In The Huddle With Desmond Clark

In The Huddle - Decoding the Complexities of the Logistics Industry with Craig Lough

August 03, 2023 Desmond Clark
In The Huddle With Desmond Clark
In The Huddle - Decoding the Complexities of the Logistics Industry with Craig Lough
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to unravel the complexities of the logistics industry? As we pull back the curtain, we've got Craig Lough, the Director of Strategic Planning at A.Duie Pyle, guiding us through the intricacies of this dynamic sector.

Find Desmond Clark Here:

Podcast Post Production and Social Media Production by OceanTree Creative

0:00:00 - Speaker 1
You want to be good in this industry. What industry am I talking about? Y'all know what industry I'm talking about the logistics industry. I don't care if you are a truck driver, I don't care if you're a broker or you work somewhere in the support team, support staff. You need to pay attention to this next guy that I'm bringing on, because him and his company, they do it right. And this guy, his name, is Craig Lough, from A.Duie Pyle. He is the director of strategic planning, and how he classify his way of going about his job, just say he's persistent. This is In the Huddle. I am your host, Dez Clark, and when we come back we're going to get right into it. I'm your host, Dez Clark, and you are in the Huddle. For all my people who are in the Huddle, thanks for joining us for another episode of In the Huddle. And I have with me, as I have already introduced, my guy, Craig Lough. How you doing, Craig? 

0:01:33 - Speaker 2
great man Got to say. I'm definitely pumped up after hearing the theme music coming in. 

0:01:38 - Speaker 1
Oh man, you know, we got to get everybody going. We got to get them going. This is what this whole In the Huddle with bad logistics, in the Huddle with Dez Clark, in the Huddle with Craig Lough whoever's In the Huddle at the time that's who we're In the Huddle with. That's what it's all about. It's about getting this industry going, man, keeping us moving in the right direction, keeping everybody pumped up, keeping everybody educated, keeping everybody entertained, and that's why we brought you on today. So let's get into it, man. You ready. 

Yeah absolutely, let's go. I just want to start off by talking a little bit about the company that you work for. 98 years, family owned. Yeah, 27 LTL locations, 16 warehouse facilities, 3.5 million square feet of storage space and over 50 locations in the United States. Did I say all of that right? 

0:02:26 - Speaker 2
Yeah, yeah, pretty much. I mean, that's a great summary and you know, right now we've got around 4,000 quality of people and, you know, when we look at the assets, the facilities, everything, it's really the people that have brought us to 99 years and we're looking forward to celebrating the 100 year anniversary next year, If it's 99, you need to tell everybody to update the LinkedIn profile because I got that off of LinkedIn, so we don't want to short you out of a year. 

0:02:53 - Speaker 1
99 sounds better than 98. You guys have dedicated fleet operations, broken solutions, warehousing and distribution. Man, there's so much to talk about and I know that one of the things that you want to talk about is the people, because it's the people that make A.Duie Pyle tick and make it go. But before we get into that, let me ask you the first question that I ask everyone what is logistics? 

0:03:18 - Speaker 2
Logistics is the movement, it's the storage process of the supply chain ecosystem that enables raw materials to end up in their final location for consumption, whether that be a factory or your household. 

0:03:31 - Speaker 1
That wasn't a whole lot of words, but it was a lot said there. The supply chain a lot of people don't understand the entire supply chain. Break that down. Break down the supply chain and how in logistics it goes from raw material to finished products to consumption. 

0:03:53 - Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely so. First of all, you start out with somebody decides they want to produce a particular item. Then you've got to get your raw materials coordinated. You got to figure out how that's going to be produced, where it's going to be produced, and so many items that are out there nowadays have many different parts and components, so you could have 30, 40, 50 different vendors that are going into one final piece for production. So that's where supply chain really starts. 

Is what do I need to actually make this happen? From there it's transported from raw materials whether that be domestic or overseas into production facilities. You do whatever you need to do to then push out the end product, but in a lot of cases it's not ready to go to the end consumer right away. So then it's transported to warehouses or put away in inventory and then, when those items are finally ready to be used for their next stage, then they're shipped out of the warehouse or factory to the end consumer and one of the reasons why we bring people into the huddle and the particular reason why we do this show is to educate people in this industry, in this logistics industry. 

