The Jukebox Never Lies, or if you are under fifty, Spotify gets a Supply Chain Playlist Vol 5

I love music. I can’t sing or dance, or even clap in time. The ability to make music is well beyond me. But I love it none the less.  I decided to build a playlist of music that in some way was reflective of the industry that I also love. Now I have spent the last twenty plus years moving freight across this country and when I tell you there are similarities between a song and the supply chain, you can believe it. I want to share this list with you, one hit at a time.

Don’t Call Us

By Sugarloaf

I have this love/hate relationship with satellite radio. I currently have it active in my car and it is a feature that I enjoy. Being able to switch through 80+ channels of era and genre-based music is fantastic. It is especially valuable during extended road trips through the rural areas of this great land. I happened to be flipping through my presets on XM and caught this week’s gem. Access to all that music is what I love. What I hate are the fundamental flaws of how XM presents and manages its product. Examples:

DJ’s/personalities on their stations. I pay for music. I do not want to hear people introducing songs, telling stories, or doing interviews. Just play the music.

Don’t tell me XM is commercial free, when the network is constantly offering promotional updates. Promotional updates are commercials. If I’m listening to alternative rock, do I really care that the Phillies and the Marlins are starting in three hours on XM 146? Just play the music.

This week’s song lyrically addresses an ongoing and age-old debate in our industry: What is the value of the cold call? No one likes cold calls. Not the caller. Not the callee. But the phone call remains the best way to begin a relationship. Most of the time, the first contact is going to be somewhat cold. As the song above says, “I got your name from a friend of a friend…” That line also offers another clue to how we build our personal network. Help others. Make friends. Work together. Calls need to be made. Networks need to be built. Solutions are offered, and then, maybe, we do business.

The Jukebox Never Lies, or if you are under fifty, Spotify gets a Supply Chain Playlist Vol 4

By Whit Welch

I love music. I can’t sing or dance, or even clap in time. The ability to make music is well beyond me. But I love it none the less.  I decided to build a playlist of music that in some way was reflective of the industry that I also love. Now I have spent the last twenty plus years moving freight across this country and when I tell you there are similarities between a song and the supply chain, you can believe it. I want to share this list with you, one hit at a time.

Semi Crazy

By Junior Brown

This song is a slam dunk for this playlist. Its by Junior Brown, an alt country legend currently operating out of Austin, Junior Brown has written some catchy, twangy tunes. He is a cross between Bob Willis and Dick Dale. The lyrics play upon the public perception of what driving a big rig is like, and the steel guitar really gives this number a Texas roadhouse sound. Give it a listen:

This tune has an old-time sound and the description of truck driving is certainly dated. However, there are still some truths in this work. I don’t know if you have to be “half nuts” to drive a truck now a days, but it does take a certain type of individual to prosper as a professional driver. It still offers some freedom and no two days are ever alike. I also think that the job does get in the blood and some folks really enjoy and excel in the role.

It seems like a simple proposition until you start to consider in all the additional factors. As an industry, we, and our customers, and the public, would all be better served if we worked to eliminate or lessen some of the factors that drivers face. Restructuring how drivers are paid, simplifying the hours of service rules, and providing additional home time would be a good place to start.

Positive Reflections: Read a Weekly Email to My Team

By JAMIN ALVIDREZ

Usually I share this just with the team, but screw that. No reason to hide positives 😊 Here is a peak at how we end every week. I will begin to share weekly.

Strong week. The below are positives that I appreciate from each of us this week (and yes I am sharing something I appreciated about me too haha)

By no means an exhaustive list or even scratches surface on all the rad stuff we did!

KIM DULLE-Really saw passion around the Gary Hammel items and appreciated that you shared. Motivating to see others be vulnerable in sharing ideas

PAT LAWHON-Went to Mexico…jk but really happy for ya actually not being sarcastic. When you were in this week you brought focus and kicked us off in the right direction.

WHIT WELCH-Crushed it in Atlanta and made a connection using GaryVee which validates so much of what we all talk about when coming to creating/social media/digital presence. Thank you!

