October 26, 2006 — Innovation holds the key to survival
and growth, top executives from leading LTL companies learned at
the annual Executive Summit sponsored by Carrier Logistics Inc.
at the Tarrytown House in Tarrytown, N.Y., late last month.
The industry conference, produced and underwritten by CLI, provided
transportation execs with tools to help them achieve success now
and in coming years. The event was open to top LTL and parcel delivery
trucking executives by invitation only.
Attendees were treated to a wide variety of presentations and
Keynoter Stephen Shapiro, founder of 24/7 Innovation, said the
keys to innovation, and hence the future, will belong to nontraditional
thinkers who utilize the seven Rs: Rethink, reconfigure, resequence,
relocate, reduce, reassign, and retool.
A presentation on telephony highlighted the link between innovations
and reduced costs. Lou Person, president, Traxi Technologies, showed
how VoIP has evolved and how it will help companies save on the
high costs of communications.
A U.S./Canadian study by Mastiogale that identified how customers
choose a carrier using 20 attributes most important to customer
satisfaction, loyalty and other value factors was released at the
conference. Attendees were able to benchmark their performance against
the study’s parameters.
Jack Pickard, president of FedEx Custom Critical, told how his
company learned technological innovation alone is not enough –
that it must be coupled to strategic vision. His company’s
achievements include expedited, carefully handled, and temperature-controlled
Shipper Thomas Wright, director of supply chain management at Kohler
Co. in Wisconsin, provided insights from the shipper’s point
of view. “Every morning,” he told attendees, “I
wake up and ask myself how we can reduce our dependence on LTL.”
He and co-presenter Brian Christian, founder of DASO consulting
(and former vice president of global product development at Whirlpool
Corp.), shed light on how customers think and the importance of
incorporating the customers’ view when creating an innovation
Andrew McCarthy, product manager, Progress Software, discussed
the pros and cons of RFID vs. traditional bar code scanning. As
RFID tags have dropped from $2 to 20 cents each, he said, the innovative
technology has evolved into one that can help LTL carriers achieve
Jeff Fidacaro, vice president and transportation analyst for Merrill
Lynch, spoke about a bright, if challenging, future for the companies
in the LTL trucking industry. He discussed the effects of carrier
mergers and intermodal competition.
In a case history pulled from the trucking industry, Thomas Kempa,
vice president of CIGNA Healthcare and a former HR manager at Schneider
Trucking, showed how innovative thinking helped achieve better healthcare
benefits for truck drivers while saving millions.
Shared services, a strategy whereby carriers combine an operation,
such as billing, to achieve economies of scale, came under examination
in a presentation by Jeff Keller, principal of Keller Services.
His experience working with Ryder and others, he said, shows that
when innovative strategies are used, shared services can create
new business opportunities.
The CLI three-day trucking leadership event also encompassed roundtable
discussions and interactive workshops on how to deal with the driver
shortage and activity-based costing.
Carrier Logistics Inc., a transportation systems consultant and
technology developer, has provided software solutions to truckers
for more than 30 years. CLI can be reached at (914)332-0300.