Unsolved AMT Mysteries: A Blog Mini-Series

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Third-Party Logistics

unsolvedmysteries

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

 

 

Continuous Learning in the Workplace

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What’s in it for employees and employers?

It’s no surprise that when we come to work, we are faced with.. well, work. Our already packed schedules seem to continue to grow throughout the day and sometimes it can be overwhelming. The thought of adding something that is not required does not usually fall at the top of anyone’s “to-do list”. So why would one continue to seek education/training once they have landed the job that they want? Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight noted “I am a big believer that fostering ongoing learning in the workplace not only results in a pleasant and energizing work environment but a successful one with top-performing employees who aren’t afraid to question the status quo and work together to seek the truth during difficult situations.” [1]

As an employee, having motivation and a plan will only go so far if the company culture and/or team structure is not set up in a way that is conducive to workplace learning. This infographic highlights some common barriers in the development of a learning culture in the workplace.

learning culture

If you find yourself in a workplace that seems resistant to the idea, consider handing them a copy of the comic below (we kid, we kid… kind of), but having a conversation with your direct manager about the specific benefits to the team, company, and customers is a good place to start. Check out this article for information on how employers benefit from a learning culture as well as a list of suggestions of how employers can begin to create one:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232348

trainingcartoon

[1] Skonnard, Aaron. (2014) How Making Employees Lifelong Learners Can Help Your Company Succeed. Entrepreneur.

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

To Post or Not to Post…

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Manners and Social Media

You might have read the story of the British grandmother who used Google for the first time and this was the phrase that she typed into the search: “Please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you.” PLEASE and THANK YOU! It has never occurred to me to preface a Google request with “please”, let alone thank it for providing a wealth of information at my fingertips. It was refreshing to see that someone was still using good manners, even when interacting with a computer. It seems like basic manners are becoming less common, even in customer service. Last week, I ordered a drink from a fast food establishment and when the individual handed me the drink, I said “thank  you” and his response was “yep.” Yep? First of all, I’m guessing that his company trained him to thank customers for their business versus waiting for them to say thank you, but I could be wrong. Another place where I’ve noticed a decline in manners (some might claim that they never existed here) is on social media. In fact, you are more likely to log onto a news feed full of hostility rather than anything resembling manners.

Today is Mashable’s 6th Annual Social Media Day, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about hostility on Social Media and share some tips to help you avoid falling into the abyss known as the social media argument, where no one ever wins.

According to VitalSmarts (2013), social media Shostility is on the rise and there is evidence that it is now spilling into real life:

When-Social-Media-Goes-Bad

Of course, we can all relate to feeling “braver” behind a keyboard, which would explain the statistic suggesting that people tend to be less polite on social media. With the sheer number of controversial issues in society right now, it can be very difficult to avoid getting caught up in conversations related to hot-button topics that can take a turn for the worst in the blink of an eye. We should all feel free to express our opinions we just have to be aware that it can come with risks ranging from backlash from friends to disciplinary action from employers. One thing that we can do to keep our posts “in check” is to ask ourselves these 5 questions:

think

If you’re “on the fence” about whether or not to post something (especially if you are angry or upset), type out the post, walk away for 30 minutes, and if when you return you still feel like it is appropriate, then post. This will help ensure that you aren’t impulsively posting out of anger.

Finally, don’t lose sight of the fact that social media can be fun! Have you seen the Huffington Post Facebook  video of the dogs trying to catch things in their mouths, but they totally fail? I challenge you not to laugh. So, it’s not all bad. It still enables us to stay in touch with friends and family and to share photos of our lunches (and we all know how much people LOVE those pics, right)?

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

Where the Rubber Meets the Roadcheck

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CVSA’s Roadcheck Enforcement Campaign 2016

This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual truck safety inspection will take place June 7-9, 2016. During this period, certified inspectors will conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeting motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety, the most common and most stringent being the North American Standard Level I Inspection. It is a 37-step process and requires examination of both driver and vehicle.

The emphasis for this year’s campaign is Tire Safety. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for a tire inspection:

AM Transport

Infographic created by AM Transport’s Amanda Williams

To learn more about roadcheck procedures or to find tire safety educational materials, visit CVSA’s website.

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