Browse Tag

successful company

Hit a Roadblock with the New Broker Bond? A New Path Might Be Just What You Need!

Last month Congress passed a new bill increasing the required surety bond for freight brokers from $10,000 to $75,000. The reasoning behind the bill is to cut down on fraud in the transportation and trucking industries. An increased surety bond would ward away non-compliant small brokers. Larger freight broker operations barely feel this increase and are, for the most part, supporters of this bill. Unfortunately, a large number of ethical and hardworking freight brokers are bearing the brunt of this new bill. Many freight brokers are in business for themselves and run their business from a small or home office.  An increase in a surety bond means an increased rate sent back to their customers and potentially losing that business.  Traditionally the transportation industry has been a great place for the entrepreneurial minded individual to grow and flourish. This new bill is affecting that ideal. This new bill is forcing many to close up shop…but there may be a solution.

Now is a great time for freight brokers to begin looking at partnerships with larger transportation management companies like BlueGrace Logistics. BlueGrace Logistics offers both Franchise and Freight Agent opportunities. These roles give the individual the same freedom and income potential as a Broker but with the support and protection of a larger organization. Brokers would also have a wider array of services to now offer customers. The values remain the same but instead you are now in business for yourself, not by yourself! Check out this video regarding BlueGrace Franchises. Join the conversation on LinkedIn regarding Freight Agent opportunities.  If you are an experienced Freight Broker, current Agent, or a Freight Sales professional we would like to speak to you today!

Partnering with BlueGrace Logistics:

  • Competitive  Splits (Agent)
  • Low-cost Franchise Fee
  • Competitive Royalties (Franchise)
  • Best- In-Class Technology
  • Customer Service Support
  • Full Service Suite
  • Billing Services
  • Enterprise Account Support
  • No territory or compensation restrictions

 

Continue to do what you love, be free of any bonds, and leverage up your capabilities!

SportsFest Teaches Lessons in Teamwork

Where’s one place you can catch employees and executives battling side-by-side in the sandy trenches of a beautiful Florida beach? Why America II Corporate SportsFest of course!

Once a year 150+ companies from across Tampa Bay compete for the esteemed title of SportsFest Champions… a position that we at BlueGrace® Logistics do not take lightly. This year brought our 3rd go-round at the event and our team of 41 players was pumped full of excitement and eager to compete! Never before have you seen such camaraderie covered in tanning oil; just bring your team spirit and game-face… no athletic skills necessary!

With five events to participate in, co-workers certainly get a chance to bond. Considering our staff has nearly doubled in size since last year’s fest, it was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of the new faces. Heather Anderson, our Culture Coordinator and Team Captain raves how beneficial the games are for team building,

A lot of our employees are die hard competitors, so it’s nice to have to depend on each other to beat the other teams.

Mudwars 2011 St. Petersburg, FL
BlueGrace team demonstrates what they're made of at Mudwars 2011.

Though BlueGrace employees make it look easy to function as team in the workplace, it does not happen automatically. Ideas for team building activities come from all employees and are supported by the leadership staff. BlueGrace schedules group activities including company softball and bowling league, Mudwars, and monthly themed office days such as barbeques, potlucks, corn hole tournaments, and #FreeBeerFriday (after 4pm). Each event allows employees to engage with one another to build stronger relationships and contribute more effectively in a team environment. In 2011 and 2012, BlueGrace Logistics was honored to be recognized as a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work finalist.

Effective teamwork can yield incredible results, in the sand or the workplace. Listed below are just some reasons to participate in team-building activities within your company:

  • Creates unity where everyone is focused on a common goal
  • Encourages employees take ownership in the company’s success
  • Keeps everyone on a level playing field promoting a leaner business model
  • Increases the ability to adapt by fostering flexibility
  • Boosts morale by encouraging achievement

Though we didn’t come home with a win from SportsFest, we consistently win at providing the best service to our customers thanks to our stellar employees and impeccable teamwork. Babe Ruth said it best,

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

To join our team of MVPs, contact our recruiting team via email or follow them on Twitter @BGCareers to learn more about career opportunities. Did you participate in SportsFest this year? Does your company conduct regular team building activities? Tell us about it!

 

-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: @BG_JennyD 

Logistics: What is it? BlueGrace Offers the Whole Package

What is logistics?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the industry. Add “third party” to “logistics” and you may as well be wearing a sign that says “barrage me with questions, please!” Confusion may be created because the meaning is so broadly applicable across a diverse range of trades. The scope of “logistics” could describe the operations of a thriving corporate enterprise or the play-by-play of a day in the life of a soccer mom. While both accurately depict the word, those are not exactly the everyday logistics we manage at BlueGrace® Logistics.

