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The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

Author: Joe Lynch: Transportation, Logistics Podcaster

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The Logistics of Logistics podcast is dedicated to exploring how things get places. Join our host, Joe Lynch, for conversations with the people who get them there. Joe talks with logistics and transportation industry leaders about innovation, technology, trends, and the future of freight.
56 Episodes
Stop Toiling in Obscurity with Ann Holm
The 5 Billion Dollar Overcharge with Steve Ferreira Steve Ferreira and Joe Lynch discuss the 5 billion dollar overcharge which refers to the amount that ocean shippers are overcharged every year. Steve is well recognized expert in ocean freight auditing and in the interview, he describes the problem of ocean freight overcharges and ways to recapture the difference. About Steve Ferreira Steve Ferreira is the founder and CEO of Ocean Audit. Steve has spent his entire career in global container shipping. He established Ocean Audit in 1994 when he realized general freight audit practices reverse no more than 50% of overcharges occurring in ocean transportation. Today, Steve’s process is leading edge and utilizes machine learning to identify and validate ocean freight invoice errors. Initial recovery validation can be accomplished with only a very basic requested client-side report. Steve Ferreira is often featured in leading business publications like USA Today, Journal of Commerce, and as a guest commentator on CNBC. About Ocean Audit Ocean Audit is the leader in ocean freight invoice auditing. Ocean freight billing is very complex, and few shippers fully understand all the charges. As a result of this complexity, ocean freight shippers are commonly overcharged. Ocean Audit and Steve Ferreira specialize in ocean freight auditing. Ocean Audit uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify invoice inaccuracies and overcharges. Ocean Audit utilizes its expertise on a contingency only basis, which means Steve only gets paid if he discovers a saving. Key Takeaways - 5 Billion Dollar Overcharge The Problem with Ocean Freight Invoices In Steve’s experience, ocean freight invoices are usually inaccurate. The average high-volume ocean freight shipper is overcharged by 1-2% with some shippers getting overcharged by much more. Ocean freight invoices are very complex and there are few supply chain people who have the time and or expertise required to audit the invoices. Auditing of the ocean freight invoices frequently falls in a gap somewhere between accounting and the supply chain group. Ocean freight invoicing is often very antiquated and technology improvements implemented are far behind the truckload and LTL modes. The top five reasons ocean freight invoices are inaccurate: Double billing (the ocean freight provider may double bill when they discover a surcharge not added to the freight bill). Date cusp issues Fuel surcharges Not checking container numbers Contract complexity Ocean Freight Auditing – Recapturing the 5 Billion Dollar Overcharge Shippers can conduct their own ocean freight auditing; however, they would need to hire an internal resource that would have a deep understanding of ocean freight auditing. This specialized knowledge is not easily found. Shippers can also hire a pre-auditing firm, which is a 3rd party company that audits the freight bills prior to the shipper paying the invoice. Since most pre-auditing firms specialize in over the road trucking freight audit, they may lack the knowledge required to conduct an effective ocean freight audit. For many ocean freight shippers, the right audit solution is a company that specializes in ocean freight auditing. Ocean freight auditing is too complex to hire a firm that just dabbles in the space – hire a specialist. Ocean freight shippers hire Steve Ferreira because he has over 40,000 hours of expertise in all areas of ocean freight invoicing and dispute management. Steve is the world’s leading expert in recovery auditing for the container shipping industry. Ocean Audit is the only international company specializing in all aspects of ocean freight recovery. Learn More: Steve Ferreira Ocean Audit Business Insider FreightWaves The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
The Niches Have Riches with Kevin Hill Kevin Hill and Joe Lynch discuss why the niches have riches, which refers to the advantage of specializing and owning a niche. In the logistics and transportation business, competition is intense and increasingly the best 3PLs are developing market segments, so they can customize their services to a specific niche (market segment). About Kevin Hill Kevin Hill is the Director of Editorial and Research at FreightWaves, which publishes proprietary research on all things transport and logistics. Kevin is also the co-host of the popular freight sales podcast, Put That Coffee Down. Additionally, Kevin is the founder of CarrierLists, which is the only carrier database that provides a comprehensive profile of carriers that go beyond what is available in public records.. Earlier in his career, Kevin held leadership positions in both the financial and logistics industries. Kevin earned an MBA from the University of Oklahoma. About FreightWaves FreightWaves is the leading freight intelligence provider, offering current digital intelligence and context to the freight community on a central platform. FreightWaves'​ SaaS product, SONAR, is the leading freight market analytics tool and dashboard, aggregating billions of data points from hundreds of sources to provide the fastest data in the transportation and logistics sector., the company's news site, is the leading provider of news and commentary for the transportation and logistics space. FreightWaves also hosts conferences under Transparency and MarketWaves branding and is a co-developer of the first futures contracts dedicated to trucking spot rates. Key Takeaways – The Niches Have Riches The Problem with One Size Fits All The competition is fierce in the transportation and logistics business and without a niche, you and your company will struggle to stand out from the crowd. The “we are everything to everyone” messaging is a sure loser Shippers look to 3PLs for answers to their transportation and logistics problems. Shippers are increasingly looking for industry-specific expertise and if you do not have it, they will work with your competition. Content marketing begins with market segmentation (niches). If you want to gain favorable attention with a food shipper, you better be able to create content that appeals to them. Food shippers are obviously different than hazmat shippers, and vice versa. With a one size fits all strategy, your marketing and messaging is going to be a “mile wide and an inch deep” which won’t for shippers who want to work with experts in their business. The Niches Have Riches Approach When logistics providers develop their own niche, they have a better chance of winning business with shippers in that niche. To develop the selected niche, learn about the biggest problems facing the niche industry - that your company can solve. Once understood, incorporate the problems along with your solutions into your marketing and sales messaging. With industry knowledge, your chances for a sale increase. Since your company is focused on a niche, the confidence of the sales team will be much higher. Logistics market segments include: Automotive Chemical and Plastics Industrial and Manufacturing Gov & Defense Energy and Petrochemicals Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Furniture Food and Beverage Appliances Electronics Health, Pharma, Life Sciences Industry leaders like CH Robinson are using market segmentation and thought leadership to grow their business: Learn More: Kevin Hill FreightWaves Put That Coffee Down CarrierLists The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
Securing the First, Middle and Last Mile with Andrew Kelley Andrew Kelley and Joe Lynch discuss securing the first, middle and last mile. As supply chains evolve, the need for secure asset transfer increases for both consumers and business to business applications. About Andrew Kelley Andrew Kelley is the Chief Commercial Officer at BoxLock. Andrew is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in supply chain, logistics, SaaS, software, and technology-enabled services businesses. Prior to joining BoxLock, Andrew held leadership positions at Bell Creek Partners, Haulme, Omnitracs, and Dell. Andrew has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina State University. About BoxLock BoxLock is the industry leader in secure, unattended delivery technology. The company’s inventory, access, and security solutions integrate into existing systems to help businesses make their supply chain more efficient, accountable, and reliable in the first and final mile. BoxLock’s unique combination of barcode scanner and connectivity allows an unprecedented level of secure integrations without the need for complicated and unreliable mobile software or key fobs. Key Takeaways - Securing the First, Middle and Last Mile The Problem with Unsecured Shipments With the rise of e-commerce, supply chain logistics has evolved into more small package deliveries to both consumers and businesses. Many of the deliveries are to locations where there is nobody available to receive the package. This is true for both home and business deliveries. One option is to deliver the package to the porch or dock and hope that it does not get stolen or discovered by insects or rodents in the case of food deliveries. When a driver leaves a package unattended on a porch or dock, the proof of delivery can potentially be disputed. A second option is for the delivery company to keep the package and attempt to deliver when the receiver is available. Re-delivery results in