0:05:05 - Speaker 1
And the reason why I start off by asking what is logistics it's because it's such a big wide net that you can cast with logistics. You mentioned warehousing, you mentioned trucking, you mentioned international, domestic. It could be coming across on ships With this vast market out there, like if somebody's getting into it. What would you say to them when they say we wanna get into logistics and they don't particularly know what the best opportunity is? What does that opportunity look like? 

0:05:44 - Speaker 2
I think it goes a lot of different ways. First thing I'll say is this is not the easiest industry in the world. I mean supply chain logistics. It's 24 seven and it never sleeps. So before you even look into which side of the industry I wanna get in, try to understand what you want to do. So are you operational focused or are you customer service focused? Do you like data entry? Do you like spreadsheets? Do you like algorithms? There's so many different ways. 

So I would say, try to figure out what you want to do in the industry first, as far as your specific role, and then from there try to go find a good company that aligns with what you're looking for. So if you are a data analyst, odds are you're probably not gonna wanna end up on a free brokerage floor right away doing a bunch of cold calls. But then if you're really people-friendly person, you like the hustle and bustle, you probably don't wanna end up in an analyst type of position because you wanna be out more with customers. So really it's about defining what you want to do and then going to find a company that matches your needs and then from there you can branch out into different modes, because if you align that role with what you wanna do, you can be successful, whether it's ocean, domestic, LTL truckload, any of the different facets of the supply chain- and you've been in the logistics industry how long now? 

0:07:10 - Speaker 1
20 years, 20 years. So you've been in it for just a small amount of time. 

0:07:17 - Speaker 2
Yeah, lots of changes over shifts. 

0:07:20 - Speaker 1
What makes the logistics industry a good industry to get into? 

0:07:24 - Speaker 2
I think the biggest thing that when I was going into it and what's really kept me here, we have our boom and our bust cycles, just like a roller coaster, but the bottom line is, at the end of the day, goods have to move from point A to point B. Now the method that that is doing is going to be different and certainly evolve over time. But it's hard to say, hey, we'll never need Axel, we'll never need Y. So job stability and just looking where the industry could go in the future, that's definitely got me excited about what happened in the past and what's gonna happen in the future. 

0:08:01 - Speaker 1
That is one of the biggest reasons that I got into this industry. When I started to research this industry, I said, hey, supply chain, people will always need what they need, and to get them what they need, it has to go on a ship, it has to go in a container, it has to go on a rail cart, it has to go on a truck and it has to be moved from place to place to place. I don't care what's going on in the world. Unless the world just stops, you're going to need the movement of goods and products. And so I looked at this industry as, just like you said, one that will continue to move no matter what condition the world is in. 

Now, like you say, you're gonna have your ups and downs. When you have recessions, things slow down but this is one of those things. This is one of those industry. It's gonna morph over time, but it's always going to be here. And I look at this industry and I want you to comment on my perspective on this, Craig. I look at this industry and I say this is one of the most noble industries that you could be in, because the entire world relies on your expertise to keep the world moving. What's your perspective when you look at this logistics industry as being one of the greatest industries you can possibly be in? 

0:09:19 - Speaker 2
I definitely think that when people really take a step back and look at what are you accomplishing on a day-to-day basis, yes, you moved the shipment from point A to point B, but those goods that you're moving, the amount of jobs that that helps other people to do in the different process, so whether it's a truckload going into a factory and what you've brought ends up helping 50 or hundreds of people that day do their particular job that's what I get get really excited about, just helping people in that process and in a lot of cases it's kind of like behind the scenes what occurs. But we also saw during the pandemic when that breaks down, whether it's congestion at the ports, whether it's truck shortages in different areas, I think the country really for the first time got exposure to how critical the logistics element of the supply chain actually is. 

0:10:21 - Speaker 1
Absolutely. I think a lot of people just go to work and there are a lot of great things that people do. But when you just look at your itty-bitty part of this entire cycle in most industries, man, if people just take a second to realize how they're affecting and changing people's lives, or keeping people's lives going and keeping people's lives moving, there'll be a much deeper appreciation for actually going to work every day. When I think about in the huddle, I think about how I'm keeping people uplifted and promoting the industry. When I think about when my guys are moving loads, I think about those little small things man moving similar milk somewhere, like keeping babies fed. Somebody has to do that, right, why not us? Earlier, you said that this is not an easy industry to be in. What makes this not an easy industry? 

