Transfinder records 25th straight year of revenue growth

Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella speaks at a recent event.
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Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella speaks at a recent event.

SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady-based Transfinder school bus-routing company notched its 25th consecutive year of revenue growth in 2022, the company announced in its year-end financial report.

The company reported $28.9 million in revenue in 2022, a 24% increase from $23.3 million the prior year, representing two and a half decades of consecutive year-over-year revenue growth.

In an interview on Thursday morning in his office at Transfinder headquarters on State Street, Transfinder President and CEO Antonio Civitella credited the company’s persistent evolution as the key to 25 straight years of growth.

“We’re doing the right things,” Civitella said. “But in 25 years, in order to continue growing, you really have to be able to change things. So that’s really part of the essence of Transfinder. We’re really fortunate and grateful with the team that’s here that understands that at a certain point we have to change in order to continue. You can’t continue doing the same thing and really expect similar results. In the past 30 years, the successful formula or the secret sauce is that you’ve gotta be able to make changes.”

Civitella pointed to the company’s move to remote work in the wake of the pandemic as a pivot point for the firm.

“The most recent change is how we’ve been able to adapt since March 13, 2020, which is the day this company went remote,” he said. “We had to adapt to that. Obviously we were in survival mode for a week or two and then we realized we’re a different company and we decided to adapt and see what we can improve.”

The company’s 90 Capital Region workers currently return to the Schenectady office on a periodic basis.

“The majority of our people from the Capital Region were here on Monday and it was great,” Civitella said. “We’ve done a few events already in coming here.”

Civitella said that in-person work is beneficial for the social aspect and workplace collaboration, but noted that needing workers to be in the office in order to get work done is no longer as vital in the modern digital work environment.

“In the past, that was the number one reason to come to the office — is to get some work done,” he said. “We’ve proven that getting work done can be done anywhere in the world. It could be on a beach, on a mountain. As long as you have a good computer and great internet, we can do it. It was the number one reason [to work in-person] but it’s a solid number three now.”

The company provides school transportation management to approximately 2,300 school districts throughout North America, with 192 school districts added as clients in 2022, which the company credits in part to its browser-based Routefinder PLUS platform, which was introduced in 2020.

The company expects the school bus driver shortage that has been experienced locally and nationally to continue in 2023.

“It’s going to continue being a huge shortage,” Civitella said. “This is another reason why an effective product is important. Drivers go through various training in order to get behind the wheel. They have to know CPR and everything. They have to be well-trained individuals. They’re hauling around our most precious cargo.”

Civitella said that many new or substitute bus drivers in the past would be handed a sheet of paper with the route and school children’s addresses scrawled on it, without the benefit of modern navigation technology. Transfinder provides tablets to its school district clients that allow drivers to use modern GPS tech to traverse their routes while listing each child’s stop.

“When they can use technology in their own cars when they’re going on vacation and they have a job that’s extremely important and there’s nothing there but a piece of paper?” Civitella asked. “These individuals don’t use a piece of paper to go on vacation, they’re using a navigation system, whether it’s on their cars or their phones. So the driver goes on the school bus and says, ‘You don’t even have technology I have in my own house?’ So that’s changed and our clients realize, ‘We better get some technology to assist these drivers.’”

February will make the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the company’s 440 State St. headquarters, with Civitella noting that the relationship between Transfinder and the city is critical to the company.

“It’s extremely important,” he said. “Schenectady’s been very good to us and I think we’ve been very good to the city. There’s a true partnership. I really give a lot of credit to the mayor [Gary McCarthy] and to Metroplex. They’re really focused on making sure that business comes here and stays here to create a thriving downtown.”

 

 

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady

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