To say we handle the details of transporting your goods from Point A to Point B would not do justice to what truly goes on behind the scenes of your freight’s journey. The factors below offer a glimpse into what you experience by partnering with BlueGrace for your logistics.

  • Optimization. One way BlueGrace creates value is by helping customers optimize existing transportation and logistics functions. We take a deep dive into the inner-workings of your transportation management to identify inefficiencies. With these discoveries we engineer solutions for specific processes in your supply chain and aid in execution across all departments. We strive to create new opportunities which ultimately increase efficiency and your bottom line.
  • Preservation. With so much change and variability in the supply chain, optimization is a recurring process. We don’t abandon you once changes are in place, it is our job to take that extra step and ensure those improvements are maintained and your success continuous.
  • Reporting. When you work with a logistics provider, we know that the ultimate goal is to take care of your shipments from start to finish without having to chase anyone for updates along the way. This is why we provide complete visibility through BlueShip™, our transportation management system. Using information like real-time tracking, we allow you the freedom to dictate what, when, and how you view your shipments and reports. Our customized reports take the guessing out of your supply chain.
  • Understanding. This part of our “logistics” is one that we hold in the highest regard. BlueGrace is comprised of over 150 years of experience in logistics, freight and transportation management. Our expertise helps you make the best decisions for your company. We strive to gain a healthy understanding of your business goals and how you wish to attain them.

Logistics means different things to different people. All of the factors above encompass what it really means to BlueGrace. Logistics goes well beyond just shipping… it reaches into the heart of your business. If you would like to request a free freight quote or an audit on your logistics processes, contact our team today!

What does logistics mean to you? What are the most important factors in determining who handles your freight? We’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to join our team of professionals, contact BlueGrace Careers or visit our Careers page for more information about a career in logistics.

 

-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: BG_JennyD

Plague of the Millennials

I just finished reading “Millennials Incorporated” by Lisa Orrell, a book dedicated to the newest and most misunderstood generation: the Millennials (also known as Gen Y). As someone responsible for the recruiting, hiring, developing and managing of the most sought after generation of workers, this book was helpful to me in understanding that I am not alone – the issues I face daily are not unique to our business, industry, or positions. The Millennials Incorporated, by Lisa OrrellMillennial Professionals are the generation of people born after 1982, graduated after 2000, and are most recently invading your organizations as we speak. We, as employers, trainers and managers, can foster and develop this invading force of workers, or we can choose to ignore the problems we are facing and allow them to infect our livelihoods. “Millennials Incorporated” puts a ton of emphasis on companies investing time to understand this generation and how best to motivate and develop them as the future leaders of our organizations. The one problem I have with this book is that a number of its suggestions border on coddling and pandering the generation who is already commonly perceived as spoiled, entitled and whiny. Yes, it is the role of a successful leader to inspire the best out of people, but it’s important for you (Millennials) to understand – it’s still the BOOMERS and GEN X’s running the companies and making the decisions that will affect your future. You must also understand the climate and take ownership of your future.

Let’s first understand the background. This generation was raised to feel special. They were the first generation required to wear bike helmets! They were the first generation to have parental controls on their TV’s. The punishments they are dealt in school are so PC that I am not certain if a “stern talking to” is allowed anymore without parental consent and a guidance counselor present. They were raised with more rules and laws than any generation before. They were raised to feel special, protected, and valued. They grow up with social media and know that their voices ring around the world without constraint and they have unfettered access to all of the information that they want. They were raised to have a voice in their family dynamic and led to believe that they really can accomplish anything.

Millennials – you are perceived by the world as spoiled, entitled, lazy, cocky, disloyal, arrogant and deserving. It seems this generation grew up watching too many movies where all the 20-something employees sit in internet think tanks and sip espresso while sitting on bean bags and whining about their personal lives. It is up to you to confound these perceptions. You ask “WHY” a lot. “Why?” is a valuable question but can often be perceived as WHINING. Toe that line carefully. The flip side of this coin that Millennials are confident, achieving, they mature faster and have been raised with a strong sense of community. Which of these two do you think will be your company’s future leaders?