inconvenience, delayed deliveries, and added costs. Clearly, after-hour and unattended location deliveries are the weakest links in the supply chain. There is a high risk of theft, loss, time delays, privacy concerns, and additional costs associated with these types of deliveries. Securing the First, Middle and Last Mile Both businesspeople and consumers want the convenience of a shipment direct to their home or business whether they are there or not– and those shipments must be safe and secure. Shippers and the logistics companies they work with also want the option of delivering to a location even when there is no one available to receive the shipment. Of course, shippers and 3PLs, do not like the lack of security of leaving a package unattended on a porch or dock – it puts them at risk. BoxLock has developed a unique padlock with a scanner that enables supply chain visibility and security at the point of asset transfer. BoxLock is easy for delivery drivers to recognize and use. Once the package barcode is scanned by the padlock scanner, the container opens, and the package can be put in the secure container and locked. The scan feature enables real-time visibility and proof of delivery notification. The smart padlock works with a broad range of hasped storage containers, sheds, gates, and doors, for maximum compatibility and security. Note: a hasp is the metal hinge mechanism that enables a container or door to be locked. Learn More: Andrew Kelley BoxLock BoxLock Video Year 2025 – The Future of the 3PL Industry with Andrew Kelley The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn,  Overcast
Upgrading to One Integrated Suite for all Logistics Operations with Naval Sabharwal Naval Sabharwal and Joe Lynch discuss why using one integrated suite for all logistics operations is the best approach for driving logistics and supply chain efficiency and effectiveness. Utilizing fragmented systems limits logistics companies from fully leveraging the data in their systems. Data equals dollars and the 3PLs that best harvest the data (dollars) in their systems will be the most profitable. About Naval Sabharwal Naval is Global Head of Supply Chain and Logistics at Ramco Systems, where he leads a team that is building a logistics software platform that meets the end to end needs of transportation and logistics providers. Prior to joining Ramco, Naval held leadership positions at a variety of companies including Safexpress, Reliance Logistics, Reliance Retail, Unipart Logistics and Hexaware Technologies. Naval has a Postgraduate in Material Management from the National Defense Academy. He served the Logistics stream of the Indian Air Force for 20 years before taking pre-mature retirement in September 2004 as a Wing Commander. About Ramco Ramco’s Logistics Software is a unified cloud-based software covering the end to end needs of third-party logistics, freight forwarders, and parcel/courier service providers who are seeking a high-performance logistics software. Ramco Logistics Software will not only help you manage your business with ease but also swiftly respond to evolving imperatives of business, regulatory changes, market conditions, etc. without having to go through the pains of integration again and again. Noteworthy Questions [7:45] Logistics companies don’t necessarily have the talent in-house to manage information systems. [20:10] Trying to integrate systems from different suppliers is where the problems begin. [28:30] Why do we need an integrated solution for all of our logistics operations? Key Takeaways - Integrated Suite for all Logistics Operations The Problem with the Fragmented Approach to Software Most transportation and logistics companies have purchased stand-alone, single-function software like TMS, WMS, CRM, HR, tracking, and fleet management to better manage their business. The problem with this hodge-podge approach to software is that each system is disconnected, and the data created is not easy to share between software systems. Some companies integrate their disparate software, which is time-consuming and costly – and with uncertain results. Fragmentation of software systems and data causes a lack of visibility and data that is too old to act on. Real-time data enables real-time decision making. As logistics companies push for additional efficiencies, business intelligence, and real-time insights, the fragmented systems can not deliver. The Advantages of One Integrated Suite for All Logistics Operations Customer (shippers) expectations are rising, they need a fully integrated suite for all logistics operations. The platform seamlessly connects every function from the CRM through freight claims. The integrated suite eliminates silos, enables continuous innovation, and provides real-time data and insights that can help improve service and lower costs. An integrated suite for all logistics operations (like Ramco’s solution) is a platform that is completely configurable by operations people – no IT people required. By utilizing a completely integrated platform, logistics companies can take advantage of artificial intelligence/machine learning, which will take their business to the next level Pick a Strategic Partner for Your Logistics Company Software Needs Most 3PLs do not have the internal expertise required to compete with the best 3PL software development teams. To stay competitive, 3PL should consider partnering with a 3PL software company that can build and support a comprehensive, end-to-end software suite that includes CRM, freight rating, billing, operations, WMS, cross-docking, profitability, claims, finance, and HR. When selecting a 3PL software partner, logistics companies should look for three things: 1. Design capabilities, 2. Flexibility and 3. Investment capabilities. Technology is advancing quickly and companies need to invest to stay ahead of the curve. 3PLs must look to the future and make lasting technological and digital partnerships that will ensure their competitive advantage. Learn More: Naval Sabharwal on LinkedIn Ramco Ramco Webinars The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
A Better Way to Reach Your Target Market with Tom Augenthaler Joe Lynch and Tom Augenthaler discuss what it takes to reach your target market more effectively and more efficiently. Tom is an influencer marketing expert and he shares how influencer marketing can be used to boost your company’s growth and form better relationships with your customers. About Tom Augenthaler Tom grew up in Long Island and studied finance at Gettysburg College. Finding himself unfulfilled by the world of finance, Tom went on to study American English Language at Harvard before entering the PR industry. Tom worked with HP for years which is where he discovered how to utilize influencer marketing during the economic crash of 2008. About 551 Media and The Influence Marketer The Influence Marketer is the place to go for any company looking to start or improve their use of influencer marketing. Tom offers full team training on the many different aspects of the process, one on one mentoring, or strategy calls. He consults digitally and in-person to help B2B businesses build a marketing strategy that is right for them. Reach Your Target Market Using Influencer Marketing  Individuals are more likely to be trusted over brands. Think of when your friend recommends a movie or T.V show to you; you are much more likely to watch than if it were recommended by an anonymous entity. Finding bloggers who already have an audience in the same demographic you are looking to target makes it easy to effectively convey your message and increases its relevancy. Utilizing influencer marketing effectively will enable your business and brand to grow, resulting in your own brand becoming an influencer in the B2B industry. Why Use Influencer Marketing in the B2B industry? The landscape of traditional marketing has evolved to trend more towards digital. While businesses do still have to run advertising campaigns to maintain a presence, influencer collaborations are often a cost-effective way to increase your audience, especially in the B2B industry. B2B is a harder market to corner in some respects because you often can’t give bloggers a physical product to review. Often, influencers in the B2B industry will be a more inexpensive choice to collaborate with as their audiences are smaller and more focused. Tom has also found it will usually be a quid pro quo situation. Digital Vs. Influencer Marketing Digital marketing includes things like articles, SEO optimization, and social media. This can be costly and hard to see an ROI on. There is no right or wrong answer. Track what works for you and see which offers the best return. The consumer and market changes quickly. In terms of B2B the sales process is a longer one than other industries. Influencer marketing is a way of keeping up with your target audience in a more immediate fashion than using a digital strategy to launch over a longer period of time. Noteworthy Questions [3:29] What are some of the problems people are experiencing in trying to reach their target market? [18:22] How does content creation and SEO compare to influencer marketing? [22:15] How can companies get started using influencer marketing? Key Takeaways - A Better Way to Reach Your Target Market Know your objectives - are you looking for more brand awareness and consideration or are you looking for more sales leads? Don’t work with too many influencers at once - be selective about who you work with and develop a relationship with them for a lasting partnership. Choose a strategic over transactional relationship; it will offer more benefits in the long run. Leverage your relationship with current collaborators to find new people to work with. Learn More Tom Augenthaler Linkedin The Influence Marketer Why Marketing is Your Best Sales Person with Jim Bierfeldt The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
