Have you been tuning in to the weekly Metafora guest appearances on FreightWaves Now?
Our SMEs share the spotlight with FreightWaves NOW hosts to discuss important, trending, and timeless topics in the transportation, logistics, and freight space. While we encourage you to catch each segment live, we're rounding up a few recent spots here so you can binge watch as you please!
How to use Agile to improve your business
Kevin Jenkins, Sr Director of Engineering at Metafora, chats with the hosts about How to use Agile to improve your business.
What is Agile?
Agile software development is an umbrella term for a collection of frameworks and practices that are based on a set of specific values and principles. Agile is a response to what we’ve learned about software development over the last 60 years:
- Software development is hard.
- Software development involves building and working with complex systems and the unknown.
- There are an unlimited number of ways to solve any given problem AND there are just as many ways for things to go wrong
What are some of the challenges teams come across when trying to improve their agile and DevOps practices?
A common blocker is company politics. This is especially true when companies are organized and operate by function. When business, product, project management, engineering, operations, and QA are all separate departments and don’t come together to form cross-functional teams then we run into heavy processes and approvals, handoffs, misalignment of goals, and turf protection.
Another problem is simply a lack of expertise. It’s easy to read about how frameworks are supposed to operate, get 2-day certifications, and such, but it quickly becomes not-so-straightforward when you go to apply these practices in your own organization.
How can an agile coaching partner help?
At Metafora, we realize that every organization is different, and every Agile journey is different. Our Agile coaches work closely with your team to understand your unique challenges so that we can tailor a customized plan to achieve your desired outcomes.
Our goal is to instill Agile values, principles, mindset, and practices across your organization to enhance interactions, collaboration, and feedback loops. Empowered teams are high performing - they’ll deliver value quickly, promote innovation and rapidly respond to the changing needs of your customers.
Watch the full segment with Kevin about Agile Coaching here.
How technology drives both customer and vendor expectations
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s CGO, chats with the hosts about How technology drives both customer and vendor expectations.
Freight tech is becoming more accessible = a more level playing field
- New tech is emerging, and with apps, integrations, and the cloud, SMB are more able to compete with bigger players.
- This works in parallel with the fact that customer and vendor expectations have never been higher.
Not all Tech is Value-Add
Given the growth of readily available technology modules, it is critical, now more than ever, to focus on building technology that differentiates you and buying what you can as an accelerator. For example:
- Tech that enables new services lines (ex. SMB Managed Transportation)
- Tech that makes your data more actionable
- Tech that lowers the burden of management for non-core business needs, such as training
- Tech that makes your employees lives easier and more fulfilling
Implementation is Just as Important as the Build
- Many companies focus on building incredible technology. Great! However, many of those same companies do not spend the time and energy needed for the quality adoption of that tech.
- When widening their tech stack or capabilities, businesses need to consider and plan for transition activities, training/ongoing training, and maintenance.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about How technology drives both customer and vendor expectations here.
Investing in Technology while planning for an exit.
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO, chats with the hosts about Investing in Technology while planning for an exit.
What do you think about Investing in Technology in the context of planning to sell your company?
Companies demand higher valuations due to the Operational impacts of the technology, not for the technology itself.
Given the broader freight recession we're in, should companies planning on selling stop investing in Technology?
- No, but you need to be hyper-aware of the expected ROI / operational impacts of the Technology investments
- Per my point above, companies demand higher EV's not solely due to the technology, but due to the operational efficiencies they gain from Technology
Do you have any advice on how to best plan ahead for different scenarios in this turbulent market? How can we use this time as an opportunity to continue to improve our businesses?
- Now is the best time to invest in your business, you just need to be more judicious about the spend
- Clearly defined ROI that is tracked.
Watch the full segment with Peter about Investing in Technology while planning for an exit here.
Product with a capital “P”
Joel Bennett, Metafora’s VP of Product, chats with the hosts about Product with a Capital “P”.
What is Product and why does it matter?
Product with a capital “P” is the focus on the collaborative approach to solving users’ problems through better, more enjoyable interactions with software. Product is the entire ecosystem of product dev, which includes product managers, software engineers, architects, and customer service. If you can build a healthy ecosystem, this is how you innovate.
How do you leverage your product team to truly innovate?