0:11:16 - Speaker 2
I think if you have to break down a couple, a couple of different elements You've got LTL, you've got truckload, intermodal there's so many things that you have to depend on others to make it flow smoothly. So I'm just gonna take the truckload side, because that's really my focus right now, along with Rage. But if we set up a load, shipper tells us hey, it's ready. One of our brokers gets everything set up. You get the information, the carrier. So we have to make sure that our partner carrier they're empty on time. So if they're delayed at their previous delivery, that has a ripple effect that goes through. Then okay, everything goes on at the previous delivery perfectly. Carrier does a great job. They show up at the Shipper oh, hey, we can't find it or it's not ready. 

So just all those different people and processes that are involved of simply moving a load from point A to point B, in a lot of cases you might have to depend on 10 or 12 outside companies to do everything right to execute that shipment properly. And in the four higher truckload world that's an industry of imperfection, like pre-coded over-the-road trucking, some of the best supply chains in the country. We're shooting to be 95% on time, so that means one out of 20 are gonna have a bad day. So that's why in that particular section it's not the easiest, but you can. Also. Communication solves so many different problems in there. So if you're upfront with your customers, honesty, upfront with your carriers, that definitely goes so far. But a lot of people don't like making that phone call or don't like dealing with that stress element. So that's definitely why I say it's not always the easiest. 

0:13:18 - Speaker 1
It's not the easiest because, like you said, the stress and the communication and all the connectivity that you gotta have to make this thing flow properly right. 

So that all comes down to people. It comes down to people. Depending on what you say, you have to depend on others. Comes down to people and details. That's how I look at it, and here at Bear Down Logistics one of the things that we talk about if you wanna be great at something, you have to execute the details and focus on those details. And I know with A to E POW, you guys say in our red list, you can rely on us because you can rely on our people. Yes, so what is it about A to E POW? And it's people. That puts you in position to execute on a level that people depend on your company. 

0:14:11 - Speaker 2
When I joined Pyle in January of 22, before I could even start looking at what are we doing in brokerage, and I spent I wanna say it was probably about three months learning about how the company works, and so I had this massive schedule that I'm going around meeting with our LTL team or warehousing and distribution teams or dedicated teams, finance department marketing, just like anything you could think of within the company. 

I'm having conversations and really what I saw was everybody just had this amazing attitude and willingness to want to do the right thing to make the company successful and as I started to kind of go through that, it's okay. 

Well, where does this start? Because not every company out there is like that and it really starts with our ownership and the executive team. So the doors are always open and even if you look at Peter, our CEO, we have new employees that have started in brokerage and got to go in his office and just have a quick five minute conversation on their first day, and I don't know many companies with 4,000 employees that the CEO is willing to have a conversation with somebody that just started, and then a lot of it is. It's good communication back and forth and trying to do the right thing for the people and then from there, as long as if you develop that culture that reflects in the customer experience, because every single person wants to do the right thing for the organization you pick up the phone, you're talking to the customer, it shows through. So really that's, if I look at it, that's the biggest thing for us. It's just right back to the people. 

0:16:15 - Speaker 1
And I'm gonna put you on the spot and it's gonna be like a tough question, but I think it's a fair question and it's just your perspective, right? A lot of people get into this industry, like myself and wanna start a company, right? And any entrepreneur, just not this industry. Let's just talk over quality and you hear that word culture. You hear that all the time. What is culture? 

0:16:36 - Speaker 2
You know, culture is not foosball tables in the office in free Kumbacha machines. Like, culture is how you're communicating back and forth on a daily basis, how an organization treats its employees and how employees treat the organization. So you know, it's basically a relationship between all parties. 

0:17:02 - Speaker 1
When you develop that culture and not your company. How does culture bleed into how it affects your vendors, how it affects the people that you serve outside of the walls of a do-it-Pyle? 

