass that on.
Giving back to the community also matters. Over the past seven years we’ve held golf outings in honor of my wife’s late mother that have raised $100,000 to fight breast cancer.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I enjoy playing golf, basketball, hanging out with my family. My son is 8, and my daughter is 5; I enjoy playing with them. I also serve on the board of directors for a local nonprofit.
Would you recommend BlueGrace Logistics to someone else?
Yes. BlueGrace is in the middle of almost the perfect storm. The company has enjoyed hyper growth of the past few years, and now, with a growing number of franchises, they’ve pieced it all together.
Training is in place, the technology is there, the buying power is there. We have a lot of opportunity for growth. We’ve just scratched the surface.
Learn more about owning a BlueGrace Logistics franchise
For in-depth details about the BlueGrace franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.