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Franchise of the Month – January

SDCentral_2.16.15

BlueGrace San Diego Central, led by franchise owners Erik Bouvin and Eric Raterkus has been named Franchise of the Month for January 2015. San Diego Central joined the BlueGrace Franchise Network in 2011. The franchise recently hired a new Account Executive and will soon be hiring a position for freight desk services. San Diego Central continues to see growth and looks forward to expand their office in 2015.

“We are very stoked to kick off the New Year being Franchise of the Month, and really excited to keep the momentum rolling.” – Erik Bouvin and Eric Raterkus, BlueGrace San Diego Central

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Q&A: Bobby Harris, President and CEO BlueGrace Logistics

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman recently conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bobby Harris, President and CEO of non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics about various aspects of the freight transportation market. A transcript of the conversation is below.

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics

Logistics Management (LM): The driver shortage continues to be a big story. Many industry stakeholders have stated this is the worst it has been in years, or, perhaps, ever. How bad do you think it is?
Bobby Harris: Even though there have been driver shortages in the past, there have been ebbs and flows. But the problem with this one is that we have not seen a solution or a remedy or something that will work itself out in the short term. We believe that there is going to have to be something significant that takes place to address that issue; otherwise, it is going to get progressively worse. It is not just a little problem. It is a big problem, and it cannot be overemphasized at this point, as it is extremely viable to supply chains.

LM: What are some possible options or solutions to improve the situation? Many carriers are taking steps to increase driver pay in a big way, especially on the truckload side. Is that alone enough to fill seats?
Harris: While it is nice to see increased driver pay and incentive-based initiatives, the problem is those things take drivers from other companies and they move from one carrier to another. That does not increase the driver pool. If you walk into a high school today and ask the senior class is anyone wants to drive a truck after graduation, you likely will not find one hand raised. With an average age of 56, the driver pool is decreasing, and there are telltale signs that with the younger generation entering the workforce, there is no, or limited, interest in a blue-collar job, much less driving. At that point, we turn to the prospect of immigration, which is very hotly contested politically, but….that is going to have to be a really big part of immigration reform, wherever it is going, that needs to be considered, because without that aspect I don’t know where [carriers] are going to get drivers.

LM: What about other possible solutions?
Harris: Technology will help to increase efficiency by necessity and will result in less waste. And there has to be a big market correction in driver wages. Getting drivers to come in is one thing, but it has to be something very seismic for people to say “now I may do that. I am going to quit my other blue collar job and get a CDL.” Then you could then see kids coming out of high school in a couple of years making good money driving and that could influence younger people looking for a job. Something needs to be done to make the profession more attractive or “glamorous” because it is a huge problem right now.

LM: Have you ever seen the driver shortage situation as bad as it currently is at the moment?
Harris: Yes, this is definitely the worst I have seen. I started my career as a dockworker when I was 18 and can remember that if you had a CDL and wanted a job with a good carrier, you had to know somebody. If you got an interview, you were excited, as getting that job was a big deal. And when you got that job, it came with a lot of conditions like no facial hair, wearing a uniform, and now the standards have been considerably lowered to let people in.

Continue reading this article on Supply Chain 24/7

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Should You Analyze Your Freight Spend?

By: Dustin Snipes, Senior Sales Manager

Should You Analyze Your Freight Spend BlueGrace Logistics

It’s 2015. It’s a new year. Rate increases have just been applied and sent down the pipe, while fuel prices are decreasing. Have you gone to your shipping coordinator, office manager, transportation manager, logistics coordinator or whatever position you call the person that handles your less than truckload and said “When was the last time we analyzed our freight spend?” Working with sales, our reps hear a lot of “We have great rates,” “We are going to stick with our current process.” “We have czar lite this, FAK that, % discount x off year Y.” This is all just a lot of fluff for someone to not take the time to sit down and analyze what they are doing now and what they can do better. We all get in the whirlwind of the day in our processes and sometimes taking the time to reflect on what we can do better can just slip by. In this day and age when cost savings in transportation can be directly reinvested into other business needs, like hiring and infrastructure, business owners must take the time to do a true cost analysis, which will have one of two outcomes:

A.) Your transportation team is doing great and cost savings cannot be achieved at this time

or

B.) There is room for improvement by blanket pricing or customer specific pricing for high volume shippers.

Don’t let the norm be the norm in 2015. Reach out to a BlueGrace account representative today.

