A Conversation With: John IrwinCEO, Compliance Navigation Specialists
John Irwin, 33, acquired Carolyn's Notary Service in Lititz in 2010 and added compliance and licensing services to grow the company into CNS as its known today.
Irwin also holds a Class A commercial driver’s license, property and casualty insurance license and his certified inspection mechanic’s license for CAT 1-3.
He and his wife, Melissa, and their three sons and daughter live in Warwick Township.
Q: How did you end up in the licensing and compliance segment of the transportation industry?
A: I purchased Carolyn’s Notary Service in 2010 and expanded the business due to the amount of need that was out there for compliance consulting for owner-operators who don’t have the time to manage all the compliance and licensing, and for companies with fleets. When I was building what is really our mission and vision, I thought about my family always on the road and wanting them to be safe and the trucks driving next to them to be safe. I also have a passion for growing companies. So I used those two things as starting points. We have clients that started with us and had one truck and grew to 30-50 trucks.
We have reactive services, where we help companies correct issues that negatively impact their business and performance. We also do a proactive service, so we keep operations running smoothly and make sure everything is up to date and in compliance. In 2012 we added insurance.
How do you keep up with changing regulations and help your customers stay compliant?
Our main job is to learn all the (Department of Transportation) and other associated regulations to help our customers stay compliant. I do that in several ways; our company is a member of a couple different associations, one being the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. We’re also a member of a couple states’ motor truck associations. I get notification every time there is a proposed rule or a new rule change from the Federal Motor Carrier register. Usually the rules don’t come into effect right away, they have a 90-day period or a two-year period, and I make sure I understand that rule so I can go out and teach my clients how it’s going to impact their business. One of the recent examples is going from paper logs to electronic devices. We started a service where we actually learned 50 different Electronic Logging Device systems so we can help clients manage them. We saw that rule coming and knew it was going to be a big impact to our clients, so we created a service to ease that burden.
What advantage does your company have being located in Lititz?
Sitting in the middle of a major transportation and distribution hub provides access to a lot of local companies that transport goods across the country. It allowed us to build up local clients and earn a respectable reputation across the country. We have clients in every state, also Mexico and Canada. Most of our clients know our area because there’s tons of loads coming out of and into our area. We have a strong mix of Pa. and out-of-state business just because of where we started.
You’re an avid boater. What is your favorite spot in the midstate to go boating?
I have four young kids, so they don’t like to travel far. We’re really close to Blue Marsh, and we love going up there. We have motored the Susquehanna, and if we get really crazy we’ll go to Raystown Lake.