Jason Shelnutt is the director of logistics sales for SMC³. He recently took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about his past experience in the LTL industry, how he maintains a great relationship with customers, and what’s on the horizon for SMC³ in 2018.
What’s your area of expertise at SMC³, and why do you like working in that area?
I manage all sales and operations for 3PLs and logistics service providers and transportation intermediaries. I enjoy working in that area because each day presents a different and unique opportunity to help a new company achieve its end goals.
For the past year or so, a lot of my customers have been wondering if API solutions are right for them, and these clients obviously want to know what SMC³ brings to the table. I walk these customers through the transactional APIs in our SMC³ Platform, but I also show them how these direct-to-carrier APIs aren’t always the answer.
Here’s an example: I recently heard from a logistics service provider that had been looking around the market for a transactional API provider. They weren’t completely convinced that was the right route for the company, so they ended up using our RateWare XL product instead. With a product like RateWare XL, 3PLs can batch rate up to 60,000 shipments per minute; that allows for some pretty fast, reliable and detailed analysis. It’s a good thing they did! When they analyzed a batch of their freight bills through RateWare XL, they soon learned that the original bills they routed through the system contained a number of errors from the carriers. If they were using transactional APIs, those errors would have been missed. While transactional APIs are great for real-time data, these single-shipment tools aren’t able to handle jobs that need substantial computing power.
APIs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so I work with each customer to provide them with the tools they need to get the job done right.
How did you get involved with LTL rating and transit technology?
Prior to joining SMC³, I spent 15 years on the sales and management side of the 3PL and freight forwarding industry. I know 15 years isn’t a lifetime, but I learned a lot working with shippers day in and day out to help move their products. The work gave me a feel for the issues and opportunities that shape the forwarding and 3PL arenas. My experience dealing with those issues from a forwarder’s perspective has helped me immensely in my job at SMC³.
What’s the first thing customers always want to know about the company’s technology? What surprises them about SMC³ once you explain the full range of what SMC³ does?
Logistics service providers are always asking for the latest and greatest technology that SMC³ has to offer, and it’s great to be able to tell them about new developments because we’re always working on new LTL and truckload tools or creating updates to meet new customer needs.
In today’s transportation climate, nearly all of my customers are talking about real-time shipment visibility solutions. Companies have come to expect superior data quality and innovation from SMC³, and so I walk my customers through the SMC³ Platform and show them how our transactional and analytical APIs allow them to optimize their LTL shipments from rating all the way through the delivery process.
SMC³ has a number of interesting projects on tap for 2018. How will customers benefit from what is in the pipeline?
Since we’re constantly working on creating the most robust, reliable tools on the market, we’ll be unveiling a number of new API tools that allow customers to quickly and securely optimize the LTL shipment lifecycle.
How do you maintain a strong business relationship with your customers, and what’s the most important aspect of that dynamic?
Creating a solid off-the-clock bond really is the key to building a solid business relationship. I’m always picking up the phone to talk with customers about industry trends or to just see how they’re doing and I know they appreciate the time to just chat and unwind.
Working at SMC³, I’ve developed numerous long-term business relationships due to the fact that customers like our products, and once they realize how we can help them optimize their LTL spend, they become advocates for SMC³.
Bonus Question: When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not working you can usually find me outdoors – on the golf course, the lake or hunting. On most Saturdays in the fall, I’ll either be in Athens, Georgia or glued to a TV watching my Bulldogs play.
Jason prides himself on finding the right SMC³ solution for every logistics need. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your business needs.