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#BGEats // Restaurant Reviews

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Ruth's Chris Steak House

JENNIFER LOUIS // ACCOUNT MANAGER
BLUEGRACE LOGISTICS (HQ SATELLITE OFFICE – CHICAGO)
Restaurant Name // Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Location // 431 N Dearborn St, Chicago IL 60654
Favorite drink // Broad Street Hurricane
Favorite entrée // Filet with Fresh Asparagus
STARS (out of 5) // 5 stars all the way!!

“You may end up eating in silence because the food is so good!  The steak is like butter and is served on a plate that is 500 degrees; ensuring your steak never gets cold. The Sides are big enough to split which is a good thing because they are so delicious you want to sample a few.” – J. Louis

 

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Corner TableDEAN MCNEELY // FRANCHISE OWNER
BLUEGRACE HOUSTON CENTRAL
Restaurant Name // Corner Table
Location // 2736 Virginia Street Houston, Texas 77098
Favorite drink // All the sustainable and organic infused Vodka options. Right up Randy Collack’s wheel house! Favorite entrée // Filet with Fresh Asparagus
STARS (out of 5) // 5

“A place I like to take BG VP’s when they come to town and a frequently spot
I post pictures on Twitter.” – D. McNeely

 

 

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Carne ChopHouse

REESE WEATHER // ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
BLUEGRACE HEADQUARTERS // TAMPA, FLORIDA
Restaurant Name // Carne Chop House
Location // Ybor City // 1536 East 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 Favorite drink // Crown apple and ginger ale
Favorite entrée // Trout Almondine
STARS (out of 5) // 5

“I love the Jason’s Split Pea and Smoked Ham Hock soup.” – R. Weathers

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BlueGrace promotes Belcher to CIO

BlueGrace Logistics CIO, Justin Belcher

RIVERVIEW — BlueGrace Logistics has promoted Justin Belcher to chief information officer, putting him in charge of all information technology aspects at the Riverview-based freight and logistics company.

Belcher joined BlueGrace in 2009, leading many of the company’s IT initiatives through its 56 locations. In his new role, Belcher will continue that work, according to a release, but will now focus on details of the company’s vision for technology, business development and supporting systems.

Click here to continue reading this article on Business Observer.

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Welcome BlueGrace Franchise Owners!

January 2015

BlueGrace South Mississippi

BlueGrace South Mississippi, Phil Harding

BlueGrace Dallas East

BlueGrace Dallas East, Erick Nyatenya

BlueGrace San Juan Capistrano

BlueGrace San Juan Capistrano, Steve Cohon, Gina Schwartz and Doug Schwartz

 

November 2014

BlueGrace Indy North  Brian Stutzman

BlueGrace Indy North, Brian Stutzman

“The opportunity to partner with a business such as BlueGrace Logistics has been nothing but wonderful.  I am excited for what the future will hold and having the ability to learn from the best in the business.  During my first year I hope to begin building a positive environment for my office location. One that is fun, hardworking, and passionate about helping businesses with their logistic needs. I look forward to continually meeting everyone within the BlueGrace Logistics network and hope everyone has a great 2015!” – Brian Stutzman

 

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Franchise of the Month – Q4 2014

 

BlueGrace would like to recognize the Q4 2014 Franchisees of the Month. Below are the 3 top performing franchisees of the quarter.

BlueGrace Williamsburg Tim & Becky Salavejus

BlueGrace Williamsburg
Tim & Becky Salavejus

“We are so happy about where our success has led us this year. We could not be more excited about closing out the year and being honored with the Franchise of the Month award” – Tim and Becky Salavejus

BlueGrace Fair Oaks Sharon McWilliams

BlueGrace Fair Oaks Sharon McWilliams

“Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re taking the right steps toward success. I second guess myself all of the time, but it gives me some peace of mind that the corporate office feels positively about the decisions I’ve made. I just hope my franchise’s performance in the next few months can live up to the honor.”  – Sharon McWilliams

 

BlueGrace Jax Jeff Lavallee

BlueGrace Jax
Jeff Lavallee

“I contribute our success to expounding on the culture by mimicking BlueGrace Corporate” – Jeff Lavallee

 

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SMALL TALK: What’s Going on at BG?!

Here are some tid-bits of information from BG Team Members!

