Unsolved AMT Mysteries: A Blog Mini-Series

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Third-Party Logistics

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For employees at A.M. Transport, one of the most frequently asked questions is “what exactly do you do there?” The easiest and most frequent explanation is that we are a third-party logistics provider along with a loose description of how we help match shippers and carriers. All of that is true of course, but that explanation fails to paint a clear picture of what we do nor does it identify the specific roles that are an integral part of the process. Further, people do not seem to be satisfied with the idea that some sort of logistical magic happens while we all just kick back and search for Pokemon all day.  In an effort to make what we do here a little more transparent (without sharing ALL of our secrets of course!) we will be presenting a series of blog articles on 3PLs and our approach at A.M. Transport. We will highlight the meaning, history and trends of 3PLs and then offer a look “behind the scenes”, featuring employees and snapshots of what a typical workday looks like for them.

So what is a 3PL anyway?

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) defines 3PL as follows:

“Outsourcing all or much of a company’s logistics operations to a specialized company…In 2008 legislation passed declaring that the legal definition of a 3PL is ‘ A person who solely receives, holds, or otherwise transports a consumer product in the ordinary course of business but who does not take title to the product.'” [1]

According to CSCMP, the term “3PL” was first used in the early 1970s. Prior to that, contracts for transportation featured two parties, the shipper and the carrier. As intermediaries began to engage in process by accepting shipments from the shippers and tendering them to carriers, they eventually became a 3rd party to contracts and subsequently came to be known as third-party logistics (3PLs). 

Check out this infographic to learn more about why 3PLs exist and how they benefit companies: [2]

benefits of 3PLs.jpg

 

Next time on Unsolved AMT Mysteries…Trends in 3PLs and AMT

 

[1]  Counsel of Supply Chain Management Terms and Glossary: Updated August 2013

[2] Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a 3PL Provider. WorldTrans http://www.worldtransinc.com

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com

 

 

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The “Amazon Effect”

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 Staying Competitive in the 3PL Industry

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3PL’s have certainly taken notice of Amazon’s expansion into the world of logistics. Many have expressed concern, which is understandable given the company’s reputation, innovation, and consistent growth.

But what does this really mean for the 3PL industry? Robert and Kristin Lieb of DC Velocity, interviewed 25 CEOs of some of the world’s largest 3PL’s to get their take on Amazon’s potential impact. According to these CEOs, the factor that has had the largest impact thus far is their high-speed delivery process.[1] As a result of these rapid delivery programs, customer-service expectations have significantly changed and although speed has always been a priority in 3PL, this is pushing it to a whole new level. Some have deemed it part of the “Amazon Effect” on the 3PL industry.

Amazon is certainly shaking things up with their logistics capabilities. Subsequently, 3PLs are being challenged to rethink their services as well as their technology. Adrian Gonzalez, president of Adelante SCM, maintains that Amazon’s move into the 3PL segment will “force traditional 3PL providers to ‘flip their model’ and effectively become IT specialists that work in the logistics business.”[2]

So how can 3PL’s prepare? As Michael McKinney of A.M. Transport put it, “You can be informed, proactive and involved or reactive and let someone else decide your fate. Either way you can’t avoid it.” Besides continuing to improve customer service, another recurring theme was the development and implementation of a solid omnichannel strategy. When 3PLs take advantage of technology and utilize it in a way that creates a seamless and pleasant experience for customers, it sets them apart and decreases the chance that they will be signficantly affected by the “Amazon Effect”.

[1] Lieb, R. & Lieb, K. (2015) Is Amazon a 3PL? Retrieved from: http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20150706-is-amazon-a-3pl/

[2] Gonzalez, A. (2016) Amazon’s 3PL encroachment to force traditional providers to overemphasize IT, consultant says. Retrieved from: http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20160630-amazons-3pl-encroachment-to-force-traditional-providers-to-overemphasize-it-consultant-says/

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com

A.M. Transport Services, Inc. Earns Best New Provider Award from Nestle Mid-Atlantic Region

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Press Release

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Olney, IL (June 22, 2016) – A.M. Transport Services, Inc., a leading provider in transportation management and 3rd party logistics, was named as a regional “Best New Provider” for the second year in a row by Nestle Waters North America.

Last year, Nestle Waters, the nation’s largest bottled water company, presented A.M. Transport Services with the Best New Provider Award for the Midwest Region.  This year, A.M. Transport’s exceptional customer service made an impact on employees in the Nestle Waters Mid-Atlantic Region who were responsible for selecting the recipient of the Best New Provider Mid-Atlantic Award, which was presented to the A.M. Transport Service team on January 13, 2016.

Christopher Bertz, Regional Transport Manager of Nestle Waters Mid-Atlantic, was impressed with A.M. Transport Service and their dedication to service and support. He thanked the team for their efforts, adding, “You guys were a unanimous choice by our group here.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Nestle Waters North America,” said Michael McKinney, President at A.M. Transport Services. “It is a testament to the hard work of our team who consistently strive to provide outstanding customer service. We value the relationship we have with Nestle Waters and look forward to exceeding their expectations in the future.”

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Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com

Read More – A.M. Transport Recommended Reads

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Read more. Discuss more. Grow more.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to read more, let us help.

Last year we started a new tradition here in the office: book clubs.
1-3 people get together and choose a book to read and discuss over the next month. The book can be about the industry, business, personal growth, case studies, or not work related at all. The goal is to do more inter-office mentoring and growing, and book clubs are a great way to get started.

With a new year, we have switched up the book clubs so each person is reading with a new group. See what we are reading this month:

1. Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big
Author – Bo Burlingham

It’s an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do . . . creating a great place to work . . . providing great customer service . . . making great contributions to their communities . . . and finding great ways to lead their lives. In Small Giants, veteran journalist Bo Burlingham takes us deep inside fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to march to their own drummer.

2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t
Author – Jim Collins

“Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?” Making the transition from good to great doesn’t require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. Collins and his researchers started with 1,435 good companies, examined their performance over 40 years, and found the 11 companies that became great. Now here’s how you can do it too. Lessons on eggs, flywheels, hedgehogs, buses, and other essentials of business that can help you transform your company.

3. Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know
Author – Geoffrey James

Contrary to popular belief, the business world is not that complicated. While every industry and every profession requires specific expertise, the truth is that the “business of business” is relatively simple. For the past seven years, Geoffrey James has written a daily blog that’s become one of the most popular business-focused destinations on the web. In Business Without the Bullsh*t, readers will learn surprising but tried-and-true secrets about being an extraordinary boss, about coping with annoying coworkers, and navigating the thorny problems that recur in every workplace.

4. Anything You Want
Author – Derek Sivers

Best known for creating CD Baby, the most popular music site for independent artists, founder Derek Sivers chronicles his “accidental” success and failures into this concise and inspiring book on how to create a multi-million dollar company by following your passion. In Anything You Want, Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating CD Baby and building a business close to his heart. His less-scripted approach to business is refreshing and will educate readers to feel empowered to follow their own dreams. Aspiring entrepreneurs and others trying to make their own way will be particularly comforted by Sivers straight talk and transparency -a reminder that anything you want is within your reach

5. Outliers: The Story of Success
Author – Malcolm Gladwell

There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential. In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

Looking for more recommended reads? Check out this list of The Best Business Books of 2015

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com