Oct. 29–Local business owner Cindy Milligan answers the phone, her eyes turning to the computer screen as she follows GPS reports to locate which drivers she has in the field and identify the loads they’re carrying.
“I can take care of that. I have a driver in the area,” she tells the customer on the other end of the line.
With her mass of curly hair and wide green eyes, the petite brunette would look right at home operating an upscale boutique or in a downtown boardroom. But Milligan owns and operates Milligan Trucking with its small fleet of dump trucks that haul sand, grading dirt, top soil, and “almost all types of rock.”
Milligan calls the driver she’s identified as closest to the client in need.
“You get loaded with 10 yards of fill sand,” she tells him. “I’ll send the coordinates to your Garmin.”
As an added precaution, she texts him the address before turning back to the matter at hand which is explaining that Milligan Trucking is at a new location in Moore, and she is now the sole owner.
“I’m still in business, I’m looking for drivers and I’m still trying to grow the company,” Milligan said.
The trucking business is now 100 percent woman owned, and it’s registered with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation as a disadvantaged business entity.
“That means when contractors bid on state or federal jobs they get credit for using a DBE,” Milligan said.
A Norman resident since 1989, Milligan started the business in 2010 with her now ex-husband.
“In my formal dining room is where I started it,” she said. “It started with one truck and grew from there.”
So how did she end up in a male-dominated industry as the sole proprietor?
“I have worked in sales for large Fortune 500 companies and I absolutely love what I sell right now, above and beyond everything else I’ve ever sold,” she said. “The reason why I love what I sell is it’s indisputably a perfect product because it’s natural. The main thing for me is to understand exactly what a customer is doing so that I can match the right product to what they need.”
Milligan said she listens to customers and pays attention to their needs. When she and her ex parted ways, he was inclined to sell the business, but she wanted to keep it alive. She employs around 20 people and fighting for the business was also a fight for them, she said.
“Part of my passion for my business is not just my sales and what I sell, it’s my employees and my customers,” Milligan said.
During her career in sales, Milligan traveled all of the time. Opening the trucking business was an opportunity to be home with her kids more.
“I have three boys,” she said. “My oldest son, Alex Qubain, helps with the diesel mechanics and maintenance.”
Milligan said she’s grateful for her all of her mechanical staff.
“I can sell the sand and gravel but my maintenance guys are key to keeping this running,” she said. “And my drivers, I love my drivers.”
When she was first introduced to the business, Milligan learned that many truck drivers ran small, casual operations, but she saw the potential for something bigger. By bringing her sales and marketing background into the business structure, Milligan was able to create a service network that could supply the metro through operating multiple trucks.
The company recently moved from Norman to 10220 Sunnylane Road in Moore. And while relocating wasn’t by choice, she believes the new location gives her an advantage.
“At this location we have easy access to I-240 and are more centrally located for the Oklahoma City metro deliveries,” she said. “We are a sand and gravel supplier that services the entire metro-Oklahoma City area. I also want people to know that I do have a sand pit on the river, so I’m open to sales to outside trucking companies as well as individuals who want material for their homes, such as screened top soil.”
After fielding another call, Milligan explains that her operational system that allows her to monitor where drivers are and direct everything from her office helps her provide a higher level of customer service by improving response times as well as allowing her team to operate more efficiently.
“How I operate differently than some of the smaller trucking services,” she said. “I use GPS tracking system to dispatch which makes it more efficient for the customer.”
She believes her management and sale skills will allow her to grow the business.
“I was the fundamental foundation of the business,” she said. “I pulled from the structure I had with previous companies.”
Her customer base includes some of the big boys in the industry, as well as smaller customers.
“General contractors for heavy highway projects, commercial construction, residential construction and even individual homeowners are my primary customer base,” Milligan said.
She wants her customers to know she’s still in business and she wants drivers to know she’s still hiring. Right now, she’s looking for additional Class A or Class B CDL drivers.
“I’m very thankful to Republic Bank in supporting me in buying the business out,” Milligan said. “Success is the only option. I’ve got everything in my life invested in this.”
10220 Sunnylane Road
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