RAGAN GREEN  Carrier & Enterprise Solutions Tampa, Florida

RAGAN GREEN
Carrier & Enterprise Solutions Tampa, FL

 

“The carrier and pricing  teams are now participating in the development of resourceful material for our prospects and customers. I’m very excited to be a part of our team’s collective voice.” – Ragan Green

 

 

 

WHITNEY MCKAY Producer, Culture & Community Tampa, Florida

WHITNEY MCKAY    Producer, Culture & Community Tampa, FL

 

 

“Right now, I’m really passionate about the company engagement initiatives like Leader Floor Time and the Employee Desk Swap. We have had such a tremendous amount of positive feedback.” – Whitney McKay

 

AARON MCCLAIN Account Executive Tampa, Florida

AARON MCCLAIN        Account Executive Tampa, FL

 

 

“I like our growth and what’s going on with it. There are people being hired every day. Our sales team is seeing more and more resources from management and it’s exciting.” – Aaron McClain

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The BG Hashtag Challenge

REVAMPING THE SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT IN 2015 – The PowerTweeter Game Just Got Real.

BlueGrace Logistics

43% of businesses permit all of their employees to access social media sites at work, according to a recent survey conducted by Proskauer.  It’s pretty crazy to think that the majority of businesses still believe that employees should be banned from interacting with the world while on the clock-something that all of us here at BlueGrace have so much freedom with and often take for granted.

Since BlueGrace has an open social media policy, it should be used by every employee, every day. We’re passionate about being social and want all of our employees to feel the same way. It’s important for them to see just how much impact 140 characters can make in a day.

We want to hear what you have to say, we want you to be involved and to be social!

So here’s a challenge for you! We challenge you to use our #hashtags and interact with us. Every day. Make it fun, make it interesting, make it YOU.

So, BlueGrace… Do YOU accept this challenge? 

HASH IT OUT! #HashtagChallenge

“Since marketing started the Hashtag cloud, we’ve seen an increase in engagement and it aids in the adoption of social media in the workplace. If you don’t know where to start creating content, start with the HashTag Challenge. It will absolutely revitalize your social efforts” -Natalie Rockefeller, Director of Marketing

 

POWERTWEETERS

Check out some of our social media heroes!

Michelle McCormick @BG_Michelle

Michelle McCormick – @BG_Michelle

Amanda Beauchaine @AmandaBeau_BG

Amanda Beauchaine – @AmandaBeau_BG

Courtney Smith @Courtney_BG

Courtney Smith – @Courtney_BG

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Spotlights

Meet some of BG’s finest each month in “Spotlights.” Get to know the people who drive success through the various departments that make “BlueGrace” so awesome.

NICKY TORRES // CARRIER SALES // CHICAGO

Nicky Torres, Carrier Sales for BlueGrace Logistics in Chicago

Nicky Torres
Carrier Sales, Chicago

WITH BG SINCE: 2014

WHAT HE DOES:

Develop relationships with Carriers

Book trucks for Chicago Reps and Enterprise Clients

Voice of BG Chicago’s Twitter feed

Leads BG Chicago Culture

BACKGROUND: Futures & Options Trader

FAVORITE HOBBY: Watching sports with his daughter 

“Our office strives to be the best and we work together like no other team around.”

 

 

 

Robert Leicht, Developer/IT for BlueGrace Logistics in Tampa

Robert Leicht
Developer, IT, Tampa

ROBERT LEICHT // DEVELOPER // IT // TAMPA

WITH BG SINCE: 2014

WHAT HE DOES:

Create new innovating areas within our BlueShip application

Create automated services that run daily to make our day to day processes easier

Monitor and support multiple applications across our BlueGrace network

Make Magic

BACKGROUND:
BS, Computer Science
Worked on Microsoft Projects in Seattle, Washington

FAVORITE HOBBY: Brewing Beer 

“I love the fun and outgoing workplace that BlueGrace gives to their employees.  BooGrace was amazing!“

 

 

Cristen Vaughan EDR for BlueGrace Logistics in Tampa

Cristen Vaughan EDR, Tampa

CRISTEN ELENA VAUGHAN // EDR // TAMPA

WITH BG SINCE: 2014

WHAT SHE DOES:

Prospect and identify large, enterprise opportunities

Build client relationships with enterprise customers

Develop awareness and drive new business for our LTL Management Programs

BACKGROUND:
BS,Communications
Volunteer Coordinator & Marketing Assistant at Metropolitan Ministries

FAVORITE HOBBY: Boating

“Our office understands that work and play can, and should, co-exist. We have to make the most of our day by having a great time while we’re working and BlueGrace encourages us to have fun!“

 

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