0:17:17 - Speaker 2
An employee in general, working at any company is going to treat customers and vendors the same way that they're treated internally. So if they're happy to show up to work today, they feel part of a team, feel that they have great career opportunities. That shows through the smile, shows through on the phone, the quickness of the response, wanting to do the right thing. If you get that, hey, I gotta deal with something two minutes before I'm done for the day, well, you take care of it. If you're motivated by your company due to culture, so it absolutely shines through. 

0:17:52 - Speaker 1
I love that answer too, because if you are treated well, right, you feel good, you like where you at, you like the people you're dealing with. It just makes you feel better. Now you want everybody else to feel good, like you smile when you're on the phone, like you have this good, positive attitude when you're dealing with other people, when you're dealing with your teammates. But if you gotta go into work every day and you're like Jesus, Jesus, help me today, that's gonna be your attitude to everybody else. Well, absolutely. 

0:18:27 - Speaker 2
And I think another thing with that, beyond treating the cost, how to treat customers and vendors, it's your level of expertise. So if you're happy in an organization, turnover is gonna be drastically reduced, and then the customers, carriers, vendors, everybody involved is gonna know that they can count on a particular person within your company. 

So, if I look at our brokerage team and we've certainly added a lot of new team members this year, but we are grounded in that four of the ladies that we have in our Westchester facility combined for 76 years of tenure at A A.Duie Pyle. So, yeah, that's quite a bit. So in some cases customers have had the same contact in brokerage for 10 years and brokerage has been around A Pyle for 10 years. So in some cases it's been the same contact for 10 years and we have so much expertise behind that. And how many brokerage employees in the industry could say if I take Anna as an example, she's been with us for 33 years how many people are at a brokerage working in brokerage at the same company and have been at that company for 33 years? 

0:19:50 - Speaker 1
Absolutely same name, same face, same attitude, same person that learned that system and know how to communicate with them over time and has evolved with them over time and that they can rely on. That's strong, that's very strong. Let's share from the big, broad industry to A.Duie Pyle and what you guys mean to the industry. We talked about the LTL. We talked about the warehouse facilities 50 locations. How does A.Duie Pyle fits into this large-scale logistics industry? 

0:20:22 - Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely so. We are in the Northeast, in Mid-Atlantic, so basically Virginia border over to Cleveland, all the way up to Maine. We're a premier service provider on the LTL side and really our reputation is that in LTL, which is 70% of our business if it's on the truck, yeah, you're gonna have a top of the industry experience when it comes to timeliness on pickups, deliveries and then a low claims ratio and then supporting that is an amazing customer service team that anything occurs, they're on top of it right away. So that's really what we mean on the LTL side. And then we've taken that and pushed same concept through to our dedicated truckload division, our warehouse and distribution team and brokerage. So really what we mean to the industry is you're gonna have a great level of service and communication for your entire shipment. You mentioned LTL. 

0:21:28 - Speaker 1
this 70%, yeah, so 70% of the business. So let me focus in there for a second, since that's the huge chunk of A.Duie Pyle's business. When I got into this industry I didn't understand LTL and I think a lot of people that get into the industry they won't understand LTL. And over time I'm just gonna be honest I grew a dislike for even having to ship LTL because of the lack of hey, where's my load? And the lack of communication. And then a lot of times we would get those LTL shipments, we would get the customers calling us when is the expected date? So do we Pyle? How do you guys overcome those issues? To continue that great customer service of letting people know, hey, this is the expected date and meeting that expected date. But before you start there, play LTL and then follow up with how you overcome those issues. 

0:22:28 - Speaker 2
With LTL that could be a pallet, it could be four or five pallets. 

You don't really have enough space to fill up the entire truck. 

So then what we'll do is one of our local terminals is going to send out a local driver who's going to make a pickup of not only that shippers goods, but anywhere from three to another 10 pickups along the day. 

So we grab those pickups, we bring them back to our terminal and then from there the freight is pulled off of that truck and sent on a line-hole trailer which is going to go to the end destination and where we are extremely fortunate, if you look at the way our network runs in the Northeast, we're not going 2,000 miles from terminal to terminal. So odds are in most cases that trailer that you're loaded on is going to go all the way through to the destination terminal. Then from there it's going to be taken off overnight, put on a delivery trailer and that delivery is going to be made the next day. So it's really a 24-7 operation that never stops. So you're always trying to balance out what can I fit in the trailer? How can I make my stops and order properly, because you don't want a local driver zigzagging all around to make the cities or make the deliveries. So those are all calculated well in advance. 

