Nick Phillips, AVP of Operations, Discusses Outsourcing Transportation & The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Outsourcing transportation ahead of FSMA

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FSMA puts an emphasis on proactively preventing contamination of foods from farm to table.

There are several key points for shippers and transportation companies to start thinking about in order to get ahead of the curve…

  • The shipper will be required to specify, in writing, its sanitary requirements to the carrier; such as required temperature.
  • Shipper must inspect the trailer for cleanliness, confirm sanitation, and confirm temperatures.
  • Carrier must show shipper that it has maintained appropriate temperature control during transport for food subject to temperature control requirements.
  • Carriers will also have to provide shippers information about three previous loads hauled and the intervening cleaning of those vehicles.
  • Must have competent supervisory personnel ensuring compliance and must have training with documentation.

More than ever, it will be important for shippers to align themselves with experts in the food and beverage industry to ensure compliance and to ensure they have control over their supply chain.  There are several advantages to outsourcing your transportation to a Food and Beverage focused 3PL.

  • Carrier Networks – 3PL’s leverage industry relationships with the correct carrier base. They have a stringent on-boarding protocol to ensure the correct equipment and service levels are being met.  After identifying the correct carrier base, 3PL’s are able to leverage their vast networks to help lower cost by having carriers bid on freight and commit capacity to the business.
  • Technology – A 3PL with a focus on technology will be a step ahead of the game. There are several temperature monitoring services, location monitoring services, etc. that a good 3PL focused on the Food and Beverage industry will leverage to ensure compliance to the FSMA.  3PL’s with a strong TMS are also able to leverage backhauls, increased consolidation and optimized routing which offers more control of the equipment and less opportunity for the wrong product mix to be loaded onto a trailer.
  • Risk Mitigation – Outsourcing transfers the risk of transportation to the logistics provider. It allows shippers to focus on their core business.

There are many advantages to outsourcing your transportation needs.  It will be important to start the process early to leverage the expertise and technology of your chosen provider.  The more a company can prepare now, the less issues and disruptions to your business FSMA will present.

Nick Phillips, AVP of Operations and Accoun Manangement



Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Allows BRT to offer 24/7 Service Anywhere & Anytime

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“VDI allows us to meet customer expectations anywhere/anytime”.
Carey Weddle, Director of Finance & Administration

 

I joined BRT in 2012, new to the world of Food and Beverage Transportation.  I quickly learned that moving perishable goods is not like moving transmissions.  Our CEO, David Frizzell, made that idea clear to me with his favorite saying, “the product we move is dying the second it comes off the vine”.  Because BRT grew from the produce distribution environment our High Service Logistics Teams were built on 24/7 service.  Access to our TMS and supply chain resources anytime/anywhere were a necessity.

BRT moved to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in 2014.  Prior to the change BRT had experienced regular system downtime.  I was tasked with finding a new solution to stabilize our work environment.  Coming from traditional server environments at prior stops in my career, I had concerns with a new solution, but the opportunity to work anywhere in any environment fit our business needs perfectly.  Teaming up with AdarIT to access our systems via VMWare has changed the way we do business.  I now have the same access to my desktop, no matter where works calls, via my laptop, tablet or smart phone.  Sometimes I seamlessly bounce back in forth between all three throughout the day.  With our VDI environment I can start a project at my desktop, run into a meeting with my IPad, and my desktop travels with me.  The same session is available via my IPhone over lunch and other than working off a smaller monitor I have the same access and functionality as I do in my office.

In addition to an improved user experience, VDI through AdarIT has allowed us to scale our IT resources as the business grows.  Our head count has grown 25% since moving to the cloud.  The growth has been seamless without any new IT resources.  The Wyse terminals used to connect to our cloud desktops require no maintenance, have a longer life and cost half as much as providing each user local desktops.  The move to VDI has allowed us to focus on our core business of High Service Logistics.

For our customers, BRT serves as a single point of access to hundreds of carriers and flexible transportation capacity.  We have developed industry leading technology and the BRT Proven Process to standardize the high service our customers expect.  VDI allows our logistics managers to have access to our network of lane data and backhaul opportunities anywhere/anytime so we can meet customer expectations.



Q2 Letter from CEO Dave Frizzell

DSC_0030It has been extremely exciting to see so many new faces around BRT. Between recent new hires and our intern program, parking is becoming a premium!

The type of growth we are experiencing at BRT presents unlimited opportunities for our team members. It also presents its own set of challenges. The biggest challenge is culture.

As most of you know I am a firm believer in culture. Whether it’s here at work or at home, we all are part of a culture. The word itself is simply a noun, but when you put an adjective in front of it, suddenly culture becomes an extremely powerful force. One that can propel a company and its people to success and personal fulfillment or one that can limit potential and demoralize well-being.

I side with Tony Hsieh’s, the CEO and of Zappos, belief; that interactions both between employees and with customers and vendors – are the key to a business’s identity. Here are two of my favorite quotes from Tony:

  1. Surround yourself with the right people:  “At Zappos, we really view culture as our No. 1 priority. We decided that if we get the culture right, most of the stuff, like building a brand around delivering the very best customer service, will just take care of itself.”–January 9th, 2010, The New York Times
  2. Practice what you preach:  “We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”–November 15, 2010, The Huffington Post

The amazing power about culture is that it is not created by the CEO, HR, or Marketing. Those departments simply nurture it. An authentic culture is created by everyone. Every activity we execute, every decision we make, and every interaction we have has a direct impact on the culture you are a part of. At the end of the day BRT will only go as far as we all decide to take it.

Dave’s LinkedIn Page



Blue Ribbon Channels the Spirit of the Race With Our Own BRT 500

The week prior to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the BRT engagement committee planned a fun two day event for the employees of Blue Ribbon.  Titled “BRT 500”, employees were divided into teams (comprised of individuals from different departments) to compete in a Bowling Match, a PIG Contest on our in-office 1/2 Court, and a relay “chair” race.

Each team was asked to construct a “car” that could be worn while sitting in a chair for the chair relay race.  Look at the creativity!

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Similar to the Indy 500, we had a 500 “Court”.  Our employees submitted their nominations and during our fun two day event, we tallied the votes and presented the BRT 500 Prince and Princesses court.  To kick off the races, our court paraded through the office.

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Our PIG contest followed the traditional single elimination bracket form and our 2016 BRT 500 PIG winner was Nick Phillips!

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Congratulations to Nick Jones’ Team for winning BOTH the Bowling and the BRT 500 Car/Chair Races!!

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To see hilarious video of a few of our relays, check out our FB page.