Communication in the Logistics Industry

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INTRODUCTION

Mr. Larry Evensky is President/owner of Transportation Provider Services (TPS) located at 4715 Line Avenue in Shreveport, Louisiana. TPS is a regional third party logistics corporation that specializes in transporting aluminum, cottonseed, and rice primarily between points in the Southeastern United States via tractor-trailer rig. The company has been in business approximately 28 years and is a small company with a total of 6 employees.

INTEROFFICE COMMUNICATIONS

All TPS employees, except one, are in a single office space. This makes verbal communications the most convenient method of conducting communications between Mr. Evensky and his employees as well as between co-workers. Face to face communications has several advantages over electronic communications. It is fast, includes non-verbal cues, and generates immediate responses and feedback thus resulting in a better flow of information.

The one employee not in the home office is in a satellite office located in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Evensky communicates with the Dallas employee a couple of times a day primarily by phone.  Telephonic communications offers all the advantages of face to face communications except the non-verbal cues.

The only time Mr. Evensky prefers to communicate with employees by e-mail is when it’s something that he needs to keep a written record of. When he does communicate by e-mail, he keeps it short and sweet. He feels that people do not have the time nor inclination to read through a long drawn out letter.

COMMUNICATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS

As a third party logistics company, TPS has no physical product, inventory or equipment outside of the office. The party of the first part is the customer with a load that needs to be transported. The party of the second part are the drivers and their trucks. And TPS is the third party that matches up the first and second parties.

TPS’s business is based entirely on communications. It is an information company. Customers can communicate with TPS in one of four ways, phone, fax, e-mail and text. Mr. Evensky feels strongly that communications is the key in a logistics business because,“things can change in a second.” He freely gives out his cell phone number and often handles problems outside of routine business hours.

While receiving approximately 10-15 phone calls daily, Mr. Evensky receives well over a hundred e-mails and responds by e-mail around 20-30 times a day. He prefers to communicate with his customers by phone. He considers his customers his friends and believes e-mails are impersonal.

Once or twice a week, Mr. Evensky will leave the office in order to meet face to face with customers and/or prospective customers. He feels that his personal visits give him a competitive edge and is the difference between his company and his competitors. Being a regional company, most of TPS’s customers are not close enough geographically for Mr. Evensky to visit personally. He routinely calls these customers weekly just to chat. When recruiting new business, out of town, Mr. Evensky likes to phone potential customers and follow up with an e-mail presentation of his company.

Mr. Evensky’s employees, the people that make it happen, each have two phones at their desk. This allows them to communicate, if necessary, simultaneously with the customer and the trucker such as when a trucker needs directions to the pick-up or destination point.

When bad news has to be delivered, Mr. Evensky delivers it by phone. He believes a phone call provides a more immediate response than fax, e-mail, or texting and he feels that communicating by phone allows him to read the tone of the other party’s voice and communicate how bad he feels about the situation.

Likewise, Mr. Evensky delivers good news by phone as well. He enjoys hearing how pleased and happy his customers are.

Jessica Harris, Guest Blogger

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