0:23:53 - Speaker 1
So, if I'm hearing you correctly, you guys will take something and go about how average distance between terminal to terminal. Because my understanding of LTL is, hey, you do those three to 10 pickups locally and then a line-hole comes and pick it up and then you go to the, take it to the next terminal and offload it and then redistribute it to go in whatever direction the pallets or crates or whatever needs to go into. So you saying, with AD Wee Pyle, you guys have less movements of those shipments and more direct and that's the way that you are able to deal with a lot of these issues that other people have, because you don't have as many stop points. 

0:24:39 - Speaker 2
Well, yeah, there's definitely less stop points along the way, but there's also a lot of monitoring and extra effort that goes into everything. So we're scanning everything pick up. We're scanning it when it gets to the terminal. We're scanning it on the proper trailer that it's going through. So there's a lot of checks and balances that we do along the way to make sure everything's taken care of. And even if you look at our, we have a guaranteed service we do for the following day. We're 99.8% on that. Wow, I heard of. 

One of the things that makes it a lot better, too, is those shipments. There's eyes on them all night and in the event something happens. We also have a lot of methods that we could do, so we might put it on a straight truck and ship it out the next day. And hey, if it's 200 miles and it's got to get there. There's a lot of extra things that we do behind the scenes to make sure everything's taken care of. And, again, nothing's ever perfect. But if you look at that 99.8, that's an amazing feat that's accomplished. But it's all the way back to our systems too. So when it's going through and supervisors are looking at it at night, it sticks out. It sticks out, just to get those extra checks and balances along the way. 

0:26:07 - Speaker 1
And just for all my guys and ladies, that's just getting into this industry like a 99.8% hit rate. I'm going to say where you're doing exactly as you're saying on that guaranteed is beyond having a dedicated truck. Like 99.8% on a dedicated truck. I don't even think and correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just going by what I expect and what I think. But I don't think a dedicated truck for the rest of the industry is at a 99.8% hit rate. 

0:26:42 - Speaker 2
Yeah, it's definitely out there, but then if you think about the extra things that we have built in along the way you blow a tire, all sorts of these different things, the amount of trucks that we have moving at any given moment, help to basically help to pick up. If somebody blows a tire, okay, great, we can swap, we can do different things that are going to help to protect those guarantees, and how many trucks do you guys have out there moving? I mean, are dedicated, and our LTL side, I believe we're somewhere around 1600. 

0:27:16 - Speaker 1
Okay, that'll get it done. That will get it done. That makes up 70% of the business. Now I heard you mentioned that you have brokers and a brokerage, and I think you, when you was talking about the ladies who had been there for a while, I think I heard you mentioned that the brokerage has been in existence for 10 years. My question is why did you guys decide to go into brokerage? And now, what are you doing to grow that brokerage side now? 

0:27:46 - Speaker 2
Between our LTL, dedicated and warehousing divisions. There was just a. We had a demand where customers that might normally ship 95% of their freight LTL they needed help with truckloads, or companies that are using our warehouse hey, I don't have anybody in this particular area, can you help out? So that's really where brokerage was born and we definitely grew over time. But as we look at all the different things that are going on in the supply chain and how just Pyle as a whole is grown, we really wanted to make sure that we gave all of our team members the appropriate resources that we could grow long-term in brokerage and then help to complement our other services that we have. 

0:28:31 - Speaker 1
Absolutely, and you guys have a big investment into brokerage right now. 

0:28:36 - Speaker 2
Last year in September, in addition to myself, who joined early in the year, jared came on board with the team. He's one of our brokerage directors, tons of experience there, and between him, Anna and the rest of the team We've made huge investments in. We've got a new brokerage, TMS 3G, which is going to be going live here in less than a month. We've added a lot of supporting technology, but one thing I want to be very, very careful about when I'm delivering the message about technology investments. Our goal is not to be a tech company in brokerage. We want to invest in technology that is going to enable our Pyle of people to do the best job that they can along the way. 

