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Behind the scenes at SMC³ with Phil Smith

SMC³’s resident execution and visibility expert, product owner Phil Smith, is constantly collaborating with customers and prospects regarding SMC³’s execution and visibility APIs and how implementation can optimize the entire shipment lifecycle. Phil recently took time to discuss how he got started in the LTL industry, how businesses can benefit from SMC³ LTL APIs and other SMC³ solutions, and his current guilty pleasure.

What’s your area of expertise at SMC³, and why do you like working in that area?

I specialize in SMC³’s LTL execution and visibility APIs, for which I’ve been working with for about five years now. What’s great about these solutions is that there’s a lot of variety, and more importantly, lots of room for forming hypotheses and then running little experiments to observe outcomes that enable us to either stay the course or make a pivot in order to add value for our customer.

How did you get involved with LTL technology?

I was a sales professional in the tile and stone industry for many years, and all our tile was shipped using large and small LTL carriers, so that was the beginning of my familiarity with LTL. However, when the Great Recession of 2007-2009 occurred, I realized I needed to change industries to one that promised more long-term stability and that was subject to less volatile economic cycles.

Since joining the SMC³ team, I’ve had several roles. As an integration support specialist, I supported our customers’ development teams that were building integrations to RateWare XL and CarrierConnect XL.  What I’ve learned since then is that “learning LTL” is a continuous voyage of discovery, full of surprises and loads of jargon: “skid”, “SCAC,” and “reefer” being a few of my personal favorites.    

Customers are intrigued by SMC³s execution and visibility APIs. What’s the first thing customers want to know about the company’s APIs?

After doing many demos and pre-sale calls with prospective customers, I’ve learned that the first thing they want to know is: “Are my most important carriers, for the services I need, included in the LTL APIs solution?” We typically dive into whatever the prime motivator is that led them to explore using our APIs to solve their particular challenge (e.g., automating manual tasks, price-shopping carriers (“rate-shop”), meeting new carrier process requirements, etc.) APIs are attractive, in general, because of the relatively low effort required to stand up these connections that truly enable modern digitalization of data and workflows.

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

When I think about SMC³’s unique position in the supply chain ecosystem, of being an unbiased force for enhancing the success of less-than-truckload transportation participants, I really feel that our LTL expertise, knowledge, and experience deliver a competitive edge. Above all, we’re the go-to for all things LTL pricing. Expanding our footprint from there, SMC³’s robust product portfolio enables us to reach further and deeper into the industry we serve, to solve additional challenges companies are facing today, from saving costs through competitive bidding using Bid$ense, to lightweight LTL freight execution management with LTL GO to new, innovative pricing options.

It’s great to know we have solutions today for larger and smaller companies looking for better ways to manage their LTL freight. Diversity of offerings enhances our value to the market at-large and increases the number of touchpoints that our company has in our industry. The more companies and the people that run them, that we connect with, the greater our collective expertise becomes and thus the greater our value to customers with LTL needs. 

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

My current guilty pleasure is watching “The Great British Bake Off.”  Besides that, I’m a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fan and even do an occasional vlog called “Distant Lightning” to comment and postulate on that team. I also play hockey and look forward to getting back on the ice sometime soon.

If eating is something to be done for fun, then I’d include that. I’m fortunate to be married to my wife Alison who is an excellent home cook who won me over with her chicken champignons when she was only 20 years old! I’ve been eating well ever since. PC gaming, though, is my great hobby and I maintain long-distance friendships through it. Rocket League, Hunt Showdown, and Hell Let Loose are some of my favorite titles I’m into today. 

SMC³’s API solutions allow freight transportation stakeholders to digitize the LTL shipment lifecycle from quote to delivery. Contact sales@smc3.com to schedule a free demo and download the infographic to learn more.

Categories: LTL, Product
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