INGRID BODELSON-You used a phrase that I will steal and love. You used this phrase describing who you are as a sales person: “I freaking care and I respect the sales process.” Love it. Feel like I really learned a lot about you and your goals this week and it was inspiring

JAMIN ALVIDREZ-I ramped up the writing, creating and developing an intentional plan to bring more value and engagement to LinkedIn and some other platforms. Closer to going all in and speaking my truth as opposed to a neat and tidy message.  

Grateful for each of my teammates. We pushed each other professionally and personally this week and will do the same next week. Be on the look out next Friday to see my next installment.

Now time to recharge the batteries, have a great weekend all!

Logistics Sales Topics: Is Cold Calling Dead?

By Jamin Alvidrez

No, it is not. But, it’s complicated…

The true answer, as with most things, is more nuanced than just a simple “yes” or “no.” The effectiveness of cold calling or outreach depends on your approach.

I do not believe that ANY form of cold calling (or you could say “outreach”) will ever die. Now, before you go all in on sending out FAX messages let me explain.

The key, whether it be cold calling over the phone, email or by carrier pigeon is to be: CREATIVE, CONSISTENT and OFFER VALUE.

CREATIVE:

Prospecting is a blend of “art and math.” To be effective requires you standout from the competition by being authentic. Be yourself. Show your personality. It employs further creativity as you need to constantly and specifically adjust the format and/or medium you utilize for each prospect. Humanize the process and you will find people will open up and allow you the opportunity to present your value proposition.

CONSISTENT:

This is more the “math” piece. There is something to be said for consistency or action. The perfect message or medium is not completely crafted at the desk. Rather, the way to hone the approach is consistent action. Consistently making calls, writing letters, trying new email approaches etc. Through this process you will give yourself a chance to find what works, find your “voice” and also just give yourself more opportunities. Do not shut down the second you are shut down-keep at it and make tweaks as you need and eventually you will succeed. Embrace the process.

OFFER VALUE:

All forms of prospecting are “dead” if you do not have something of value to offer your prospects. Just being a nice person or having a creative approach may make you friends, but it will not get you paid. A simple and concise value proposition is the great final ingredient to effective prospecting. Fight the urge to try and deliver ALL the value you can bring and pick 1 thing. Be simple and clear in how you can make someone’s life/job easier and you will get a shot at their business.

CONCLUSION:

To be successful in sales it benefits you to utilize all tools at your disposal. Why limit yourself to just the phone? Or just email? Deploy them all. Learn when, how and with whom to best engage each tool and your prospecting will both be more fun (yes “fun” is allowed in prospecting) and effective.

Pick up the phone, hand write a note, craft an email or open the window and release that carrier pigeon. Take action and have some fun-cold calling is alive and well!

Monday and Its Well-deserved Reputation

By Whit Welch

Mondays are not great. No one like them. Any day that can make Tuesday look good has some baggage. No matter what sort of weekend you had, none of us can escape the punch to the privates that is Monday. I know this is not original content, but as I have chosen this most unholy day to post upon, I thought I should address the obvious. Monday is the home of big problems. Issues from last week, last month, last year, and last life, all seem to cohabitate on the first day of the week. In honor of this mess of a day, I thought I would touch upon one of the big issues in transportation.

As we all work to get goods to market, we understand that sooner or later, the product is almost certainly going on a truck. Trucks require drivers, and when the supply chain lacks drivers, we have a capacity issue. While the current market has equalized, and capacity is not as tight as it was, drivers are still in high demand. It is not difficult to imagine a driver shortage blooming again later this year. Unemployment is low, and workers are in demand in many fields. Driving is not an attractive option to many people. It requires individuals that are willing to adapt to a certain lifestyle and be able to work in a changing, stressful, and dangerous environment.

A majority of freight will be moved via a full truckload solution. This segment of trucking is more regulated and asks for even more from the drivers. Over the road operators must live in the trucks, away from their families, for long periods of time. They are under pressure to adapt and perform while dealing with weather, traffic, construction, shippers, receivers, city, state, and federal regulations, bad directions, poor plans, road rage, disrupted sleep patterns, poor and inconsistent pay, dispatchers, etc. In my experience 99% of the OTR drivers handle these pressures with class, dignity and humor. They do tremendous work at a job that has been designed and supported in a poor manner.