So that was a big investment. We've got a new facility here in Mechanicsburg, PA, just outside of Harrisburg. It's about 6,000 square feet and we built that out because we wanted to really invest and take a spot that we thought we could grow long term. But we've also done a lot in marketing and social media. So it's just been an all around investment because we're in this thing for the long run. 

0:29:53 - Speaker 1
I can speak on. You've done some investment on social media and marketing on social media because you're here with me. So just a little small investment here and we appreciate you being on. But hey, you said something that I want to go back to that I think is very important. We see so many tech things happening now AI and the pricing models and everything that's going on. Every time you go to one of these conferences it's 200 tech companies there. But you said and now I've had other people who've come on to the show that said the same thing it's always going to be a people-related industry. So when you say you're not going to go tech and you're just getting the tech to complement the people, why is it always going to be a people-focused industry? 

0:30:47 - Speaker 2
If we look at the freight tech landscape, there are billions and billions of dollars invested every year. A couple of years ago I was at a conference and heard oh, x amount was invested, and then I divided that by the number of drivers that are actually on the road and the freight tech investment for that year was the equivalent of like $13,000 or $17,000 per truck on the road. 

So, yeah, I mean that was also a period where just venture capital money was flowing in like crazy. And, if we go back to the root of it, a lot of companies that are doing tech do they really have a logistics background involved and do they understand the A to B for it? So there's a lot of, I would say, good ideas that work in theory, but freight isn't in perfect work. Some technology that I've heard of like, hey, customers love it for 98% of the time, but then if there's an issue, you're waiting on the phone for an extremely long time to get a human being. So yeah, there's definitely things on the operational efficiency side that can help, but so much of it is meeting your carrier and your customer where they want to buy and where they want to work with you. 

So some people, hey, cool, they love automation, but then there's a huge section in the market that likes to hear their broker on the phone. There's a lot of owner operators out there that don't really want to use an app for everything and if we can deal with that owner operator in the way that they want to interface with a company and develop a relationship, we're going to get that truck versus somebody else that says oh here, just here, use our app and then when there's a problem they can't get it fixed. So strictly enabling our employees but not trying to go beyond what we think the technology is capabilities of Right, and there's a lot of smoke and mirrors out there. 

0:32:56 - Speaker 1
Right, now it's always going to be that. It's always going to be that I see technology as an enhancer of people, not the other world around. And I think a lot of times and hey, who knows, in 20 years I could be wrong I think a lot of people see technology as the answer, but with the technology is always people behind it. So I personally believe the people, the companies who are people focused and technology enhanced, those are the people who are going to win the game at the end of the day. Just kind of like going back to my sports days right, the people who got on analytics sports, you know, but it's actual people out there on the field that has to perform so you can get the analytics, and it's the same thing in this industry. It's the people that have to perform. Or all the analytics, for all of the AI and stuff that's coming up, is going to be meaningless. 

0:33:51 - Speaker 2
Well, if you look at the evolution and football of analytics, that's very similar to pricing in the brokerage Right. There's an art and there's a science to it. So I think if you use the science that's out there, but then apply the actual art to understanding, knowing and truly feeling what's going on in the market, that's where you're going to be successful. 

0:34:15 - Speaker 1
Absolutely, and then just testing it hey, does the numbers match up to what we're actually seeing and are we actually seeing what the numbers are predicting? Vice versa, and then from there, that's where you can iterate. Whatever it is, the processes that you're trying to get to, the whatever scale or whatever number you're trying to get to, but it's going to take both. But the most important part of that is the people. Now the brokerage. You also have dedicated trucks. Also, how big of a part is your dedicated truckload for your business and how have you been able to make that part successful? 

0:34:54 - Speaker 2
I don't work in the dedicated side but, as mentioned earlier, over 600 units and it's just. It's been an amazing evolution of the company to really grow. That additional offering very focused on high service, long contract, longer term contracts it's not like you can get a dedicated fleet for a week but the level of engagement back and forth between the customers, you're really starting to plan different elements of their supply chain and that's been, it's been a huge growth area for the company and I think it's like five or six X really in the last, maybe eight to 12 year range. 

