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BlueGrace Logistics

Making Yourself Invaluable

My brother works for a company with over 13 billion in annual revenue (not freight or LTL related).  Last week he was interviewing for a big internal promotion.  His company only promotes from within and it was down to him versus one other manager.  His overall net impact and performance far outweighed that of the other manager; however, he was not selected for the promotion.

They explained to him that although he has been extremely successful at all of his positions held at the company, the other candidate had experience within one vital division of the company that he didn’t, one in which they are focusing on heavily.  What my brother asked to do though was interesting. Instead of simply staying in his comfort zone, continuing his existing position and waiting for the next opportunity for a promotion, he requested and was granted a lateral move to managing this part of the business, which he didn’t have any experience.  Frustrating as it might have been he understood that he needed this experience and will quickly grow from it.

This is a great example of why cross training is so important.  If you want to excel within your company, you should EMBRACE every opportunity to LEARN everything you can about every part of your organization.  The more people come to you to ask for answers and rely on you, the more invaluable you become.

Cross training falls almost exactly in line with Best in Class posted yesterday.  It’s something that a lot of the time you have to proactively ask to do or ask to learn.  When you get a question that you don’t know the answer to, ask yourself, am I passing along something that might be easy for me to learn? Is this something I’ve been asked before? Is this something that might be beneficial for me to understand? Could this come in handy in the future? Is this something that’s an important part of our company?  If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, take a minute to find out the answer, to learn how to do it, or to learn about that part of your company.  Also, when you have the opportunity, proactively talk to people who you work for and ask them questions about the company you don’t know the answers to.  I love it when people ask me forward thinking and strategic questions.  It shows that people care and want to learn.

Having a working knowledge of every piece of your operation and best practices is a key part of making yourself invaluable.  How valuable are you?

Magnus Edling, VP of Business Development

Customer Service with a Smile

I wanted to take some time to give my personal input on customer service in the freight business. In my 5 years in this industry, I have learned that no matter how great your prices are or how great your TMS works, it is service that will help you keep and grow your business.

I have worked in other service industries as a sales representative. It doesn’t matter what your title is, you always need to let your customers know that you are here to help them. They always need to feel like they are the most important person you will talk to that day. Providing this level of service keeps your customers happy and reduces attrition.  They will know that if something goes wrong with a shipment that you will solve their problem. 

I have seen other sales and customer service representatives get upset with a customer that is asking questions. Just put yourself in their shoes! Questions are just another way for people to learn about your company. It is another chance for you to show why you are different. Customers have a lot of choices for their transportation needs. If you cannot do the job, they will find someone else who will.  I say if you greet the customer with good cheer, ask plenty of questions, try to solve their problem and always provide service with a smile that you will have a customer for life.

– Juan Ortiz, Customer Service Representative

What do you do for a living?

What do you do for a living?

This is a pretty common question when being introduced to new people.  I work for a logistics company, so how should I answer?

Am I in shipping? No, not really.

Do I work for a computer company? That’s not entirely correct either.

Here is my typical answer: “I help manufacturers and distributors optimize their processes to efficiently distribute their products by using our technology.”  Sounds long-winded, right?

Oh, so you are in shipping?Well, it’s not that easy. 

The reason why I love my job and find it so interesting is because of its intricacies.  Good logistics companies do not just provide a website or help you select a trucking company; they become your business partner.  They work with you to determine where the current inefficiencies are in the shipping process. Then, they set goals to help you improve those processes and allow you to focus on your business.  A good logistics company will show you how to control your soft and hard costs and implement strategies to grow your bottom-line.  While technology is important to this process, it really takes a consultant to bring it all together. 

Is your distribution process optimized? Would costs actually go down if your distribution centers were located eslewhere?  Are your customers moving and thereby creating additional costs for you to service them? Are your customers ordering in too small a quantity to reduce shipping costs? Could you affect this by offering inducements to change their ordering patterns?  These are just a few of the questions that need to be addressed.

So I ask,  “What do you do for a living?”

– Vanessa Castillo, Account Executive
Follow me @Vanessa_BGmgnr

Meet Juan Ortiz

 

This week’s employee spotlight is on Juan Ortiz, a customer service representative here at BlueGrace’s corporate office.  The very first time meeting Juan, you would immediately be impressed with his passion for life and his caring for others.  To say that Juan is just “a customer service representative” is a complete understatement.  From the minute the BlueGrace customer calls in and speaks with Juan, they get to experience what we like to call “The BlueGrace Difference.”  Juan gets to know each one of the customers on a personal level whether it is teaching them something in Spanish (Did I forget to mention that he is also Bilingual!) or them teaching him something like how to speak with a Southern draw. Juan takes care of each customer as if they were a personal friend and goes above and beyond to put even the angriest customer at ease.  He might tell them a joke to make them laugh or even say something as simple as please and thank you. 
 


Juan has been with BlueGrace for just shy of 4 months.  He comes to BlueGrace with a smile on his face everyday and possesses a drive that is unsurpassable.  Prior to working for BlueGrace, Juan was a Warehouse Manager for Argix Direct for two years.  Juan joined BlueGrace with a working knowledge of the logistics industry.  Prior to his logistics experience, Juan was a police officer for 10 years.  When Juan is not striving to meet his many goals, he enjoys Latin dancing.  His Latin flair and his overwhelming exuberance are simply infectious here at BlueGrace.  BlueGrace is proud to have Juan as a team member!  If you would like to contact him, please email jortiz@mybluegrace.com or simply post a comment.

Forecast looks good while capacity issues remain

While I was looking through various news and updates in the industry, I found the new forecast for the transportation industry through 2021. The American Trucking Association produced the report and the outlook looks great for the transportation industry as a whole. Capacity however remains an issue that will escalate due to the new CSA 2010. One of the unintended consequences of the CSA 2010 is many drivers will not be able to comply with the new safety  regulations and many carriers will not be able to afford the qualified drivers.

The forecast shows projections for all modes of freight transportation. Railroads are expected to have a small drop in tonnage while Air Cargo tonnage is expected to increase. The trucking industry is expected to show steady growth over the next 11 years with tonnage moving from 68% to just under 71%. Last year trucks captured 81% of the freight revenue. While the recession has hit trucking very hard the last 2 years, this year is starting off very strong and the future looks bright. 

The ATA article, along with the link to the actual report can be found here: http://www.truckline.com/pages/article.aspx?id=718%2F%7b8E1C7279-ED27-4C03-B189-CEEEE26BBB12%7d

The information on the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 can be found at their website: http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov/

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

BlueGrace Logistics is the latest company to take advantage of the convenience offered by Apple iPhone applications

 

The introduction of the BlueGrace Mobile Freight Optimizer will allow customers to access rate quotes in real time as well as calculate freight rates and transit times for free.

Since its inception, BlueGrace has received over 400 download requests for the application by customers, sales representatives and shipping clerks, all of whom are delighted by the simplicity and ease of accessing shipping information with just a few keystrokes.

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, says he believes that simplicity is the future of freight transport.

 “The freight industry is traditionally complex, and we’ve removed the difficulty factor with a functional and efficient solution.”

To access the application for free, enter the keyword “freight” in the Apple iPhone App Store.

transportation app | iphone app

BlueGrace Logistics assists relief effort in Haiti

haiti relief | support for haiti

In partnership with Help Brings Hope for Haiti, Inc., BlueGrace is using its expertise in freight transport to organize a charitable truckload that will send clothing, food and medical equipment to the survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

“This type of action supports our mission statement to create an enduring and people-centered culture,” said Account Manager David Inzerillo. “It makes us an intricate part of the community.”

Help Brings Hope for Haiti