|I-Go 10/28/11 10/27/11 10:10:11 AMPrinter Friendly Version
I-Go’s CFO Brian Nogg (left) watches as “Driver Dave” shares tales of his adventures with 4th-grade students at Millard’s Aldrich Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of I-Go Van and Storage)
Moving? Many Choose to Go With I-Go
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record
No wonder they have this thing down so well!
The Nogg family has owned I-Go Van and Storage since buying it from the Igoe family in 1946. It was not exactly a fledgling venture at that point, as the firm was nearing the completion of its first half-century, having been founded in 1898.
You just might think this is a firm that’s going to last, and it’s not surprising that I-Go Van and Storage has been named the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Month for October.
“The Nogg brothers – my father, Ernie, and his brothers, Ralph and Irv – were the owners,” said President and CEO Steve Nogg, who began his I-Go career in 1973 following his graduation from the University of Texas. He was named CEO in 1990, succeeding his late father who held the job for 32 years.
The third generation of the family, Steve’s twin sons Brian and Jeff, joined the company in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Brian is I-Go’s chief financial officer and treasurer while Jeff is vice president of sales and business development.
I-Go operates out of Lincoln and Sioux City, Iowa, in addition to its southwest Omaha headquarters. Most of the company’s 45 employees work in Omaha.
“We built a 60,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility at 9820 South 142nd Street in 2000,” Steve Nogg said.
The past year has seen many highlights for I-Go Van and Storage. United Van Lines (I-Go is an authorized agent of United Van Lines) updated its quoting system, called “Quotes to Go,” as well as its website, and I-Go added a new member to the company’s customer service team.
The company also handled some major jobs, including the local office relocations of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and Black Hills Corp. In a massive commercial storage project, I-Go worked with The Hilton Hotels on that firm’s renovation and addition projects.
Nogg is quick to respond when asked what separates I-Go from others in the moving and storage industry.
“Most importantly, our people,” he said. “We retain our people which is very unusual in our industry.”
Nogg says about 60 percent of the I-Go team can claim more than a decade of service to the company. “Our most veteran team member has 41 years of service.”
There are many key players at the company, but admitting he is naming only a few, Nogg points to Linda Dutton, the senior vice president of relocation services who has been with I-Go for 27 years; Shelly Kocourek, who has 21 years as special projects administrator; Scott Stogdill, the 19-year veteran operations manager; 35-year veteran moving consultant Rod Stone; and Pat Warren who has 19 years as a moving consultant.
“My executive team is hands on,” Nogg said. “We believe in training, open communications and being responsive to our clients.”
I-Go has a couple of additional advantages over the competition, Nogg pointed out.
“Our facility,” he said. “We have a temperature controlled warehouse and inside docks that are essential with Nebraska’s weather.”
The company also is an agent for United Van Lines.
“United is the No. 1 mover in the United States and has had the top market share for many years,” he proudly says.
When asked about specialty areas, Nogg points to a range of quality services. “Expert packing services, local, long distance and international moving, office and commercial moving, and storage and commercial warehousing and distribution.”
The quality of its work has been noted and appreciated by the firm’s customers. I-Go’s Facebook page features a stream of compliments from satisfied customers.
I-Go also can take pride in its contributions to the community.
In September, an I-Go truck was part of the fun at the Child Saving Institute’s Touch-A-Truck 2011 event held just south of 69th and Pacific in Omaha in the First Data/UNO parking lots. That provided children with a chance to climb on and in trucks – a big thrill for any youngster.
The company also reaches out to young people via “Driver Dave.” The fictitious United Van Lines operator provides 4th-grade students at Millard’s Aldrich Elementary School with correspondence and souvenirs from trips around the United States in his Discover America adventures. One such trip helped the students learn about the St. Louis and Chicago areas.
In addition to the Small Business of the Month Award from the Greater Omaha Chamber, I-Go has been honored with the Better Business Bureau Emerald Award – for 60 years of membership, the Nebraska Trucking Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Highway Safety, and the President’s Club award from United Van Lines for sales achievement. I-Go has been recognized as one of United Van Lines’ Top 50 Agents based on I-Go’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis score, and is a two-time winner of Vanliner Insurance Company’s Excellence in Loss Prevention contest.
The Chamber award is a special one, though, Nogg admits.
“We are very appreciative of the recognition the Chamber’s Small Business Award gives our company,” he said. “The Chamber does an exceptional job of selling Omaha. Our city is very fortunate to have David Brown and his team.”
I-Go, it may be noted, helped out with that, handling Chamber President and CEO Brown’s move to the city.
As for the future, Nogg knows even 113 years in business doesn’t mean it’s time to relax.
“The family-owned business model is always being tested,” he said. “For us, the on-going exercise is to find ways to utilize assets more fully, to re-examine current business practices in order to gain efficiencies, and to branch out into new areas to help support growth.”