So growing rapidly, always looking for more opportunities in that particular space. But we also have the advantage that we've already got the scale on purchasing equipment, the shops, the expertise so many things from our LTL footprint really helped to slide right over. And one of the coolest things that we have that puts everything together is our integrated facilities. So we have a couple of those positioned throughout the Northeast where it's an LTL terminal, the warehouses right behind it, and then we have a dedicated operation working out of there as well. So on the warehousing side, customers can actually place orders later because the docs right there, right, right, yeah, you don't have to worry about oh, I need to get my pickup in by X amount of time. 

So we have some extension there, the dedicated fleet, their service out of some of the areas, other dedicated operations, we've got our own service shops on site. It really depends, but by being able to push all the different services into one location, we feel like we feel that that's a huge opportunity. And some cool things that we've done on the ocean side is we can drain in via dedicated or brokerage to a Pyle of warehouse. We can strip the container, preload and deliver anywhere in the country on a carrier that's going through the brokerage model, versus most shipper or most people that are getting goods in like that. They have to deal with the Draiman, they have to deal with the warehouse and then they have to deal with the trucking company, so we're able to push all three of those together to make it a seamless experience. 

0:37:29 - Speaker 1
Absolutely One stop shot. That's what it seems like to stand to me. Yeah, absolutely. And for you, as we're coming to a close here, Craig, your position now is director of strategic planning. But I got this comment last week on then from someone who was saying that hiring inexperienced people is a waste of time and I should stop doing that. But no one comes into this industry experience, so I didn't really get that. Can you talk to me about how you got started? How are you first, how you got started and how you was able to move up the chain and become director of strategic planning for such a prestigious and well-drawn machine with a duet Pyle? 

0:38:16 - Speaker 2
I actually got into supply chain by accident. So I played ball in college and it started my first three years and I shredded my ACL a couple of months before the start of my senior season and I needed a reason to stay on campus an extra semester because I was on schedule to graduate in four years. So I had this new supply chain major in Shippensburg. I thought, okay, that's going to work, I'm going to grab supply chain and addition to marketing. And then when I was trying to figure out what do I want to do, I'm trying to match up. Okay, how can supply chain and marketing work together? And that's when three PLs were starting to get more buzz. 

Didn't really know what a three PL was as a 22-year-old kid, but I did some research and some different brokers popped up and that also gave me the ability to sell early on. So I joined one of the largest brokers in the country, did that for 16 years and back to that persistence thing, worked in multiple locations, really focused on sales, and sales is not something that is easily done. When I started you might have to call somebody three, four or five times to get them to answer. You have to like it was 17, 18, whatever it is, but really just put in a ton of work focused on sales but had a capacity background operations. 

Then I got to move into a leadership role, opened one up in upstate New York, then took over a different operation. So that gave me an amazing background and then, as 2021 was kind of coming to a close, figuring, okay, well, what's the next step for me? And I actually looked out and there were about five companies that I was really interested in working for and Pyle was one of those. So started having some conversations and it really just felt. It felt like a home for me and something that had great growth opportunity but was also going to get the resources needed to grow, because every company wants to grow, but not every company is willing to make the right investments to grow. So you know it was doing the perfect combination. 

0:40:47 - Speaker 1
And here now, last question for me the sales thing. Yeah, if you can't get anybody to say yes, you can't build a book of business and on the sales side, you can't be successful. 20 years ago you said, hey, you had to reach out five or six times and today, like you said, maybe 15 or 16 For those inexperienced great agents, brokers out here. Now that's, that's going through that struggle of trying to build that book of business. What advice would you give them and what? What type of mindset would you say that they need to have to eventually Breakthrough? 

0:41:21 - Speaker 2
I guess the first thing is get used to not getting your way Immediately and being persistent. 

So you know, mentioning that 15, 18, whatever it takes to get a home with a customer. You have to come in with that mindset of knowing I'm gonna do X today on reach outs and I'm only gonna be successful on this. So you have to embrace what is not working and realize that that's just getting you that much closer to success. Also, use multiple forms of media to get a hold of your customers. So, combination of LinkedIn, phone calls yeah, and I'm not joking, people still answer the phone, not everybody. But there's a section of the market that will not respond to your emails, we'll not respond to other methods and they want that trust back. So, phone calls you have definitely in on emails, but don't try to sell Everything to the customer. The first time you talk to them like, you have to understand what their needs are. Yeah, we got two years and one mouth for a reason. 