Understanding Your Sales Personality with Ryan Schreiber and Ann Holm Joe Lynch is joined by Ann Holm and Ryan Schreiber to discuss sales personality type. When you understand your sales personality type it enables you to play to your strengths and account for your blind spots. Knowing your individual sales personality type leads to greater self-awareness, a starting point for self-improvement activities, and better sales results. About Ryan Schreiber Ryan is the Director of Engagement at CarrierDirect in Chicago. Ryan was born and raised in Tampa Florida. Ryan earned a degree in History from the University of South Florida and then a Law degree from Michigan State University.  Prior to joining CarrierDirect, Ryan worked at a variety of logistics companies and even started and exited a few tech-enabled freight brokerage start-ups. Ryan is a skilled technologist and strategist who has helped transform many leading transportation and logistics companies. In Ryan’s experience great technology is important but finding and keeping the right people is the key to success in the 3PL business. About Carrier Direct Since 2011 carriers, 3PLs, shippers, and logistics technology vendors have looked to CarrierDirect to deliver the efficiency, strategy, go-to-market plans, and technology that will elevate their business above their competition. CarrierDirect builds organizations and relationships, providing strategy and technology designed to maximize efficiency, reduce cost, and make your business stand out. CarrierDirect advises clients on the elements of their business most vital to success: strategy, organizational structure, compensation, technology, training, recruiting, workflows, processes, and more. CarrierDirect clients include Werner, J.B. Hunt, Covenant, CRST, and FedEx. Finding Your Sales Personality The process to discover your personality type is a simple one. Ann provides a link to an online assessment. The assessment is easy and fun and takes about 20 minutes to complete. After you receive your customized report, you schedule time with your coach (Ann). In your coaching session, you review and discuss your sales personality type report with Ann. Ann explains the nuances of the report. Utilizing this approach helps salespeople identify strengths and blind spots, which leads to greater self-awareness, improved capability and ultimately more sales. points. Finding your personality type can help you to apply what you learn to your role at work and what aspects you can leverage for the best results. Ryan’s Impression of the Process It has a two-fold value: 1) Taking the assessment allowed him to highlight aspects of his personality he was not aware of previously and 2) Having a professional come in and add depth to the things that originally didn’t mesh with him. Initially, Ryan found the assessment to be about 80% true and about 20% not quite accurate. During his consultation with Ann, Ryan was able to help clarify these traits and allowed Ryan to crystallize the interpretation in his own mind. Ryan's Sales Personality Ryan was assessed as an ENFP. The results are evaluated by which way you learn more, rather than a binary result. No one is purely one thing; we are all comprised of different personality traits and combinations. The definition is split into 4 different groups: Extroversion vs. Introversion, Sensing vs. Intuition, Values vs, Logic, and Routine vs. Spontaneity. Ryan tells us how this fits with him in various different ways, such as how he remembers things related to concepts rather than details. He also has always seen himself as more of an introvert but after consulting with Ann realized that he does form relationships easily and has a natural ability to connect with people. Contextualizing Personality with Sales Ryan and Ann discuss how he is an ‘ideas generator’, a typical aspect of ENFP personalities and how the assessment revealed his problems with handing off ideas. This identifies areas of strength and areas to be improved for Ryan in regard to teamwork. He is able to generate excitement within his team very easily but has issues finding that balance of sharing with his team. It is typically a trait of Ryan’s to have unrealistic expectations about what is possible. He has found he struggles with realistic timelines and needs to open up to others definition of realistic. The benefits of finding out your personality type is the ability to work on becoming a more well-rounded individual. Organization is a typical stumbling block for ENFP's like Ryan. Ryan feels like he is organized, but his approach is different than most people. When it comes to opening and closing sales, ENFPs are natural openers and Ryan agrees. He has much more trouble in closing sales as he gets bogged down in details. Ann recommended that Ryan partner with someone who is very good with details to enable Ryan to close more deals. Becoming aware of his blind spots will also enable Ryan to be more aware when he is dealing with a difficult area. Noteworthy Questions [3:56] Ryan, what are some of your impressions on going through the process of finding your sales personality? [17:12] What does the collaborative environment look like in your work? [23:44] Let’s talk about opening versus closing in the sales process. Key Takeaways Knowing your personality type allows you to set goals within a situational framework to improve your performance at work. It allows for the ability to open up with your team regarding strengths and weaknesses allowing for better cooperation. It provides the ability to see things from different perspectives, and why other people think differently will allow for more cohesive teams. Learn More Ryan Schreiber LinkedIn profile CarrierDirect Ann Holm LinkedIn profile Ann Holm Coaching The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn
Building a High Growth, Customer-Focused 3PL with Betsy Westhafer Joe Lynch and Betsy Westhafer discuss building a high growth, customer-focused 3PL. In Betsy's experience, the difference between a high growth company and a low growth company is customer focus. The companies that build their entire business around the customer and customer engagement become market leaders. Betsy is the CEO of The Congruity Group and has years of experience in helping other companies improve their customer focus. Today, she’ll outline the strategies your company needs to adopt for success today. About Betsy Westhafer Betsy is the founder and CEO of The Congruity Group. The Congruity Group works with CEOs and private equity firms to increase the value of their companies by accelerating recurring revenue, customer retention, and account expansion. Betsy is passionate about helping companies establish strategies to facilitate deeper connections with customers. Betsy attended Western Kentucky University where she studied Journalism, Public Relations, and Business Administration. About The Congruity Group Congruity means alignment, and The Congruity Group was formed to help organizations reach this alignment. They use strategic conversations that will give a greater insight into customer needs and facilitate a deeper relationship with client bases. The Congruity Group offers in-person and digital customer advisory boards tailored to your company to help you achieve your goals. The Have-Nots (Not Experiencing High Growth) The have-nots are not seeing growth, because they lack customer focus and alignment despite their belief that they know what their client base wants and needs. They only know their customers on a superficial level. The market changes and evolves quickly. What worked a few years ago may not be working for them now, but they have yet to see the need to update their strategies. This leads to unimaginative marketing strategies. Lack of communication with the day-to-day staff causes a disconnect between them and the senior management. This leads to ineffective sales teams because they are trying to sell something that customers don’t necessarily want or needs. The Haves (Experiencing High Growth) The haves (customer-focused 3PLs) understand their customers on a deeper level, so they can build breakthrough value propositions and superior products. They understand the need for deeper relationships with their customer base and use them to create new insights and innovations that fulfill their needs. The haves show alignment with their customers by demonstrating marketing, values, onboarding, and sales in sync with the customer. Noteworthy Questions - Building a High Growth, Customer-Focused 3PL [5:14] In your experience, what’s the difference between the companies that are winning and the companies that are not winning? [16:15] The haves understand their customers and align with them so talk about that. [19:37] Talk to us about a process that helps us get these deeper insights. Key Takeaways - Building a High Growth, Customer-Focused 3PL Senior management should commit to a process for understanding the customer. Recognize that it takes time and effort to develop a strategy for better understanding the customer. Consider a neutral third party to offer advice. It is often hard to see what needs to change when you have been making decisions in a bubble for so long. Ask questions of the customer and accept feedback. Take their feedback and use it to implement change. Maintain strong lines of communication with the customer. Keeping them updated builds trust and deepens the relationship. Leverage your relationships with existing customers to create a base that will advocate for you when trying to expand. Learn More About Building a High Growth, Customer-Focused 3PL Betsy Westhafer LinkedIn The Congruity Group ProphetAbility: The revealing Story of Why Companies Succeed, Fail or Bounce Back Transportation Marketing & Sales Association The New Reality of Logistics Sales and Marketing with Brian Everett The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
