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Handle with Care

Handle with CareI have heard of many customers having problems with either damage to their goods or concealed damage within the packaging. We have to understand that in today’s industry, capacity is getting tighter and tighter and carriers are fitting as much freight into their trucks as they can. That being said, our customers have to understand that the products that we are shipping must be packaged sufficiently to avoid damages at all costs and be in compliance with applicable regulations. This can cost some big and others small but for certain, it can greatly reduce risks of damage.  

Notating on the Bill of Lading the phrase “handle with care” or putting the proper stickers/markings on the packaging will ensure that your freight is delivered in perfect condition. Spending the extra money on proper packaging can be well worth it in the end! Using interior packaging to protect fragile components and securing freight to pallets using plastic film and/or strapping can help ensure that your freight will get to its destination safely and without damage when subjected to the normal rigors of the environment. Nesting freight can help to increase the density of shipments, which may reduce costs if the rates are dependent upon the density of the package as tendered for shipment.  The old adage is still true in today’s freight world.

Spend now, save later!

– Dustin Snipes, Account Manager
Follow me @DSnipesNole_BG

.22 Caliber Mind in a .357 World

Surely the title grabbed your attention! I am sure you asked what can this blog be about. I decided to write this blog about being flat out better than the next guy. In any business you can’t simply be better than the competition, you have to know them and what they do and be innovative enough to do it better. Businesses are reluctant to change because what they are doing is comfortable and they don’t know that there is a better option that allows their businesses to run smoother. My company prides ourselves in staying out in front of the competition and not being just another 3PL. In the freight and logistics world, you can’t simply offer better rates than your competition and expect to stay afloat.  This is the age of technology, efficiency and innovation. We are the first 3PL in the industry to release a Mobile Freight Optimizer app for the iPhone. We are one of the first to roll out Dock to Doc, software that allows businesses to see their Proof of Deliveries and weight inspections for all carriers in one system. This is one of the many things we do that allows businesses to run more efficiently. It helps accounting see that the freight delivered for all carriers so they can bill their customers faster. If there was a problem with a re-weigh it allows them to see that inspection with a click of a button rather than calling and e-mailing carriers and waiting on a response.

Many businesses in many industries are still taking knifes to gun fights. Many franchises are still arming themselves with .22 caliber business plans instead of using .357 innovation. This is the business era dependent upon lightning fast internet, cell phones, text messages, webex demonstrations and yes, state of the art Transportation Management Systems (TMS). People are learning to do more with less. Web-based applications allow businesses to be fluid and mobile. Businesses are learning to become more process driven and less labor dependent. To be competitive, to be successful, the trick is no longer to outgun your competition but rather to use a more effective weapon

– Dustin Snipes, Account Manager
Follow me @DSnipesNole_BG

The Power of a Guarantee

  1. Something that assures a particular outcome or condition; Lack of interest is a guarantee of failure
  2. a. A promise or an assurance, especially one given in writin, that attests to the quality or durability of a product or service.
    b. A pledge that something will be performed in a specified manner.
  3. a. A guarantee by which one person assumes responsibility for paying another’s debts or fulfilling another’s responsibilities.
    b. A guarantee for the execution, completion or existence of something.

In the world of LTL (less than truckload) logistics everyone such as customers, account managers, carriers, and shippers alike can tell that capacity is getting tighter and tighter. I looked through my shipments for the time I have been with BlueGrace and majority have actually been picked up and delivered on time. For some customers transit time is not an issue just a long as their freight delivers and is in one piece. But what happens for our customers where their freight has to be on time or else? I have a conveyor belt company, and they were shipping a belt where the belt has to be delivered for their business to function and it didn’t get there on time. Since the belt did not get to the customer in the time allotted, the plant workers producing soda cans and bottles could not produce. The customer did not know the impact of not having an expedited shipment. This shipment was two days over the estimated transit time that being said for two days the twenty workers at the plant were getting paid to be there and not produce regularly. When you add the loss of productivity from your workforce and the loss of product for two days the loss starts going into thousands of dollars.

expedited services | guaranteed shipping | expedited shippingThere have been many cases like this where the shipper did not get the guaranteed option and relied on the standard transit time the carrier estimated and were let down. These transit times are an estimate and everyone at BlueGrace knows an estimate is just an estimate, not an exact science. Most of our carriers have expedited shipping options where shipments like the belt could have been guaranteed on time and problems like this would not have happened. When shipping in the current marketplace, it is much easier to pay some more upfront than having situations like the belt happen in the back end. This will also show customers and the carrier alike that this freight is important to you and your customer, and the extra care they will provide is better for all parties involved. The next time you are booking a shipment with us at BlueGrace just ask for the guaranteed shipment and see the real difference it will provide.

-Dustin Snipes, Account Manager
Follow me @DSnipesNole_BG

Best in Class

Pictured above is the winner of the Westminster Dog Show. The reason that I linked to this is I have been thinking of the way people are sometimes judged. I am sure this dog knows more tricks than just “sit”. He more than likely knows “follow”, “rollover,” “play dead” etc. But none of those tricks are why Sadie won Best in Class. Best in Class goes to the dog that most closely sets the standard for the breed and not the dog that does the best tricks.

I recently began my career at BlueGrace, and I want to be known as the guy who sets the standard for best in class not as the guy who can just do a few tricks. For example “sit” is pounding the phones looking for new freight business. But to be best in class, I need to understand and know about the rest of the company. There is customer service, invoicing, administration, collections (Eek), transportation management and many more things to learn. I need to be well rounded in this company if I want to be best in class.

I always think of what happens in another person’s shoes. I don’t know what Gail, Juan, Dave Scott, NickRandy etc deal with on a daily basis as of this moment, but would I like to? Of course! To be well rounded is good for my company and me. I believe everyone should share this ambition in this company and know everything about it. I studied religion, history, and politics at Florida State University (FSU). These are the things no one wants to talk about, but I wanted to know exactly what I was talking about if the conversations took place. With BlueGrace, my job and company, I want to be the same exact way!

– Dustin Snipes, Account Manager, Inside Sales
Follow me @DSnipesNole_BG

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