• Customer ServWho? Making a Difference One Shot at a Time

    by Sharmi Duncan | Feb 10, 2016
    Too many companies out there tout themselves as being “customer service oriented,” but in reality their policies and practices are anything but. While they may have call centers all over the world, online chat help, and fancy web sites, a lot of companies only pretend that they care. It’s not until you have a customer service issue of some sort that you see whether a company is truly customer-centric or not. And recently I had an experience that knocked my socks off. Being the...
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  • Customer ServWho? Making a Difference One Shot at a Time

    by Sharmi Duncan | Feb 10, 2016
    Too many companies out there tout themselves as being “customer service oriented,” but in reality their policies and practices are anything but. While they may have call centers all over the world, online chat help, and fancy web sites, a lot of companies only pretend that they care. It’s not until you have a customer service issue of some sort that you see whether a company is truly customer-centric or not. And recently I had an experience that knocked my socks off. Being the...
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  • Asking Questions?

    by David Schneider | Feb 09, 2016
    Too often, managers think that simply inviting their employees to make comments about a plan is enough to get them to open up and contribute. If only it were that easy. The reality is different from the perception. If there is a high level of behavioral trust between the leader and the employees, then yes, people may feel comfortable contributing ideas. If that trust if missing or damaged, however, employees are much less likely to feel comfortable enough to make insightful comments. Why is it...
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  • Are you cutting or are you building?

    by David Schneider | Feb 08, 2016
    Most of us in logistics are cost-focused. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs. In some cases, a cost diet is not such a bad idea. In other cases, it can make operations look a bit anorexic. The real skinny ones could be starving. New Normal is a Stupid Line Famed business author Tom Peters put out a book in 1997, The Circle of Innovation – You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness. Peters’ fifteen-year-old business book makes the timeless point that if you want to...
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  • “Friends: It isn’t just business, it’s personal.” – First Contact

    by Pasquale Scopelliti | Feb 05, 2016
    Again, our tactical goals for first contact are: Need to Know, and Stay or Go. What else? Oh let’s not go so fast. Who here is a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan? I know the rules of First Contact were clearly at the heart of the original series, but I can’t help the fact that I’m more of a Piccard than a James T. man. Don’t get me wrong, I love Captain Kirk and team, absolutely. But Piccard, and really, I always think of him as just being Patrick Stewart, is one of...
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  • Leveraging SHIPPER-CARRIER Partnerships for Total Cost Savings & Service Improvements

    by Mike Starling | Feb 04, 2016
    What is your strategy for renegotiating carrier contracts? Confrontation or Collaboration? Lowest Cost or Complimentary Compromise? Squeeze the Bastard or Rational Cooperation for a Win-Win Solution? My point here is that it is not unusual for a shipper to mistakenly view a negotiating tactic as a renegotiating strategy. This is often the result of executive management pressure on the transportation manager to do something now to reduce freight expense. The result? Actions taken tend to be...
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  • Pirate Logistics

    by Sharmi Duncan | Feb 03, 2016
    It's that time of year again—time to celebrate the annual Gasparilla Piratefest when the Pirates of Tampa Bay suit up, bead up, and revel their way down Bayshore Blvd, a tradition since 1904. I’m proud to be part of this merry bunch. As a member of the Sailingest Crewe of Gasparilla I always get excited at this time of year, not only at the prospect of a month full of festive events, but also by the understanding I have of what it takes to pull off a parade—the logistics of...
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  • Are Certifications Important?

    by David Schneider | Feb 02, 2016
    There are different kinds of certifications. “Are you a certified nut?” asked a co-worker years ago when I suggested that our group do something counter-intuitive to address an ongoing problem. Although this co-worker was questioning my sanity, they had overlooked something that I thought was far more insane, which was that we were continuing to run the same process and expecting the results to improve. I was able to persuade the team to try my idea, and it worked. “Are you...
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