The Right Talent – Recruiting, Training, and Retaining with Ryan Schreiber Ryan Schreiber and Joe Lynch discuss what it takes to recruit the right talent in the transportation and logistics industry. While Ryan is very much a techie, he believes that people are the ultimate competitive advantage. In the interview, Ryan shares his perspective on recruiting, training and retaining the right talent. About Ryan Schreiber Ryan is the Director of Engagement at CarrierDirect in Chicago. Ryan was born and raised in Tampa Florida. Ryan earned a degree in History from the University of South Florida and then a Law degree from Michigan State University.  Prior to joining CarrierDirect, Ryan worked at a variety of logistics companies and even started and exited a few tech-enabled freight brokerage start-ups. Ryan is a skilled technologist and strategist who has helped transform many leading transportation and logistics companies. In Ryan’s experience great technology is important but finding and keeping the right people is the key to success in the 3PL business. About CarrierDirect Since 2011 carriers, 3PLs, shippers, and logistics technology vendors have looked to CarrierDirect to deliver the efficiency, strategy, go-to-market plans, and technology that will elevate their business above their competition. CarrierDirect builds organizations and relationships, providing strategy and technology designed to maximize efficiency, reduce cost and make your business stand out. CarrierDirect advises clients on the elements of their business most vital to success: strategy, organizational structure, compensation, technology, training, recruiting, workflows, processes, and more. CarrierDirect clients include Werner, J.B. Hunt, Covenant, CRST, and FedEx. The Right Talent The right talent is the talent that will succeed in your organization, not just look good on a resume. To recruit the right talent, recruiters must understand the organization, industry, job responsibilities, and company culture. Turnover is very high in the transportation and logistics industry, which indicates that the people that get recruited to the company are not the people who ultimately succeed at the company. High turnover is demoralizing, upsetting to customers, costly, and negatively impacts company culture. Recruiting the Right Talent Many companies in the logistics and transportation business are “winging it” when it comes to recruiting and it shows. This is particularly true with start-ups where the founders and early hires do most of the work. The informal recruiting process works well when the company is new, and the founders hire their contacts and friends, but the informal process breaks down as the company grows. Just as the company is scaling, they realize that their recruiting process isn’t working anymore. Ryan compares the recruiting process to the sales process and believes the right candidate can be hired by following a sales process: Lean generation: Target and attract the right talent. Make sure your recruiters really have their finger on the pulse of the organization and the industry. They should also do their homework so they know exactly the type of person they would like to interview and eventually hire. Qualifying: Standardize the interviewing process and develop interview guidelines so there is consistency. In order to develop the guidelines, you must understand what type of people succeed in the organization. Closing: Recruitment is the precursor to the experience a candidate will have with your organization. Provide the candidate the best experience possible so that when you find the right talent, you get them. Design a recruiting process much as you would design a customer’s experience. Consider each step in the process to ensure the candidate is treated properly. Communication throughout the process is crucial. Don’t oversell, keep your commitments and treat the candidate like you would treat your best customer. Training the Right Talent Ryan believes that many logistics companies do a poor job of training and development. The nature of the industry makes it difficult to pull employees away from day-to-day operations. While this may be true, the lack of training becomes evident in the business. Untrained and under-trained employees are not performing at their highest levels and they may never completely understand the job they were hired to do. Training is not just for new hires, everyone in the organization should be trained, coached and developed to ensure that everyone is getting better at their job. The right training will have a good return on investment, improve customer satisfaction, and deepen the ties to the employees who get trained. Companies should have the following training: 1. New hire training and development. 2. Ongoing training to reinforce learning while incorporating new software features, new processes, and lessons learned. 3. Developmental training for employees who are promoted into leadership positions and or lateral moves to expand their knowledge. People in leadership positions should be coaching their people on a regular basis. To ensure that the coaching is constructive and positive, leaders should be training in effective coaching techniques. Training should include supply chain topics, so employees learn about the whole supply chain, from end to end and not just their small piece of the process. Key Takeaways Even in the technology-obsessed logistics industry, people matter. The talent war is real. To succeed companies, need to: recruit, train, and retain the right talent. Invest in the right talent and build a culture that attracts the right people to your company. Learn More Ryan Schreiber LinkedIn CarrierDirect CarrierDirect Office Hours (please subscribe on Youtube) Understanding Your Sales Personality with Ryan Schreiber and Ann Holm (podcast interview coming soon) The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn  
The New Reality of Logistics Sales and Marketing with Brian Everett Brian Everett and Joe Lynch discuss the new reality of logistics sales and marketing. Since Brian is the CEO of TMSA he has a great perspective on what’s working in transportation and logistics sales. Brian shares his thoughtful insights, which are based on TMSA research and his direct involvement with TMSA members. About Brian Everett Brian is on a mission to help sales, marketing, and communications professionals in transportation and logistics to be more successful in their careers. Brian uses his 25 plus years of experience in marketing, sales, association management in transportation, logistics and supply chain to do accomplish his mission. He is committed to bringing together a community of successful marketing and sales professionals in freight transportation and logistics as the CEO of the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA). About the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association (TMSA) TMSA is the one and only association serving marketing, sales, and communications professionals in transportation and logistics. TMSA’s mission is to enable sales and marketing professionals to learn and give back to the transportation and logistics industry through education, connections, and resources, ultimately strengthening their individual development, their businesses, and the industry-at-large. Part of TMSA's mission is to help marketing and sales professionals be armed with knowledge on such issues as sales and marketing integration, blockchain technologies, lead generation, CRM and marketing automation platforms, and content marketing. Noteworthy Questions [10:23]  Please tell us the first new reality of marketing and selling logistics services? [19:53]  What’s the second new reality of logistics marketing and sales? [23:31]  What’s the third new reality of marketing and selling logistics services? Key Takeaways Logistics sales is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In the podcast, Brian shared the three (3) new realities of logistics sales and marketing. New Reality One: Leveraging technology is one of the keys to success in sales and marketing. The logistics industry leaders are making big investments in technologies like websites, digital marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, marketing automation, RFP, collaboration, and CRM software. New Reality Two: Customer experience (CX) can be described as the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over the course of a customer's interaction with an organization. CX has been used extensively and successfully in the B2C market but is only now being used by B2B marketers. Top logistics companies, especially the tech-centric players are using CX to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and win more business. To improve the customer experience, map the process noting every interaction with the customer, from the first marketing impression through the sales process, onboarding, training, and day-to-day servicing of the account. Capture and fix any gaps or issues in the process. New Reality Three: Sales and marketing integration is a new reality that grows in importance daily. Traditionally, sales and marketing departments had quite different cultures, personalities, and objectives. As the buying and selling process moves online, more and more companies are integrating the two functions. Ideally, the integration will remove silos, communication barriers, and gaps between marketing and sales. Marketing and sales integration ideally will lead to greater customer satisfaction and a more efficient and effective sales process. Learn More Brian Everett LinkedIn Transportation Marketing and Sales Association (TMSA) TMSA Conference Event Calendar The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