Innovation comes from inclusivity, not exclusivity. This is where “Product” with a capital “P” is different from the product team. As you discover problems to be solved from market research, info from sales, feedback from the operations team, carrier reps, outside investment, and leadership, you should be developing solutions for those problems with input from all these areas as well.
Your product development team should be an integral part of this process. This is different from just giving your developers a list of things to do. The collaborative process is key to identifying the best possible solutions for the product you are building.
Watch the full segment with Joel about Product with a Capital “P” here.
Taking on TIA 2023 in Orlando, FL
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s CGO, chats with the hosts Live from TIA 2023 Conference.
- There’s a lot of optimism and excitement
- People are getting to know each other, networking, and learning about each other’s businesses.
- Panel: What to do when de market turns.
- Panel: How To Navigating Turbulent Freight Markets
- M&A has still been a hot topic
- Technology: how do I get the most out of my business with technology?
What FreightTech topics are we hearing?
- Capacity tools in a deflationary market.
- Customers continue to invest in the capacity side of the organization.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about TIA 2023 Conference here.
Getting the most out of available Freight Tech at TIA
Joe Lackey, Senior Product Manager at Metafora, chat with the hosts about getting the most out of available Freight Tech at TIA.
Preparing to find the right software product for your company at TIA
- Freight conferences offer a unique opportunity for folks to get to see a combination of existing transportation technology products, emerging products out there in the marketplace, and companies that can help you help accelerate your business goals
- There are 90 or so exhibitors at the conference all offering you information on products or services that can move your business forward, preparation will go a long way to make sure you get the most out of your time
- Talk to top performers and see where they feel there are shortcomings of the software they use
What do I do when I get back from TIA?
- Prioritize your time afterward to talk through the available options
- Take a step back and see if the product fits your company's specific needs.
- Start an internal discussion around your product roadmap and whether you should go with a build or buy strategy
- As you get back into your day-to-day and realize how difficult it may be to dedicate the time and resources to analyze what you just saw, you can reach out to a company like Metafora to perform a technology analysis, taking a look at your specific problems and your companies most important needs
- If you have found the time and identified the partners you’d like to work with but don't have the resources to get started on integrations or the best approach for implementation, an integration partner like Socket would be worth having a conversation with
Watch the full segment with Joe about Getting the most out of available Freight Tech at TIA here.
Important things to consider when looking for software dev help
Louis Stevens, Assoc. Software Engineer II at Metafora, chat with the hosts about the important things to consider when looking for software dev help.
The translation process
- Turning business goals/ideas into functional intuitive software
- This process can seem straightforward but there’s a lot that can be lost in this translation
- By the time a business goal gets rolled out into software and is in the user’s hands that idea should be enhanced by the execution process
Importance of great communication on a software development team
- When the product/engineering team fully understands a feature, understands the “What are we building” and “Why are we building it”, then the question of “How to build it” becomes very clear.
- At Metafora, communication is what sets us apart, we take the time to communicate, ask probing questions and fully understand a feature before we begin translating it to code.
- Our channels of communication with experts in different fields are what allow us to massively cut down on wasted engineering efforts and help us to better serve our clients and users (It’s the secret sauce of what makes us a good partner)
Watch the full segment with Lou about the important things to consider when looking for software dev help here.
Navigating the current job market
Catherine Brock, Recruiter at Metafora, chats with the hosts about The Job Market and Recruiting in the Current Economy.
What candidates are really looking for in our current job market?
- People are looking for stability. We keep hearing of these mass layoffs, especially in the tech industry, so people are afraid to leave their jobs in search of a different or better opportunity because that isn’t guaranteed.
- Remote work. The pandemic undeniably changed the corporate world and standard 9-5 office jobs. People want remote work because it allows them to work comfortably from wherever and truly provides a sense of work-life balance.
Developing a company careers page that gets candidates excited
Showcase your people, like an actual picture of current employees with fun facts about them. It really provides a personality for a company when you’re showing the actual people that work there on the website - it makes it personal and real and allows people to envision themselves working there
Red flags in job descriptions/ why no one is applying for your role
Low salary or no salary listed, a lengthy or vague job description, too many required interview rounds, no clear growth trajectory, bad reviews on Indeed, Google or Glassdoor.
Better to have:
- Link to a quick video about “Why to work at X Company” - really gives people a sense of what they’re walking into
- Clear job description of responsibilities
- Employee testimonials
- Active Linkedin profiles of who you’ll be interviewing with
Watch the full segment with Cat about The Job Market and Recruiting in the Current Economy here.