Some paradoxical truths of Millennials:

  • They expect to be treated with respect, yet they feel they are endowed and do not have to earn it.
  • They need to be active. If their task is to press a button all day, they’ll grow bored and seek other means of entertainment.
  • They’re fast thinkers! They grew up with the internet and the world at their finger tips. Everything is faster to this generation. The problem being that they expect their career path to evolve as fast as high speed data.
  • They’re “pack animals.” They are team-orientated and seek to include others. The downside is that they also seek to be included and feel entitled to be so without earning it. Millennials want a seat at the table and feel disenfranchised when they don’t have it.
  • They like “balance.” This really translates that they don’t want to work long hours. The best way to compromise here is for the Millennials to give 130% while at work and for the employer to help create an environment where they can leave work at the door.
  • They are expressive but are new to “consequences” for failing to filter their thoughts when necessary.
  • They want autonomy without having earned it, and are quick to blame lack of supervision for their failures. If you want it, OWN IT!
  • They are goal driven and need to be challenged quickly.
  • They are motivated by advancement and growth. But remember, everything is faster! They expect the promotions in 2 years that took other generations 20. Adapt with new milestones for growth.
  • Praise and praise often. Praise like you’re training a new puppy. But, Millennials, is this really what you want to be equated with? Don’t seek praise without earning it!
  • Millennials do not handle conflict and criticism well. They respond well to positive reinforcement (again with the puppy reference).
  • Abandon old methods of leading with harsh and abrupt communication, negativity, threats and fear. The only numbers this will increase is your turnover!

The most positive thing for all three generations to understand about the Millennials: we ALL want them to be our next leaders. Coach them as such. Reward them with responsibility. Set clear objectives and get to know them personally. Millennials, understand that you must also rise to the occasion. No company wants turnover but there comes a point when you’re resume has more jobs than years on it – you’re stock goes way down! Align our goals and objectives. The #1 thing Millennials look for is a leader that they can learn from!

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.” – Pearl S. Black

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales and Personnel Development
Twitter: @theBGExperience

Quality vs. Quantity… or Both?

A common comparison is quality and quantity. In this case, let’s compare low prices versus great service. It’s rare to find the two values together. Every day there are advertisements geared towards price sensitive consumers. One major example is, Walmart, “Save money, live better.” Then there is Sweetbay, focusing mainly on their “fresh” produce with billboards like, “Low prices taste better.” A focus on price point makes sense for such places due to the fact that people are going to buy food and other necessities; it’s inevitable. Why not get your Doritos for less? They taste the same no matter what store you get them from. A focus on experience is the marketing strategy at Publix, “Where shopping is a pleasure.” They do not focus on price as much… although there is plenty of room for savings (BOGOs). Each of these grocers are successful establishments.

I use this example because everyone purchases groceries, it doesn’t stop. People eat. They also need deodorant and laundry detergent. Similarly, businesses will always need to move their products. Will the decision to ship be solely based on price? Or, is it more important that the service received during the shipping process is more than satisfactory? Isn’t quality worth the extra cost? If trucks are Doritos, then service may not be as important to you. However, what if they run out of Doritos? At BlueGrace, we focus on strong customer service and tailoring our services to fit your company’s needs specifically. Price is certainly important and that’s why we offer very competitive rates.

OK, so is it quality over quantity, low prices over great service… or vice versa? You can have it all. The BlueGrace team will do what we can to assist your business and its shipping needs. The aim is to reach for the best prices AND provide the best service. Understanding our customers allows us to better meet their needs and help their business grow!

– Ariel Saiani, Sales Rep
Follow me @ArielSaiani_BG

Want to be someone?

History will typically show that successful companies continue to grow fast and remain special over time, eventually the success stories begin to be told on a daily basis. We’ve all heard these stories and they usually start with the discussion of the company then move into who made it big, who became someone, who helped make that company the success it is today. If you know much about Publix Supermarkets which resides just 50 miles away from us you will know thats it generated many millionaires and provided tremendous resources for it’s people to live great lives, recently it became a Fortune 100 company. The overwhelming majority of these mega success stories all begin with the individual starting as a bagger or a cashier and working their way up over the years, there are endless stories from other companies in virtually every market .

Many success stories include the employee remaining in that position for their career, they just wanted a great place to work and improve their lives but for others they wanted to do something different and they wanted be leaders. The common element in every case is that those individuals CARED THE MOST and WANTED IT THE MOST. It’s not typical that they just do “real good” at their job and wait to be pushed up the ladder, they bring ideas and desire and a tremendous work ethic, they also have the ability to be resilient to criticism and to be empathetic to all. In short, the believers and the doers end up with the great fortunes.

Bobby Harris, President and CEO
Follow me @BobbyBG_CEO