Building Strategic Partnerships with 3PLs and Carriers with Don Dovgin Don Dovgin and Joe Lynch discuss the advantages of building strategic partnerships with 3PLs and carriers. Shippers who develop strategic partnerships with 3PLs and carriers get better service and lower costs than shippers that switch from one carrier to another based on the lowest cost. About Don Dovgin Don is the Director of Engagements at Maine Pointe. Don was born and raised in the Chicago metropolitan area. Don started his career working as a mechanic at American Airlines. Don rapidly moved up the org chart at AA and eventually landed in the freight and cargo division where he learned first-hand about air freight, distribution, trucking, and supply chain management. Don earned both his undergrad in business and his masters degree at night school. Prior to joining Maine Pointe, Don held a series of positions with increasing responsibility at Accenture, Ryder, Transportation Management Group, and Roadnet/Omnitracs. About Maine Pointe Maine Pointe is an implementation focused consulting company that specializes in procurement, logistics, and operations. Their goal is to accelerate measurable improvements in EBITDA, cash and growth across the plan-buy-make-move-fulfill supply chain to deliver the greatest value to customers and stakeholders at the lowest cost to business. The Consequences of Not Building Strategic Partnerships with 3PLs and Carriers Service failures including shipments that are late, lost or damaged. No customization because neither the shipper nor the provider has invested in the relationship. Capacity and availability may become a problem in tight markets. 3PLs and carriers are always looking for business, but when capacity is tight, they will take care of strategic customers before servicing transactional customers. Cannot fully leverage technology and technology integration which leads to problems. If a shipper decides to use multiple 3PLs, rather than develop a strategic relationship with one, they may not be able to gain the full benefit of system integration. Shippers may find themselves using several different systems and processes. They may not be able to view and track all their shipments in one place. Additionally, KPIs and business intelligence must be managed internally because no one carrier or 3PL has all the data. The data harnessed and then harvested from transportation management systems is extremely valuable for insights and future carrier negotiations – trading these insights for a one-time lower price is short-sighted. Lack of account familiarity is a problem when a shipper uses a lot of different 3PLs and carriers. The 3PL/carrier never fully understands the shipper’s business requirements. The Process for Building Strategic Partnerships with 3PLs and Carriers Select the right partner for your transportation and logistics business. Involve all internal stakeholders in the selection process to ensure the carriers and 3PLs ultimately selected can provide a world-class solution. Establish trust and mutual respect with your 3PL and carriers. Don’t wear out the welcome mat. As a shipper, become a shipper of choice. Expedites and special requests are a necessary part of logistics, however, shippers who plan and communicate better make better partners. Be patient and expect ramp-up issues at launch. The shipper, 3PL, and carriers should develop a launch plan that includes onboarding, training, system integration along with a regularly scheduled launch meeting. Even with careful planning, there will be issues. Encourage the 3PL/carriers to share the problems and solutions. Constructive feedback should be readily given and received. Make sure the partnership is win-win. Spend the time required to build the relationship. For the shipper, learn about the problems that your carriers and 3PLs have. Ask what you can do to improve your interactions and touchpoints. Become a shipper of choice. For 3PLs and carriers, learn about your customer's industry and their biggest problems. Focus on continuous improvement and customer experience. The Benefits of Building Strategic Partnerships with 3PLs and Carriers Improved service performance and cost reductions as the shipper, 3PL, and carrier network analyze and optimize the logistics and transportation function. Customized solutions that make shipping faster, easier, and less expensive. When a shipper develops a strategic relationship with a provider, it enables the provider to invest in developing a customized solution for a shipper. For shippers who don’t develop strategic relationships with 3PLs and carriers, they will not a customized solution or the results that come with it. Additional capacity and availability even in tight markets. Shippers who have strategic relationships with 3PLs and carriers typically do a better job forecasting demand, which makes it easier for carriers to support your business. Fully leverage technology and technology integration which streamlines the shipping process and provides invaluable insights, KPIs and business intelligence. Those insights will lead to service improvement, reduced costs and enhanced forecasting. Account familiarity which builds relationships, improves communication, speeds problem resolution, and a better understanding of your business requirements. Key Takeaways For shippers, build strategic relationships with 3PLs and carriers to ensure that your company gets world-class performance from your 3PL and carriers. For carriers and 3PLs, develop your people, service offering and technology so your company can become the type of service provider that top shippers want to partner with. Learn More Maine Pointe Rail Optimization White Paper: The Future of Rail Series Don Dovgin LinkedIn The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn
[00:49] Please tell us about you and your company. I’m Robin Gregg, CEO of RoadSync. We are a payments company located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our goal is to make payments faster and simpler for the logistics industry. I grew up in West Virginia and went to Washington and Lee University. After, I got my MBA from Harvard Business School. My career started at Capital One and have worked with several fintech startups. I had been advising a company in Atlanta that was focused on helping warehouses invoice and accept payments from truck drivers. I saw the product and was struck by how paper-based the process used to be. There was a huge opportunity, so I rebranded the company and we’ve been growing ever since. [04:27] Tell us a little bit more about fintech (financial technology) in Atlanta. All the big payments processing giants are in Atlanta. 80% of payments processing is here. It’s a fantastic place to be in this business. The talent pool is excellent and there are lots of tax advantages. [07:45] While we were prepping for this interview, I said that I thought everyone was using some sort of technology or automation for payments, but you explained that is not the case. So, what’s so wrong about using a paper process? It’s a slower workflow because, for example, you might have to hand write things. It’s slow to process, and drivers can get stuck. There are more opportunities for errors. More opportunity and instances of employee theft/fraud. The extra work and disorganized process can cause cash flow problems Using paper can hurt your company’s perception because the industry is undergoing a technology makeover. Many carriers, 3PLs, and digital freight brokers have upgraded to faster, easier payments through technology. The technology products in the logistics industry have gotten a lot better over the last few years. The experience is much more user friendly, but that’s a relatively new innovation. [12:20] Why isn’t everybody just upgrading right now? There are so many challenges that companies in this industry are grappling with. Automating some of their business processes can’t always be the top priority because owners are focused on their main objective. [15:19] What is the process a warehouse or food distribution center needs to go through to get set up with RoadSync? We typically get them to see a short demo. This helps them internalize how they can use it and how it fits into their business process. We also configure the rate schedule based on how they charge for things, as well as setting up the desired payment methods. The system can be up and running in about thirty minutes. There is no crazy upfront charge; just a monthly fee and then a percentage of each payment. It’s easy to see a return on investment. We have clients who were previously losing 4-10% due to negligence. [19:59] I really like that you specialize in transportation and logistics. We think it’s important to customize our service offering towards logistics. This industry operates uniquely, and we think it’s important that the products which serve the industry understand that. Learn More: Robin Gregg LinkedIn profile: RoadSync: RoadSync on Twitter:
[00:41] Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and what you do. I’m Yatish Desai, managing director with KPMG. I’ve been with them for ten years. I’m also the US leader for their transportation, logistics, and distribution service offering. Our customers typically fall into one of four categories: industrial manufacturing companies, consumer and retail companies, pharmaceutical companies, and oil and gas/chemical companies. [01:56] What are the 4 pillars to future-proofing your supply chain? The 4 pillars to future-proofing your supply chain are visibility, managing the data, predictive analytics, and establishing and developing curated partner ecosystems. [02:54] Why don’t you get into visibility? It’s not about just looking from a functional perspective. We look at it end-to-end on the supply chain, not just “where are my trucks?” With a wide range of internal and external parties involved in the supply chain, a lot of managers have to constantly monitor every activity to ensure consistency. This calls for high levels of collaboration. It’s all about integrating cross-functional visibility across the enterprise. [05:04] What is the next pillar for future-proofing the supply chain? It’s managing the data. We live in a world where data is cash. Our clients struggle because they are collecting data but often not able to bring it all together to provide business opportunities. Collecting the data is one thing, but using it is another. It’s important to determine a few notable KPIs instead of getting caught up in analyzing as much data as possible. [09:58] The third pillar to future-proofing your supply chain is predictive analytics, so tell us more about that. This is becoming more and more important to a lot of clients. Traditionally, supply chains have been managed by people. In the future, a growing number of decisions will be automated. This will increase operational speed and free up supply chain professionals to focus on more complex decision making. This translates to a future where supply chains will be able to reduce waste, line shutdowns, etc. Control towers today are built around helping clients mine data, look at it, and recognize gaps. It’s a reactive system. Machine learning will provide you with real-time business insights to make better decisions proactively. [17:29] Let’s get into the fourth pillar. Successful businesses are moving away from traditional, asset-based supply chains to a managed services model. Capital-intensive capabilities, such as warehousing, are outsourced to partners. In the future, it won’t only be physical processes that are outsourced. As supply chain management depends more on cutting edge analytics, there will be a skill gap that is unable to be filled quickly enough. A curated partner ecosystem means you’ll have to tailor it to what fits your purpose; using just any partner will not work. You’ll build up a network of specialized partners who are within your supply chain and providing service to you. The specialized partners will be relied on to bring more innovation into the fold. [26:28] Tell us a little bit more about what you guys are doing at KPMG. We are helping clients in three different facets: clients that are hurting from their business being stagnant, clients that are growing and need help future-proofing, and clients who need transformational change to become a leader in their space. Our clients expect us to be thought-provoking for their business. They can’t afford to be stuck in the status quo. Learn More: Yatish Desai LinkedIn Profile: KPMG Advisory:
[00:49] Introduce you and your company. I’m Dan Gilland, and I lead business development for Schwan’s Home Service. We are based in Minnesota. I was practically born and raised on Schwan’s, so it’s fitting that I’m working here. Schwan’s has sold high quality, delicious frozen food direct-to-consumer since 1952. We deliver just about everywhere in the lower forty-eight states using our depots and trucks. The actual home deliveries are managed by our partner, UPS. [05:21] Tell us about Schwan’s model. Our typical model is delivering our frozen food direct to customers with our own private fleet of delivery trucks. We call our 3PL side Cygnus Frozen 3PL by Schwan’s Home Service. We wanted to establish that it is part of Schwan’s but differentiate it from our direct-to-consumer business. [07:37] What is frozen eCommerce fulfillment? Shipping online orders of frozen food direct to consumers’ homes. Most frozen food brands either don’t have the infrastructure or desire to fulfill their own orders. A lot of frozen foods being sold online today include meats, ice cream, smoothies, and frozen meals. eCommerce gives you the space to market your brand and tell your story accordingly. [12:01] What are the problems that companies who are trying to deliver frozen foods to consumers’ homes run into? Of all the product categories sold online, the degree of difficulty is probably the highest for shipping frozen food. Your mistakes are really clear and really frustrating to the customer. Food showing up in poor condition can damage the brand even though it may be the 3PL’s fault. [16:21] What’s the second big problem you see out there? Dealing with a 3PL that doesn’t specialize in frozen food and/or doesn’t specialize in direct-to-consumer or ecommerce. Frozen food needs to stay frozen throughout the whole process, so the 3PL must have experience in doing this. [19:22] What’s another problem you see in the marketplace? Slow shipping. Consumers expect one- to two-day shipping but getting that speed everywhere in the US can be a challenge. [20:51] Tell me a little bit about how Cygnus goes about frozen ecommerce fulfillment. The first thing that you must solve is getting within two-day shipping of all your customers. Another thing to do to reduce melting is to have a really clear packing process. [22:58] Explain the whole process from the time a company makes a frozen food item to when it gets to the consumer. You ship your inventory on pallets to our national distribution center in Minnesota. From there, Schwan’s would distribute your inventory to our ten fulfillment centers. Each of our ten centers get a replenishment every two weeks. We’ll integrate with your online order management platform so that we can see orders as your customers place them. UPS then comes by every afternoon and picks up all the orders shipping out that day. [26:51] This is a good opportunity for someone who is getting into the frozen ecommerce business to have a fulfillment partner who’s been doing it for seventy years. That’s why we thought that this segment makes too much sense for us not to engage in. We have the fulfillment network and that intersects with the growth of online grocery. [27:55] If someone wants to continue the conversation, how do they get ahold of you? You can go to our website to see more about how our process works through case studies. There’s a form that you can fill out to set up a free consultation. Learn More: Dan Gilland LinkedIn profile: Cygnus Frozen 3PL:
[01:10] So many people say coach, consultant, and trainer interchangeably. Talk about the differences between them and a little bit about your background in brain science. The value of working with a coach is not for that individual to be an advisor, but to help you get at the root of why you want to do something and how you will accomplish it. There’s lots of different roles people can play in your success. You can have consultants advise you about what to do. There are trainers that can train a particular set of behaviors. The difference is when you’re coaching, you’re trying to tap into your inner wisdom and create self-awareness. It’s in that self-awareness that you’re able to move forward. I worked for twenty-five years in brain science. It was a therapy role, but coaching was also required. [03:10] Can you talk briefly about Myers–Briggs? I use the Myers–Briggs personality test when I work with someone, along with the TypeCoach assessment. Our personalities are complex, but these tests are a good place to start understanding one’s personality. [04:50] What is the number one killer of sales? It’s procrastination. Procrastination shows up in a lot of different ways. Essentially, it all boils down to doing things that are either counterproductive or that distract you from the goals and tasks that you need to accomplish. [06:04] Is there usually an emotional component to that? There can be a fear of failure. “What if I put this all together and nobody is interested in purchasing it? What if it’s subject to a great deal of criticism from my coworkers or customers?” It can also be a fear of success. Sometimes you will be concerned about if you can complete the deal that you landed. There are also people who get a thrill from doing things at the last minute. [09:08] Let’s talk about what procrastination looks like in sales. Procrastination can be obstructive in many ways when trying to do lead gen. It’s a task that can be unpleasant to do because you have to put yourself out there, so you might feel a fear of rejection. You might experiment with too many ways of getting leads, and before you know it, you’ve tried all the ways but haven’t made a decision about what you will do. [13:17] What if we have important things that need to get done besides our top priority? Distraction is related to procrastination, which is finding things that will take our attention away from what we need to do. Another aspect is rationalization, which can be the strongest of all. When you’re looking at your tasks, it’s important to watch out for the rationalization component. [15:34] Let’s talk about strategies for getting around these horrible monsters. The first one is called “worst first.” This is the commitment that the very first thing you’re going to address is your priority. In the morning, your brain energy is at a very high level, so you can address something that is the worst. If you put it off until the end of the day, you may not have the energy to do it. Start to develop an awareness of if you are procrastinating and not addressing your top priority. [20:15] What’s another strategy we can use to kill these triplets? The next one is “mini milestones.” Some projects are huge, so setting a mini milestone can really be helpful. They help you focus on a small part of the big picture. [21:59] What’s another strategy for beating procrastination, distraction, and rationalization? I call it “the cone of silence.” This is the idea of creating a space where you have no other place to go. It’s about finding a way to eliminate as many distractions as possible. [24:27] What’s the next strategy? The next one is called “time boxing.” Time boxing is a pure output commitment. “I’m going to work for thirty minutes, and I’m going to do X, Y, and Z.” [26:30] Do you have any more strategies? One of them is just a reminder that it’s okay to do some daydreaming and things like that. Procrastination is not inherently bad all the time. People become more creative when they get up and take a walk, for instance. This is, again, where the self-awareness piece comes in. [28:50] What’s the last strategy? It’s the idea of partnering with somebody; having an accountability partner. Often that’s a role of the coach, but it could be someone you work with, a friend, or anyone that’s going to help you stay on task. If you want to have a little fun with it, you can throw in a vile disincentive to loosen the energy up. [33:15] Will you summarize this for us? The most important takeaway is to really pay attention. Develop self-awareness of what you’re doing and pay attention to those three brothers waiting to derail you. Learn More: Ann Holm's website:
[01:01] Tell us a little bit about you and your company. My company is Logistics Marketing Advisors. I started it in 2004 and we’re located in Connecticut. We help logistics businesses improve their marketing to drive revenue and profits. I’m born and raised in New York and got my master’s degree at Fordham University. In the late 80s and early 90s, I worked for a large advertising and public relations agency. One of our clients was a logistics company, and they hired me away to run their marketing. [03:59] Let’s talk a little bit about the problems we see in this space when it comes to sales. What’s the first problem you want to talk about? I think the way companies buy today is very different from how they bought twenty years ago, and I really don’t think the logistics industry has evolved with that. There’s so much information out there that wasn’t available before about how to solve certain problems and what providers can help. Buyers are probably 70% or more through the sales process before they talk to a salesperson. The solution is getting found by prospects you don’t know. If somebody does a Google search, perhaps you want them to be directed to a relevant article on your website. Marketing is a game of hide-and-seek in reverse, but some executives think about it the wrong way. [08:27] Tell us another problem that’s out there. Companies are asking salespeople to fill their own pipeline, as well as to work and close deals. If lead generation today is more about getting found, it requires more of a marketing skill set. A lot of logistics companies confuse what you have to do to get people to find you versus what you have to do to get people to buy from you. Once you get found, it’s up to the salesperson. When you ask a salesperson to generate their own leads in this day and age, that means being marketing savvy. To them, that’s foreign. They just know to pick up the phone and make calls. [14:40] Tell us about another problem you see out there. Logistics companies that I talk to want to move to lead generation before they nail the strategy. It’s really all about the strategy. A lot of logistics companies look and sound the same. That’s the kiss of death in an environment where decision makers are bombarded every day. A non-differentiated message just contributes to the noise level. Nailing your position, understanding what your niche is, and trying to speak directly to the people who align best with that niche is what you must do. Even the biggest brands in the world recognize that it’s better to have a big chunk of part of the market than to try to get the whole market. [20:42] Talk about another problem that you see out there. Getting budget support for marketing is always really hard. It’s viewed as an expense, not an investment. Companies that have marketing are their own worst enemy because they’re not measuring the ROI. For a boss wondering if he should spend more money on marketing or hire a salesperson, it’s easier for him to see the ROI on the salesperson. If you have the right CRM, you can do a pretty good analysis of what percentage of business is emanating from marketing. There’s always a sense that marketing investments will pay off immediately. [25:17] What’s another problem you see out there? I do research every couple of years where I go out and ask a whole bunch of buyers of logistics how they buy, where they go to get their information, and what frustrates them the most about the process. The number-one complaint is that people reach out to them and offer a solution with no understanding of their industry or company. “I don’t want to feel like I’m the twenty-third person on the call list” perfectly summarizes the attitude. You can make twenty phone calls in half an hour, but if you do the right research, you can probably make two or three that are quite valuable. [31:27] Give us a summary of this topic. Marketing is your best salesperson. That really says it all. It’s more about getting found; not the provider finding the shipper. They’ll find you, but you have to make it easy. [32:20] What are you doing at Logistics Marketing Advisors? Mid-market companies are our sweet spot. We come in and become their marketing department. We’re helping them with strategy and every aspect down to execution. We provide data that they can use to hold us accountable and see what kind of return they are getting over time. Learn More: Jim’s email address: Jim Bierfeldt LinkedIn profile: Logistics Marketing Advisors:
Automating Cross-Border Transportation with Matt Silver Matt Silver and Joe Lynch discuss automating cross-border transportation between the USA and Mexico. [00:50] Introduce yourself and your company. I’m Matt Silver, Founder and CEO of Forager. We’re based in Chicago, and our primary focus is on building technology to automate cross-border transportation. I grew up in a logistics family and have been around it my entire life. I learned more about the industry by working at Coyote when I was 19, a company which was founded by my parents. We moved our first load at Forager in December 2018. [03:13] Let’s talk a little bit about the biggest problems you saw in cross-border before we get into the solutions. It all comes down to service and pricing at the end of the day. Service is anything from “where’s my load? What’s going on with it?” to “I don’t understand what’s going on with these emails because they’re in Spanish” to “I don’t understand the customs process.” I hear a lot of complaints about the spending. Bringing transparency to pricing is important to people in this industry. [05:24] You say that even though some companies don’t spend the majority of their time on cross-border, they spend a big chunk of their time working on it. If they’re grabbing the freight in Laredo after a pickup in Mexico, then sure, that was really easy for them. Still, if they’re only controlling the US portion, they still have the problems of not knowing when it will cross into the country. They run into capacity problems. There’s seven times more freight going from south to north than north to south. Drivers don’t like waiting, and if they get stuck somewhere instead of going home, you’re putting them in a really bad spot. [11:06] Are we going to talk about Canada also? When you talk about cross-border, Mexico and Canada kind of get lumped together. The reality of it is that Canada is almost like an extension of the US. There are a few differences, but it’s easy to pick up a load in Toronto and deliver it the next day in Chicago. Mexico is definitely more challenging. [13:00] Tell us about your hypothesis when starting your business. The whole reason we started was to service cross-border freight. That’s what excites me. There are so many freight brokers who specialize in domestic shipments. We wanted to specialize in cross-border and be different. [18:36] Tell us how you guys go about automating cross-border transportation. We’ve built a command center that allows someone to understand where their freight is at all times on either side of the border. People are very important in our business. To me, automation means not having to spend an hour figuring out how to price a load. About 70% of our freight can move through our system without human interaction. Sometimes, people really want to talk to a human and we provide that. The average transportation management system wasn’t built to manage cross-border freight. [23:14] Transportation management systems keep getting better, but a whole bunch of stuff ends up in notes. Things in notes can never be part of the AI learning. We have a notes field for now, but our plan is to eliminate it within the next year. The most important thing in this entire industry is data. The more data you can generate, the more you can make your customers’ lives easier. There are some companies trying to integrate emails into the data as well, which is very interesting. [28:01] I like that you’re a freight guy first and a technology guy second. So often, I run into people who are just one or the other. You’ve grown up with both. That definitely weighed into why we were able to raise capital. What’s most important is bringing in the right talent. Our team brings unique perspectives. Just building a TMS is not interesting to me. Developing game-changing technology is what I want to do. [32:01] Tell us about what you guys are up to at Forager. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to move freight in and out of Mexico and Canada. In the next few weeks, we’re launching a portal for customers to log in, plug in an origin and destination, and get a rate back instantly. If customers want to talk to us, we’re happy to do that, but as more people from my generation are getting into this industry, they don’t want to have to talk to someone else all the time. They would rather log in and get a rate instantly. We are the experts in the technology, but we’re making it useful for everybody. [34:44] Any final thoughts? It’s been awesome talking to you. It’s really refreshing when I don’t have to explain logistics to who I’m talking with. Learn More About Automating Cross-Border Transportation: Matt Silver on LinkedIn Profile Forager  The Logistics of Logistics Podcast If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a positive review, subscribe, and share it with your friends and colleagues. The Logistics of Logistics Podcast: Google, Apple, Castbox, Spotify, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Podbean, Owltail, Libsyn, Overcast