The time has come for this industry to adjust and better support our drivers. This occupation needs to be salaried. The getting paid by the mile model is outdated and unfair. Too many variables that are out of the drivers control act as a drag on the pay they receive. Pay these people a fair wage. Bonus them for safe, on time service. Help the drivers build a more stable career and make driving a more attractive occupation. If we take better care of these professionals, they will continue to take care of our freight.

For more perspectives on logistics visit freightycats.com

The Jukebox Never Lies, or if You are Under Fifty, Spotify gets a Supply Chain Playlist

By Whit Welch

I love music. I can’t sing or dance, or even clap in time. The ability to make music is well beyond me. But I love it none the less.  I decided to build a playlist of music that in some way was reflective of the industry that I also love. Now I have spent the last twenty plus years moving freight across this country and when I tell you there are similarities between a song and the supply chain, you can believe it. I want to share this list with you, one hit at a time.

 One Particular Harbor

By Jimmy Buffet

It’s Thursday people, and that means that our hopes and dreams are set squarely on the coming weekend. This week’s song is all about finding the time, space, and place to get your chill on. This is one of my favorite Buffet tunes. It has all the elements of his best work: great melody, clever lyrics, quality message. This song is the title track from his album released in 1983. I grabbed a version off YouTube that is set to some couple’s trip to the Bahamas, so that adds an element of weirdness.

Here is a link to the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kItD0LX7sg4

This song contains one of my all-time favorite Jimmy Buffet lyrics, and that is why, in addition to being a kick ass song, it is included on this playlist Here is the line:

                      “I used to rule my world from a payphone.”

This inspiration came to me earlier this week while making check calls after hours. In transportation, despite what every freight tech company will tell you, it is still possible, preferred, and required to utilize the telephone. We no longer can find a payphone, but we all still depend on our cell phones to move freight. Billions of dollars have been funneled into freight tech, but our best technology is almost 150 years old.

I also want to add that making check call is a pleasure for me. The drivers I have worked with are patient, honest, and friendly. If you are a transportation professional and you have not spoken with the folks who move the goods and make the miles. You need to pick up the phone.

For more perspectives on life in logistics, go to freightycats.com

Amazon 1 Day Shipping…Your Move Brokerages/3PL’s

By Jamin Alvidrez

Wall Street took a swing at 3Pls and landed a punch off the news that Amazon was going to be offering 1 Day Prime shipping. The market clearly believes that the time has come where Amazon is going to be a full blown transportation provider to the detriment of traditional 3PLs.

The headlines are reading like this is new or based off the announcement, but this is something we have known for awhile. And, though Wall Street has spoken I believe this is a GREAT thing for our industry as a whole. And, yes even for certain 3rd Party Logistics Providers.

GREAT because I am all for anything that challenges the traditional pillars and foundations of our industry and pushes us all to be more creative. What a great time to get to re-imagine how logistics and 3PL services are carried out.

GREAT because I believe those who will be most impacted by this Amazon announcement are the larger and more traditional modeled brokerages. What a great time for the more streamlined and nimble, fresher brokerages.

Here are 3 main changes I expect to see in 2019 that we will all need to adapt to (to be fair these have all already been in motion, but will be accelerated on this type of news):

24/7 OPERATIONS:

Production, shipping and receiving are being pushed to fulfill in more real time. This will require more around the clock work from all involved including 3PL partners.

INCREASED ATTENTION TO SERVICE:

With added emphasis to speed to market service KPI’s such as on-time-delivery and on-time-pickup will be even more important. Those that provide the best and most consistent service will be rewarded.

SHORTER AVG. LENGTH OF TL HAUL:

Traditional networks and carrier routes will be adapted. We have seen this already in the marketplace, but this should really make those changes the new norm. It will require a true partnership between carrier and 3PLs to work together to work off higher volume and lower margins in some cases.

The overarching key is that 3PLs, and businesses in general, that accept these types of announcements as a challenge and push to creatively adapt will be rewarded. What a fun time for our industry!