Kendra Miller is the director of alliance partner development for SMC³. She recently sat down to chat about how she began her career in the LTL industry and how she maintains a strong relationship with customers.
What’s your area of expertise at SMC³?
I oversee and manage partnerships between SMC³ and technology providers, who use our products to optimize the LTL portions of their applications. Working in this area lets me have strategic discussions with TMS providers and other software developers about how we can work together for the benefit of their end users. I take a collaborative approach with every partner. My end goal is always the same: Helping them implement SMC³ products in their platforms so their customers can streamline the inherently complex LTL shipment lifecycle.
How did you get involved with LTL rating and transit technology?
I started in the transportation industry right out of college, working as a management trainee on a dock for an LTL carrier. Over my 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, I’ve truly enjoyed exploring the complexities of LTL, understanding the complications of LTL pricing, and dissecting how various carrier networks operate. Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to learn and study with exceptionally gifted mentors. The knowledge they’ve shared, coupled with my experience, allows me to more effectively discuss and show customers how SMC³ solutions can save their businesses time and money.
What’s the first thing customers always want to know about the company’s technology?
They truly expect a quality product from SMC³ to make informed business decisions, achieve higher returns on their transportation investment and meet ever-changing market demands. New software developers are always surprised by the speed, reliability and security of RateWare XL and CarrierConnect XL. These products offer seamless integration with TMS applications to deliver LTL pricing, transit-time and carrier-service data. Technology providers value the ease of integration with those products and our team’s customer focus.
SMC³ has a number of interesting projects on tap for 2018. In your mind, how will customers benefit from what is in the pipeline?
We don’t create new solutions in a vacuum. We’re constantly listening to our partners in order to provide quality, robust solutions that will help meet their needs and the needs of their customers. This year, we’re expanding our API-powered SMC³ Platform, which fuels applications with unrivaled LTL analytical capabilities and shipment visibility data. This expansion will provide new solutions for our technology partners depending on the market they service.
How do you maintain a strong business relationship with your customers?
Building a strong relationship with our alliance partners is all about honesty and delivery. It is essential to understand their needs, and the needs of their shipper and 3PL customers.
I recently worked with an alliance partner that was looking to improve the LTL capabilities of their system, so they wrote some of their own direct-to-carrier APIs. But the response time of their API connections was a concern; there were some gaps with the information that was being returned to them. So we discussed the value of RateWare XL and CarrierConnect XL. In the end, the technology provider chose to integrate to those products to quickly and efficiently meet the needs of their customers.
I’m always talking with our alliance partners in order to learn about their pain points, explore new trends in the industry and have them provide me with feedback on SMC³ products and services. Attending their user conferences to meet with alliance partners and their customers face to face in order to hear about their needs (and following through by being responsive to those needs) builds trust.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. My son is very active in baseball, and as a family, we enjoy traveling, volunteering and being involved in any outdoor sports activities. Fun fact: I met my husband on a customer call 15 years ago, so supply chain management truly runs in the family.
If you’d like to expand your offerings and join SMC³’s alliance partner program, contact Kendra directly at KMiller@smc3.com to discuss your business needs.