[00:37] Please tell us a little about you and your company. I’m Ron Crabtree, CEO and Founder of MetaOps, Inc. We are located in Metro Detroit. We specialize in providing interim and contract to hire talent at the highest level. I grew up near Kalamazoo and ended up going to night school for over seventeen years. Eventually, I emerged with an undergrad in organizational development. Before starting MetaOps, I had a career of about twenty years in supply chain. [05:18] Talk about the most common supply chain problems you encounter with MetaOps. Everybody’s got common challenges at the enterprise level. There’s pressure to bring new products and services to market a lot faster. Also, there’s unrelenting pressure on price because of globalization. More and more people are grappling about what to do about the carbon footprint, too. There are two major problems that I see at a tactical level day-to-day. The first isn’t about making or moving stock, it’s about information that has to be handled. The second problem is that you can’t solve today’s problems using the methods as yesterday. Supply chain is getting more complex every single day, and many companies don’t even know where to start. The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is happening. [14:23] What is the solution to most of these supply chain problems? Before I get to that, let me provide a few more case study examples. One challenge I’m working on now is with fresh produce. There’s an amazing supply chain behind all of that. Forecasting exactly when the produce needs to be packed in the field is a massive problem. Not having packaging at the right place and the right time isn’t an option, and having mountains of packaging lying around on the field isn’t an option either. 90% of the root cause of failure is not the physical movement, it’s having everything in the right place at the right time. There are challenges in military hardware, medical care, etc. as well. [19:33] The three solutions. If it’s a severe enterprise challenge, you might need an internally generated top-to-bottom assessment. This would involve leveraging industry best practices. The second big thing companies are doing is re-engineering their business process. If you’ve got the money for it and don’t have the skills internally, there’s nothing wrong with this. The third one is infusing the knowledge and expertise at the exact point that things are broken. This is a solution that MetaOps can provide. [24:42] MetaOps’ model is to bring in the guy who has experience and has actually done this. You guys aren’t coming from an HR or recruiting background, you’re coming from an operator background. Only about 5% of the people we look at make it through our vetting process. These are people who can absolutely go do the job, not just talk about it. [26:23] Tell us about what’s going on at MetaOps. In 2011, after many years of requests, we crafted the MetaExperts brand to get away from offering traditional consulting and training. That’s been continuing to grow and is the vast majority of what we do. A shift we’ve seen in the last year is that we’re getting to work with large and small consulting firms. We get to be a resource in the background that they can tap into for very specific problems. Learn More: MetaOps: Ron Crabtree LinkedIn:
[00:43] Please introduce yourself and your company. I am based in Jacksonville, Florida and the owner of Digital Dispatch. We help companies with their web and marketing problems. About ten years ago, I started working with a 3PL in Jacksonville. When my boss found out I was blogging on the side, he asked me to start doing it for the company too. I eventually got my own radio show. A lot of people make that natural evolution from content writing into radio. [07:18] Tell us a little bit about inbound lead generation. They key differentiator of inbound is that you’re creating content with your audience in mind first. A lot of what you see on the internet and in this industry is very self-promotional. People aren’t searching for that. They’re searching for solutions to their problem. Inbound is trying to introduce yourself and establish trust with the customer so that you can be the solution when they’re ready to buy. [10:51] Contrast inbound with outbound. Outbound is like interrupting someone’s personal space. We have all gotten emails that we know have been sent out to thousands of people. It’s not personalized at all. There are ways to make a cold outreach feel more personal, but it takes more time and that’s where a lot of companies struggle. [15:34] Tell us about some new ways that we can use to get inbound leads. Video and podcasting, but they are also the most intimidating. Often, people hate seeing themselves on video or hearing their own voice. They let their fear paralyze them when it comes to sharing their expertise. As long as you’re sharing valuable content, you’re heading in the right direction. [18:43] You have to get past fears if you want to be found as an expert online. Especially people who are first starting out. You’re not going to be an expert right away. Your first show will probably suck. You’re never going to get better if you don’t do it again and again and again. Keep thinking about it as having a conversation, and the intimidation factor will lessen a little bit. [23:07] Tell us about what a podcast should focus on. I think having a good balance of different categories you’re going to cover is key to any content plan. There are different ways to approach your planning, and it doesn’t have to revolve around one specific type of content. However, I do think it needs to start with SEO. A lot of people get stuck on just one particular type and roll with it. It gets boring after a while, and it shows in your work if you lose that passion. [28:38] Even for business podcasts, the personality needs to come out. There needs to be some context and humanity. Competitors may read a press release, but no one else will go to a website just to read a press release. Video is great, but podcasting is the least intrusive. It doesn’t interrupt the audience, because they can go about their day with a podcast on in the background. [30:49] Please summarize this topic for us. At Digital Dispatch, we focus on everything from cost effective solutions to completely custom web and marketing services. I love focusing on logistics because there are variety of different companies at a variety of different levels. It starts with a conversation. If the content is there for your audience, people will consume it. Learn More: Blythe Brumleve LinkedIn profile: Digital Dispatch:
[01:17] What is the number one reason people buy? A study on a huge sample size discovered that 38% of the sale is attributable to the salesperson; their behavior, expertise, and ability to provide a solution. [02:09] Talk a little about buying behavior before going further. The customer controls the sale. They’re going to buy or not buy based on a few things. These include the perception of risk to themselves and their organization, and the perception of potential gain to themselves and their organization. [03:29] What is it about a salesperson that makes a buyer want to work with them? The first thing is that they want the salesperson to be personally accountable for the customer’s results. If the purchase order is signed and the salesperson is long gone, that doesn’t go over well. They want you to understand their business. The salesperson should understand the industry, such as logistics, but also the dynamics that are unique to each individual company. Thirdly, the customer wants the salesperson to be on their side. If there are other needs, the salesperson should be willing to go back to their management and make headway. The fourth thing that customers want in a salesperson is for them to bring new things to the organization. It’s about having the mindset of thinking what a good fit for the company could be even if you’re not the one selling it. They want a salesperson who is easily accessible. There should not be any hassle when the customer reaches out to who sold them a product or service. [12:57] What are some more traits that buyers want in a salesperson? They want you to solve their problems. There’s a certain amount of expertise that goes a long with this, such as knowing how all the pieces fit together internally and externally. Number seven is that they want you to be innovative. It’s about being knowledgeable and experienced enough to reach the outcome in a variety of different ways. [17:13] You just gave us seven reasons why buyers want to work with a salesperson. Let’s go through the seven roles, and you can give us a bullet point about each one. The agent: makes sure that the customer gets the result they expect when they buy the product. The CEO: understands the customer in particular and in totality. The advocate/expediter: takes action within the selling organization and the broader world to make sure all the things that need to happen do happen. The consultant: looks at the customer’s business and says, “if I brought something new to that, how would they benefit?” The traveler: makes sure that they are readily available to the customer. The troubleshooter: a resource that helps customers solve problems. The innovator: understands the customer at a deeper level and looks for new ways to help them reach their goals. [19:33] Please put a bow on this topic for us. I’ve always said that sales is leadership. What you’re trying to do is take a customer to a new and better place. Paying attention to these seven traits fit into the four Cs: demonstrating your character, showing that you’re competent, demonstrating that you care, and communicating in a frequent and relevant way.
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