How are Emerging Tech and NLP changing the face of logistics?
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s Chief Growth Officer joined the show to chat about Emerging Tech and NLP in logistics.
How are Emerging Tech and NLP changing the face of logistics?
- Optimization of operations
- Better resource allocation
- Increase efficiency/ agility
- Improve customer service/satisfaction
How can Tech Consulting help logistics companies stay ahead of the curve?
- Ensure Adoption
- Identifying emerging technologies and implementing them into their business processes.
- By partnering with tech consultants, companies can gain insights into the latest trends, and develop custom solutions that help them optimize their operations.
How is Tech Stack a critical component for a logistics company?
- Operational Efficiency
- Data Management
- Integration of Emerging Technologies
- Collaboration and Communication
Watch the full segment with Ryan about Emerging Tech and NLP in logistics here.
Road To Innovation: How to Build and Maintain a High-Functioning Software Development Team
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO, chats with the hosts about How to Build and Maintain a High Functioning Software Development Team.
How do you think about building high-functioning software development teams?
- Hybrid software development teams combine in-house and outsourced talent for greater flexibility and efficiency.
- Businesses can scale up or down quickly based on market demands.
- Leverage the latest technologies and tools to enhance transportation and logistics operations.
- Helps businesses adapt quickly to changing market conditions.
- Can reduce costs, increase profitability, and provide valuable insights for improving operations.
What metrics do you recommend tracking to measure the success of a hybrid software development team implementation in transportation and logistics businesses?
- Number of bugs/fixes needed
Watch the full segment with Peter about How to Build and Maintain a High Functioning Software Development Team here.
Training and Sync Logistics Training
Nick Dangles, Co-Founder at Kinetic, joined the show to chat about Training and Sync Logistics Training.
About Sync Logistics Training:
- Training-as-a-service platform for the transportation industry
- Training is just an area where the industry really struggles, and I mean that from both a new hire perspective and a continuing education and professional development perspective
- Metafora and Kinetic put together Sync to deliver training more effectively, to help decrease ramp times and improve retention, and to lessen the burden on management.
How does Sync approach training?
- Learning has to be engaging, relevant and actionable
- Learning is a process, not an event
Who is Sync for?
- Moving into other players down the line
- Currently brokers AND tech companies
- Tech companies: Deliver customer success materials to their customers and integrating some of our training into that to improve adoption
Watch the full segment with Nick about Training and Sync Logistics Training here.
Common missteps in working to build and grow a brokerage
Adam Perlmutter, Metafora’s Director of Industry Consulting joined the show to chat about the common missteps in working to build and grow a brokerage.
What are some of the biggest challenges when building/ growing a brokerage?
- Not having a plan and approaching with a “figure it out” mentality: Most common areas we see are around Sales, Tech and Capacity Strategy
What are the steps to mitigate risk in these areas?
- For sales, define GTM strategy and stick to core services provided
- Tech, plan a roadmap with the sequencing of initiatives and timelines- revisit regularly to align with business goals.
- Capacity, make an intentional effort to prospect strategic partners where your lanes match the carrier’s network and build a mutually beneficial working relationship. There is a time and place for transactional carriers, but the core capacity network should be made up of carriers who need the lanes you are running.
Watch the full segment with Adam about the common missteps in working to build and grow a brokerage here.
The early conference season
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s Chief Growth Officer joined the show to chat about the busy early conference season: BGSA, Manifest, Stifel, and Lean Mastermind!
- Optimism around the rate environment.
- People still focus on ways to make better businesses and on how to control costs, so that they can set themselves up for growth.
- M&A space: there are still deals to be done, and people are really interested to do deals and expanding the types of deals they’re looking at.
- Deal flow to peak up substantially in Q2 and the end of the year.
- Return to normal: things have changed in the space. Investment in Tech and driver wages have gone up. Normal is going to be different going forward.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about the early conference season here.
Amid a volatile market: take time to refocus on your foundation
Nick Oliver, Metafora’s Associate Director of Consulting, joined the show to chat about What to Focus On During A Volatile Market.
Core Focus Areas
- Customer interaction and experience
- Internal with employees
- Strategic goal setting and actions taken by leadership
Having the right roles in place to service customer and internal needs
Exploring nearshoring partners when possible to limit costs and streamline operations
Emotional Decision Making
- Try not to let emotions feed business decisions and instead do your best to act off data and your overall company charter and vision
- Hasty reactions can often have long-term effects that outlast a cycle
- Do your best to rationalize
Watch the full segment with Nick about What to Focus On During A Volatile Market here.
