Supply chain is a term many Americans have become familiar with in recent years. Challenges at home and abroad have stressed the supply chain at times, slowing delivery of goods to their final destinations. Drivers are vital links in the supply chain, but so are those working behind the scenes to meet the needs of customers and drivers as efficiently as possible.
On a recent episode of Sirius XM’s Mark Willis Show, Asset Manager Alex Marcel, Load Planner Derek Filipi, and Customer Service Representative Casey Wolfe joined Crete Carrier Corporation President Tim Aschoff to discuss their roles in matching the right freight with the right driver.
Communication is key at each level. As a customer service representative, Casey Wolfe books, schedules, and tracks freight. She says she speaks with her customers nearly every day, building important relationships. “Getting to know each of them individually definitely helps, because then I can help the planners better manage those loads, making sure that the customers stay happy, but also that the drivers are getting where they need to,” she said.
As a load planner, Derek Filipi analyzes data on the location and timing of loads, looking to match them with the location and availability of drivers in the most efficient way possible. “What I’m looking at is finding the best fit for the most productive load for the driver,” said Filipi. “So, I’ll look at their ETAs, PTAs, when they’re going to get empty based on times when loads have to pick up and compare it to their hours.”
But plans don’t always work out. Asset managers like Alex Marcel are the link between drivers and load planners when solutions are needed. “Drivers go through so much out there on the road, all kinds of things can happen. So just having somebody on the other end of the line to listen to them and understand what they’re going through definitely helps,” said Marcel. “Keeping in constant contact with them and keeping the CSRs and the load planners updated on, ‘Hey, this is where that truck is’, or, ‘Maybe we’re going to be T calling it’, but always just trying to keep that constant communication.”
“I’ll take the communication that I get from Alex about whatever is going on with our driver and help to create that solution to that problem,” said Filipi. “And if we have problems with the customers, Casey will send me a message saying, ‘Hey, we need to try and get this load going as soon as possible’. I’ll find the closest driver with the best hours for that load and send it to them.”
Tim Aschoff says technology provides important tools to help the teams match drivers and loads, “But at the end of the day, it comes down to people, like these three team members, working together from the customer side, the driver side, and then Derek helping put that puzzle together the most effectively and efficiently.”
“Drivers go through so much out there on the road, all kinds of things can happen. So just having somebody on the other end of the line to listen to them and understand what they’re going through definitely helps.”
Crete Carrier Corporation Asset Manager Alex Marcel