So if you can get interest from a customer, you know and it's not initial cold call Don't try to close it right away. Try to get a. You know, hey, can we set up a zoom, can we come in and visit you if they're not too far away? But you know, trying to get that next step with the customer, that's one of the biggest keys. And then use the resources that you have. So, if you have experience co-workers, your manager, anything else like that Get them involved and learn from them, because you're never gonna learn or you're never gonna know anything Right away, and those experienced people are gonna see the market a lot differently than somebody new. 

0:43:09 - Speaker 1
Yeah and I and I lie can do. I have one more. Can I ask one more question? So something that I I tell my new agents is you have to discern what the need is and then, once you discern what the need is, usually there's gonna be hesitation to move forward with you. So there's something to need and then also figuring out the hesitation are the two most important things. I tell my agents to go into the call trying to understand what are the biggest needs of shippers. 

0:43:42 - Speaker 2
Fritz, not rocket science, right, you know, shipper, and actually I'm gonna cover some things that I think shippers are tired of here. They're tired of hearing about world-changing technology in the supply chain. They're tired of hearing you say, oh, I have the best service, like everybody calling in Claims to have the best service, claims to have the technology and claims to be 24 7 right. 

I mean, you can't go 24 8 or 25 7 like we've reached, we've reached that point of Claims on both of those three areas of, and I think what shippers want is transparency and you know, just understanding, like hey, are you going to be here for me in six months or 18 months? Because the you know the amount of turnover in the brokerage space and you know, granted, everything I'm answering is more you know, brokerage related, but Turnovers through the roof. So you know, if you can establish credibility and the fact that you can communicate, that's those are the biggest needs. Stuff happens and if a shipper knows if something is wrong with my load and Craig's gonna call me before I hear about it, that's trust. And then that trust element like that's that's what people need. They need their stuff move from point A to point B from somebody that they can trust correct. 

0:45:10 - Speaker 1
That's the perfect way to end it. Last week I I did a podcast, a solo podcast, and I said if you can gain their trust, you can gain their money and you can build a life that you want. Because trust is trust is more important than than love. And when, when you're talking about building a business and having transactions with other people, because, Craig, I could love you to death, but if I can't trust you to pick up my loads and get them from point A to point B, you know what? I'm gonna love you to death, but you ain't getting my loads. 

Hey, man, I appreciate you jumping on in the huddle. This has been great. It's a lot of knowledge that's been shared here. I hope everybody can reach out to Craig and give him a Big thank you at some point. Craig, if there's shippers out there, if there's other people that that's looking for employment with a company like yours, if people want to reach out to you and get more knowledge from you, what route should they go for any of that? For employment, for knowledge for it, for any of that stuff? 

0:46:15 - Speaker 2
So, first thing, on employment, we always have our jobs posted on the A.Duie Pyle website so you can go through that area. If you're a Shipper or carrier that you know wants to understand, like, how can we work with you? You'll work with Pyle on the brokerage side or any of our other modes. You know, for that, Again, that's You can go that route, you know. And if you're ever looking for your advice, you're newer in your, newer in your career Send, send me a message on LinkedIn because you know, quite frankly, I respond to that a little bit more than there. You know, quicker than I do emails and emails in some cases. But yeah, if you're starting out, let's have a conversation, because so many people helped me get to where I am today and and you know, always trying to, you know, help that next generation of supply chain professionals. 

0:47:15 - Speaker 1
That's what it's all about. That's why we come here in the huddle, that's why you are in the huddle and that's why we do this, because we all teammates, you all want to see this logistics industry continue to grow and grow and X and excellence and Excellence. That's why I got into this industry, Craig, so I appreciate you man. Hey, this is in the huddle. I'm your host, Dez Clark. I'll see you guys on the next episode, so coming up some. 

In The Huddle with Craig Lough
The Logistics Industry
Challenges and Solutions in LTL Shipping
Investing in People and Technology
Success in Sales and Building Trust