behind the scenes

Behind the scenes at SMC³ with Kevin Springer

Kevin Springer, vice president of sales at SMC³, has spent his entire career in the freight transportation industry. After gaining valuable experience with an LTL carrier and learning the ins and outs of TMS applications, Springer brought his significant expertise to SMC³. At the transportation technology company, Springer is in charge of a dedicated team of sales professionals. 

Springer recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk about how he works to connect SMC³ customers with the ideal solutions to meet their business needs.  

Why do you like working on the sales side of the business?

I’m customer-service and customer-centric, and my mantra is to take care of the customer. At SMC³, my primary role is to help oversee the growth of our organization as well as all customer-facing activities from a sales support and customer support perspective. We have a team of about 15 people that help manage all aspects of the customer’s needs.

Our customers depend on us to provide a secure and reliable service at a fair price. My outlook on customer service is simple: Treat them the way I would want to be treated.

What’s the best part about working at SMC³?

The thing I like so much about SMC³ is that every day is different. We work with the asset side, learning from carriers what they need from a pricing and rating standpoint and how they operate their businesses. We also work closely with 3PLs. Our customers are also shippers — small companies that are managing their own freight all the way up to large shippers that have very complex supply chains. We also work with the technology providers that sit between all of these consumers. You really get to see all facets of each one of these customers’ processes and how they work together.

I firmly believe that if we take care of the customers and we take care of our employees, everything else will work out.

How did you get involved with LTL technology?

I was loading trucks for Carolina Freight, an asset-based LTL carrier, in college. Once I got out of college, I worked on the 3PL side of things, and we were always involved with LTL processes. The big technology shift happened for me in 1998, when I went to work for Descartes Systems Group, a TMS provider and a large EDI provider. In 2000, visibility was a big mantra in the industry. That’s where I was first exposed to it.

I then went to work for a global ERP provider called Cargowise, which was more on the software side. I ultimately found my way to SMC³ 12 years ago.

What are new customers surprised to learn about SMC³ products?

Our solutions require all teams to get involved, on both sides, with implementation. It really requires a partnership to make it all come together and work. I think that may be the most surprising thing that customers uncover – when they purchase our solutions, it really is the beginning of a long-lasting partnership.

SMC³ has a number of interesting projects in the pipeline. How will these new solutions help optimize your customers’ supply chains?

We have a variety of new products that are really going to supplement and enhance our current offerings. Our goal is to become a full-service provider for our customer, giving them all the tools to optimize the lifecycle of their shipments.

One of our new offerings is LTL GO, which gives customers that do not have TMS applications the ability to consume some of our more advanced services. With an online interface, these clients can engage in rate shopping, shipment dispatch, freight tracking, etc. – all while using our APIs.

Speaking of our API platform, our connectivity offerings in the visibility and transaction space are continuing to evolve. We’re adding new tools every day at the request of our customers. Of course, the latest addition to our suite of products is the truckload version of Bid$ense®, which allows truckload shippers and 3PLs the ability to conduct high-level freight transportation procurement analysis and carrier comparisons.

How do you maintain a strong business relationship with your customers, and what’s the most important aspect of that dynamic?

Maintaining a strong business relationship is really about developing and nurturing a mutually beneficial partnership with our customers. We are constantly talking with our existing customers to learn about what problems they’re facing, understand their shifting business needs and provide the SMC³ products that will add value to their operations.

When clients buy our products, they know they’re also getting the support they need to optimize their supply chains. Once our clients are on board, our customers are generally with us as long as they are maintaining the LTL side of their businesses.

Overall, the key is to deliver sound, reliable products. SMC³ has been doing that for more than 85 years.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

I’m an outdoors person. I enjoy golfing, hiking, working out, running 5Ks, jogging, walking my dogs, boating, skiing — anything outside.

Amid the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, SMC³ is up and running without interruption. Let us know how we can help your business in this trying time with reliable, proven service. Contact us at customersupport@smc3.com or 1-800-845-8090.

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Categories: LTL, Technology
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