Business Name: Tyga-Box Systems, Inc., a service for renting reusable plastic boxes
Type of Business: High-tech Moving Services
Business Location: New York, New York, United States
Reason for starting
We started our company well before “green” was the “new black” back in 1991, after getting everything we deserved when we hired the low-priced mover. They held our freight hostage, and billed us for several thousands of dollars above the estimate. As I’m incinerating the corrugated boxes the very next day feeling deeply offended by the colossal waste of natural resources, not to mention the landfill afterlife, I launch into Latina rant, saying “somebody ought to rent resuable plastic boxes as an ecological alternative to corrugated”!!! That evening, my husband and partner, Marty Spindel decided that that “somebody” would be us!! Our vision and purpose is the same now as then, providing: “TreeFree Moving Boxes….AnyPlace….AnyTime”!!
How do you define success?
Our measure of success is by the impact we make serving people and planet. There is nothing more humbling and gratifying than hear from customers telling us how much they LOVE the ease of using our system, and the amount of time they saved!! From a sustainability perspective, we have saved over 6 million trees from being cut down and hundreds of thousands of tons of waste diverted from landfill. Appreciating that about us, one of our customers, Citi awarded us in 2010, their most prestigious “Best Environmental Vendor of the Year for North America”. In 2012, we won Manhattan Awards “Best Plastic Moving Box.”
The enthusiasm and longevity of our customers is our biggest success!! Literally, from the back of a napkin sketch, we have transformed the corporate moving process in America, such that today, most large scale corporate moves use Tyga-Boxes or other reusable plastic totes. A 30% cost reduction in move labor, coupled with the sustainable benefit of no trees cut down…no waste…no landfill is too compelling to be ignored. We feel blessed that in 15 short years, we get to witness in our lifetimes, the industry transformation which we started.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Like so many small businesses, HR is a challenge at many levels: selection, performance, metrics, corporate culture, retention, rewards, integrity, and teamwork, just to name a few!! Although our success rate has improved, and we remain optimistic, we’re still have a ways to go before I could say with conviction that we’ve “nailed it!!’ What we have done to address this challenge is to modify our hiring practices: 1) hire for what you can’t teach – integrity, accountability, positive attitude, etc., 2) hire slowly and fire quickly and 3) be compassionate at all times.
Who is your most important role model?
Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton compete for my “most” important role model slot. Nelson Mandela modeled faith in his vision for racial equality in South Africa amidst deceit, corruption and solitary confinement for decades. As President of the United States, I believe Bill Clinton had America’s best interest at heart in all matters of govenrment, was fiscally responsible towards future generations and adept at negotiating foreign affairs. I admire his ability to connect with people.