After serving ten years in the United States Army under the Military Occupational Specialty 92Y, or the official military title, Unit Supply Specialist, I figured that a company named BlueGrace Logistics would be the perfect fit for someone like me. After all, the army has prided itself on grooming all of their Supply Specialists to be “Seasoned Logisticians.” From the onset of my career here at BlueGrace Logistics I realized that the difference between logistics in the army world and logistics in the civilian world were like night and day.
In the army system of logistics there was a program called the Unit Level Logistics System (ULLS), which was supposed to make the job of a Supply Specialist as simple as a few pushes of the ‘Return’ key (yes it was DOS based so there was no mouse clicking.) During my everyday routine of ordering pencils and toilet paper, I found that logistics was extremely boring and probably not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, especially if it involved doing any more logistics in Iraq. With the possibility of being shipped over to the bowels of the earth at any possible moment, I decided to leave the United States Army and try my hand at making it in the world without the shelter provided to me for the last ten years by Uncle Sam.
Life on the outside was way tougher than I had anticipated and after becoming a civilian consultant for the army, I found myself caught up in the same web of monotony that I had tried so hard to get away from by leaving the army. It was time for a career change but since the job market was so tight at the time I decided to make a career change; I applied for a job at a logistics company against my will. Fortunately, the company was BlueGrace Logistics and I was immediately able to see that the only thing Army Logistics and BlueGrace Logistics had in common was the word ‘Logistics.’
From the very first interview to the day I started working, it was made clear to me that the mission of BlueGrace was more than just getting pencils and toilet paper from one place to another. They were responsible for moving the products that keep our economy alive. I had no idea that there were actual options in logistics like, expedited, guaranteed, and a world of accessorial options that I still have not learned what they mean yet. BlueGrace is about making the movement of products easier for their clients and this is a side of logistics that I was never exposed to in the army.
The BlueGrace way of logistics was a refreshing dose of technology compared to the DOS based ULLS system the army attempted to make me believe was the best approach to logistics available. I thought that it was just a ploy to get customers to ship with BlueGrace when I heard that they actually had an iPhone app that could quote rates for their customers, until I saw it in action for myself. It was as easy as entering the pickup and drop off information, and it even had a huge menu for accessorial options to give the most accurate price possible. The web based Transportation Management System (TMS) is cool to me to, but there is just something about being able to pull quotes on an iPhone that has me speechless. Even though the army has just recently introduced their Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) system, which is also web based, it pales in comparison to the BlueGrace TMS because of the complexity of it all. It is a very confusing system to learn unlike the TMS, which was so simple that I picked up how to track, book, and manage shipments within 48 hours of first being introduced to it. I felt like a freight tracking professional within my first week at BlueGrace.
My transition from the army to the civilian world has been improved by bounds and leaps as I learn the ways of BlueGrace Logistics. It has been quite an exciting and rewarding experience for me. The sheer amazement of the technological advancements in assisting customers with shipping their products from one side of the world to the other has been nothing short of spectacular. BlueGrace has shown me the exciting side of the logistics world, helping to restore my faith in having a fun and satisfying career in the logistics industry. As an executive assistant in charge of the “Blue Star Tracker” I see that many customers share my views about how helpful BlueGrace Logistics really is, as we continue to grow as a giant in the 3PL industry.
– Mike Eligon, Executive Assistant