Mergers and Acquisitions in 2023
Shanna Greathouse, Metafora’s Director of Partnerships joined the show to chat about what Carriers Need to Know About Buying & Selling Their Business.
Background - partnerships (Burns Logistics Carrier Survey, Bridgepoint Investment)
- 49% surveyed owner/operators looking to buy in the next year (average of 120 trucks)
- 15% looking to sell
Began talking about market
- People are nervous about this year, but optimism around Q3 and Q4
- Types of mergers/acquisitions and capital raising
- Considerations for preparing for M&A
Decisions made in advance around:
- Key leadership
- Investments in technology
Watch the full segment with Shanna about M&A in 2023 here.
Selling in a Deflationary Market
Rush Feldhacker, Metafora Industry Consultant, chats with the hosts about Selling in a Deflationary Market.
- Importance of strong go-to-market and sales strategy in a deflationary market
- Lots of sales organizations do not have a well-defined strategy
- Shotgun approach
- Importance of leveraging LinkedIn
- Email campaign strategy
Whom do you target?
- Perspective around pricing
- Understand market swings and how you measure up to the competition
- Building a relationship when it is hard to find capacity so that you are a preferred partner who gets fed business in deflationary times
Watch the full segment with Rush about Selling in a Deflationary Market here.
BGSA Conference: Leaders Share Insights
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s Chief Growth Officer joined the show to chat about BGSA Conference 2023.
- Attendees: CEOs, senior sales leaders, Chief Revenue Officers, etc.
- Level of optimism: resetting expectations, balanced year, supply and demand of drivers, impacts of the soaring truck costs over the last year
What are people talking about?
- Conference focused on all the segments of the Supply Chain.
- Tech: you need to be doing more with technology and how to make the most of it
- Data is still king: Taking all of the data points, synthesizing them, and presenting them to a user with a recommended path forward.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about BGSA Conference here.
SOC 2 Compliance
Kevin Jenkins, Metafora’s Director of Technology joined the show to chat about SOC 2 Compliance.
What is SOC 2 and why is it important?
SOC 2 compliance reports are used by businesses to assure customers and stakeholders that the organization is committed to managing data securely, and protecting its interests as well as the privacy of their customers.
What's the difference between SOC 2 Type I and SOC 2 Type II reports?
SOC 2 Type I reports describe the organization’s systems and test the system design to confirm that they meet the stipulated trust service principles at a specific point in time.
SOC 2 Type II reports attest to the operating effectiveness of an organization’s systems and controls throughout a disclosed period, usually 12 months.
A SOC 2 Type II report is more comprehensive and offers even more assurance to your customers and partners.
Why and How to Invest in Technology
Peter Rentschler, Metafora’s CEO, joined the show to chat about Why and How to Invest in Technology.
Why is focusing on technology so important?
- Reference the recent article in the New York Times about Southwest Airlines’ meltdown and how much of that was the result of technical debt
From NYT article:
- Technical debt - when there is a gap between what the software needs to be and what it is
- The flight attendants union even placed updating the creaking scheduling technology above its demands for increased pay.
How does a company go about updating and improving its tech stack?
- Assess - to get a comprehensive overview of the company’s unique starting position
- Plan- Building the roadmap to take the company from where it is to where it needs to be
- Implement- Designs are implemented, and adoption can begin. It’s the last stage in the process and the beginning of results.
Watch the full segment with Peter about Why and How to Invest in Technology here.
Top Trends and Insights from the Past Year
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show with some incredible guests to chat about Supply Chain Market Review: Top Trends and Insights from the Past Year.
In this segment, they discussed some of the key trends and insights that have emerged and covered everything from the latest technological advances and changes in consumer behavior to the key challenges and opportunities facing the industry.
Whether you are a supply chain professional or simply curious about the state of the market, this video has something for you.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about the key trends and insights that have emerged in the past year here.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about the key trends and insights that have emerged in the past year here.
Reaction to Burns Logistics and Metafora Carrier Survey
Shanna Greathouse, Metafora’s Director of Partnerships joined the show to chat about Burns Logistics and Metafora Carrier Survey.
