FREIGHT AGENCY Q & A – MG Ward Solutions
“I appreciate the opportunity to have joined the GlobalTranz team. I have never worked with a company I had not personally met first. All my meetings were by phone and it was a little scary at the beginning; however, I do not regret it. GlobalTranz allows an agent to be successful as one wants to be. The company provides the tools and back office support to guide you in the direction where one can obtain the answers to move forward.” – Martha Gallego-Ward | MG Ward Solutions
How did you get your start in the logistics industry?
Prior to logistics, I was the shipper. I was the Sales Service Manager for Universal Container Corporation, plastics manufacturer based out of Puerto Rico, servicing the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industry for 14 years. I participated in the selection of carriers to handle our ocean shipments delivering to the U.S. within a seven-day cycle time and hitting on-time deliveries 98% of the time. I think logistics was in my future plan without me knowing it. I moved back to Illinois in 2001, right before 911. In 2003 I joined ABF Freight System as a rookie. I had never sold transportation services in my life, but understood the importance, having the experience of the other side of equation. ABF was, and is, a great company, the best transportation school I could have joined. My boss had moved in to the terminal manager role and I took over the largest territory without product experience. Our transit times were the slowest in the market place, 7-9 days to California; 3-4 days to the Midwest. I was able to spin transit times understanding order cycle times, inventory position and targeting on-time deliveries based on when the customer actually needed the product. Identifying customer requirements was, and is, one of my strengths. I set up the account for success. I was told by my colleague’s “always tell the customer they need to give you three tries before they decide to change your service.” I said, “No, I want to identify what they need and how I can fit our services into their program.” It worked. I like being thrown into the maze and figure things out and utilize all the tools I have available; this is very important.
During my seven plus years at ABF I grew my territory exponentially; I went to President Club, received recognitions consecutive years in a row for top performer, and I was moving 63,000,000 lbs. freight by the time I left the company. I became a Supply Chain Logistics advisor for my customer’s and was always there to try and figure out the best and most economical way to move their freight; while allowing them to meet with their customer demands.
How long have you been in the industry?
How long have you been partnered with GlobalTranz?
Totally engaged, started January 2016
What do you find inspiring/motivating?
I love new challenges and projects and becoming a part of my customer’s team. I work to earn their trust and respect and want them to know that I am truly working for them, in their best interest. I find it fascinating to learn about products and services offered in our market place and how each company takes a different approach to their business. Everyone has a mutual end goal; but each one has a different path to get there.
How many members are on your team?
Four (4) total; three CSR’s and myself.
Do you utilize Customer Service, if so how big is your CSR team?
Customer Service is the driving force behind our business and I have three dedicated members assigned to customer specific accounts. Jackie Reynoso is my lead Operations person. Jackie has a Bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain and Logistics; she started her career on the International side. She worked for Hapag Lloyd prior to joining our team. Working with our team is his first experience with domestic LTL; TL; Volume, Expedite and as the third party liaison. Jackie handles 50% of my revenue accounts. Jackie recently had a baby, her second child, and is able to work from home. Her background experience brings strength and leadership into the team. Jeimmy Smith handles one of my largest accounts from rating their daily orders, presenting for carrier selection, entering the orders, tendering and following-up through delivery. Jeimmy has worked for me for a year now. Jimena Balvin is our newest member. Jimena started her studies to become a teacher. Jimena is my Administrative lead person; she is handling order expediting and follow-ups; re-bills; OS&D as well as small accounts assigned to her; she is also working on some consistent truckload moves and helping with the development of a new account with hand holding requirements.
Where do you see yourself and your business within the next year?
I would like to add a person to develop truckload and be able to utilize the brokerage advantage we have. I do love our truckload team in Arizona and Honduras; they are awesome to work with; so I would go the route that makes the most sense for the customer and the company. I would also like to add a sales person as well as another CSR. Growth is obviously our goal; however, organized growth is important. If we do a good job; add value for our customer’s; I believe the good word will get out and our doors will open to more opportunities.
What are you currently working on?
We are working on opening an office. I am hoping this becomes reality in the next couple of months. While the employees still have the flexibility to work from home; the office is a good meeting point a couple of times a week for group unity, training and interaction.
What service do you utilize the most (i.e. LTL, FLT, Expedited, Supply Chain)
LTL is the main driver of our business; followed by truckload. Many of my customer’s use expedite(d), but I have noticed a decline in expedite(d), probably driven by better planning and inventory position by customers. However, most of them do require this service from time to time. Supply Chain is another area I will always present to the right customer in need of the service.
What obstacles have you overcome to get thus far?
Training and building a team in a short time period has been my biggest challenge; as well as keeping the business going without interruption. There have not been enough hours in a day to get everything done (with) quality. I do have to give a special thank you to our great Training Specialist, Alison Crawford. She is awesome.
What are some words of encouragement you can give to newer agents just getting started?
“There is light at the end of the tunnel and I am started to see mine and I am so excited. Yes, you have to invest the time, and you need to share your earnings with the right people on board because one cannot do this by themselves. Letting others be a part of your growth and success will make you even more successful.”
Where are you from?
I was born in Chicago, IL and raised between Chicago and western suburbs; and I spent 15 years in Puerto Rico, and then returned in 2001.
Where do you like to travel?
I have gone to Alaska a couple of times, while my son was in the U.S. Air Force. We really enjoyed Alaska. I enjoy traveling to different parts of the U.S. Continent and learning about different parts of our country; as well as I always go back to Puerto Rico when I am able to visit with friends and family. I love the Caribbean.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like to exercise; walking/jogging; step aerobics and Zumba. I like working with our church compassion ministry. I would like to have more time for this.
What do you like to do in your downtime, who do you like to spend it with?
I enjoy date nights with husband; and my children with their spouses (I have three sons); spending time taking my grandson Cristian to his basketball practice and watching his games; and going to Indianapolis to visit my twin granddaughters and two grandsons and I also like to take road trips to Arkansas to visit my in-laws. Yes, our family is scattered and I am spread thin but that is ok.