Productivity

Best PracticesCommunityCustomer ServiceProductivityShippersThird-Party LogisticsTransportationUncategorized

By Michael McKinney, CTB   “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” --Peter Drucker, Founder of the Drucker Institute   Why would a shipper work with a small company like AM Transport? It’s a valid question; after all, we compete with multibillion dollar behemoths who have vast financial resources, dirt cheap pricing, the latest gadgetry, and seemingly endless hiring budgets. You might even think the behemoths hold all the advantages. But you’d be wrong. You see, when I have the opportunity to talk about the benefits AM Transport offers, I always come back to our great culture. Culture? Really? Sure, the hardline skeptics will tell you culture isn’t a benefit--that culture is too vague and intangible to be measured or defended. I argue otherwise because the effect culture has is real; I’ve experienced it.  In fact, I believe a company’s culture is perhaps the most telling indicator of the value they bring to the table.   “Who we are matters more than what we know or who we want to be.” --Brene Brown, Author of Daring Greatly--   The other day I had coffee with Connor, one of our long-time team members and posed this question, “What makes us different from our competition?” Connor paused, raised his eyebrows, and looked at me. I could tell he wondered if the question was a trick. I’m pretty sure he thought the answer was simple, so what the heck was I getting at? After a second, he said, “When a customer calls AM Transport, they know they’ll get someone on the phone who knows them.  They know when they call or email they’ll get a quick response. Customers know we care about their business and are committed to getting the job done.  That we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days/week. They know we have highly talented and trained people and low turnover. That we’re high energy and eager to serve because we have a great team and atmosphere.”   He went on but I think you get the point.  Connor was talking about culture!   “A hallmark of a healthy, creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.” --Ed Catmull, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios and President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios-- It all starts with culture! You see, the right culture breeds a team that cares about each other, their customers and their carriers.   So, let’s break this down a bit. How does the culture at AM Transport translate into real, tangible benefits for our customers? We’re a happy bunch! What’s happy got to do with it--come on, we’re talking about business? Quite a lot if you look at the research. Over at The Happy Manifesto, Elinor Schmitz-Jansen breaks it down. She claims that happy people are more creative, accurate and have better analytical skills. Furthermore, she highlights how happy people handle adversity with aplomb, take fewer sick days, and are better negotiators. Research indicates that happier people are more productive and provide better service! Finally, happy people stay!   If we look at the happiness factor a little more closely, you’ll see why culture is important. Everyone’s talking about creativity these days, but is creativity really a big deal? After all, we’re here to move freight, not write poems. Let me assure you, the importance of creative thinking cannot be overvalued. A culture promoting creativity promotes innovative ideas and quick decision making. Our team members have the autonomy and authority to make on-the-spot decisions for the customer!   We all know that in the transportation industry, adversity is the name of the game. Our team members aren’t afraid of adversity. They are great problem solvers. Sure, we enjoy those difficulty-free shipments that go off without a hitch, but we don’t shy away from challenges. In fact, we thrive on finding solutions!   We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We care about our customers and get to know them. But we also know and have great relationships with folks all along the supply chain--logistics managers, warehouse personnel, consignees, and over 10,000 carriers. Our ability to cultivate relationships translates into great customer service all the way around.   Let’s talk about retention for a minute. All the research shows that a good company culture means people stick around. Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly  says that human beings are hardwired for belonging. If you belong, you stay. People who stick around have more experience, more know-how, more relationships, more skills.   “Company Culture is the product of a company’s values, expectations and environment.” --Courtney Chapman, Product Manager, Rubicon Project--   Here’s the deal--culture matters. It matters a lot. If you’re not convinced--think about this for a minute. The big guys promote a culture of competitiveness among and between their employees who are always looking at the bottom line and concentrated on the top dollar--for themselves. They have to--it’s the nature of the beast when you’re looking out for number one. Instead of working together, employees compete--your freight is just a vehicle, if you will, for someone else’s drive to the top.   At AM Transport, we work together. Always. We truly believe that who we are makes everything we do better. ...
3PLBest PracticesCustomer ServiceGPSInnovationProductivityTechnologyUncategorized

Say Hello to the Future! How well do you know your broker? Is their website transparent and interactive? Can you pull it up on your mobile phone? What kind of Transportation Management System (TMS) do they use? They do have a TMS, right? Do they utilize a portal where you can access tracking, payments, experts, information? There’s no such thing as too much information. Your broker should be your one-stop shop for everything freight-related. If not, then you aren’t getting your money’s worth. In January, the folks over at FreightWaves deemed 2018 as “the beginning of the end for the voice broker”--claiming “Voice brokers are a dime a dozen, and their days are numbered. Over the next year, companies that lack technology are doomed.” When we say voice broker, we are referring to the traditional old-time freight-broker, the guy or gal who books loads from a spare room in their three-bedroom ranch, using the bare minimum--a phone, a load board, email, and a personal relationship with carriers and shippers. Here at AM Transport, we know those personal relationships are important. But we saw the writing on the wall a long time ago. That’s why we complemented our exceptional customer service with a heavy investment in the newest technologies. We’ve worked hard to integrate the best efficiency-boosting technologies in order to streamline and optimize our client’s experience. How do we do that? Cloud Technology We can find and facilitate capacity easier because we leverage cloud technology and consider our Carrier sales as important as our Customer sales. Price Discovery We utilize multiple sources of industry rate benchmarking data as well as our own data to predict the current market rate of a shipment. This allows us to offer competitive rates to both shippers and carriers. Payment Settlement We offer innovative solutions that enable carriers to submit their shipment paperwork quicker and easier to us in order to get paid faster. Online Portal We offer a robust online portal that allows a customer visibility into their supply chain including dashboard views, KPIs, and custom reporting. People Of course, no great company works without people. Here at AM Transport, we’re special because we just flat-out have the best people. Men and women who are empowered every single day to make ethical decisions. Folks who leave work in the evening as energized as when they arrived in the morning because they love their jobs. Our people gives us and you an unparalleled benefit! Take a minute and ask yourself--Is my logistics provider a voice broker? If the answer is yes, give us a call! The truth is whether you are a carrier or a shipper, times are changing, and here at AM Transport we believe change is a great catalyst. We know that the best relationships are built on excellent customer service rooted in a passion to implement new and exciting technologies that keep our customers competitive. Remember, you deserve more than a voice on a phone!...