- 200 carriers surveyed, 57 respondents. Contract-centric. 27 questions around volume changes, culture, carrier behaviors, M&A, and more.
- Median fleet size 120, moving 20K loads/year
- Perks don’t matter for culture as much as home time (work-life balance)
- Driver recruiting techniques
- Drivers are retained by pay AND culture EQUALLY 57% rating as important
- Training in retention is only 2% as identified by owners, but this is definitely a gap
- Working with Shippers - biggest opportunity in improving ease of doing business
*We are conducting a webinar in January with Bridgepoint Investment and Burns to discuss M&A for carriers!
Watch the full segment with Shanna about Carrier Survey here.
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show to chat about the Trends to Watch for in 2023.
- Merger and acquisition activity will continue into the new year.
- With M&A activity comes workforce optimization, which is the ideal time to examine overall people strategy and could include outsourcing.
- To gain a competitive edge and provide more value to customers, logistics companies are increasingly expanding the services they offer — and they’re investing more to ensure proper implementations.
- Companies will continue to embrace remote-work options
- Outsourced consultancy and IT talent will grow to implement new technologies
- Attract more skilled workers who are adept at extracting value from newly implemented technologies.
- Artificial intelligence is among the fastest-growing data-driven technologies transforming business.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about Trends to Watch for in 2023 here.
Pawel Wencel, Customer Success Manager at Metafora, joined the show to chat about customer support. “People Never Forget How You Make Them Feel”.
- Going the extra mile: Becoming trusted partners & fostering relationships. Going beyond the superficial solution as well as providing suggestions and guidance on how to improve workflows.
- Leading with Radical Empathy: Understanding issues and taking ownership for the resolution.
- Active Listening: Be willing and open to feedback, capturing feedback and taking that back to the product team, with the goal of implementing those requests.
- Accessibility: Being available and being available quickly and being empowered to drive the solution versus handing it off to someone else.
Watch the full segment with Pawel about Customer Support here.
Shanna Greathouse, Metafora’s Director of Partnerships chats with the host about Lean partnership and the nearshoring model.
Nearshoring is about optimizing on a task level - tasks that can be more administrative
- Indirect costs can take months to fill a position - nearshoring often has a bunch of people and also allow a trial period or guarantee.
- Organizations need to take measures to ensure success - treat it like a new office location, have oversight, train the employees, onboard like any other employee
- Tech companies can have manual tasks that require human intervention for exception management, and this is a great use case for nearshoring.
Partnership with Lean Group Solutions - we use Lean for some roles ourselves which started the conversation. As a customer and a partner, we have worked together in developing best practices and ROI modes to quantify many of the indirect drivers of ROI. It’s about how to make your company more agile and adaptive and align with your strategy. With offices in Colombia, Guatemala, the Philippines, and now Mexico, there is a huge pool of transportation-trained experts to tap into.
Watch Shanna's segment about Lean partnership and the nearshoring model here.
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show to chat about the launch of Sync Logistics Training, a tech-enabled training-as-a-service solution for freight brokerages, trucking companies, and others in the supply chain and technology space.
Sync Logistics Training provides a library of training for all levels. Courses cover topics such as:
- Intro to Transportation
- Introduction to Pricing
- Advanced Shipper Sales and Sales Strategy
- Leadership Development
- Navigating Difficult Conversations
With Sync Logistics Training, employees get a learning journey that lasts their entire time with a business. A mix of pre-developed courses and custom content with digital delivery lowers the burden on management, reduces ramp time for new employees, increases employee retention and satisfaction for experienced team members, and improves the consistency of training without sacrificing engagement and human interaction.
Watch the full segment with Ryan about the launch of Sync Logistics Training here.
Steven Godfrey, Metafora Chief Delivery Officer, chats with the host about the F3: Future of Freight Festival, which happened in Chattanooga, Nov 1-3, 2022.
- The importance of investing in technology.
- How people, processes, and technology have been key to growth.
- The big challenge: figuring out where and how to invest in tech. Symtrain’s demo: powered by AI to automate role-play and skill practice which increases speed to proficiency.
Ryan and Steven did a rapid-fire demo of Socket, our industry-specific integration platform as a service.
- We have the tools to be proactive in integrations like never before.
- SOCKET is your easy button for integrations
Peter Rentschler, Metafora’s CEO, joins Bill Priestley for 10 questions in the Hot Seat. He was asked some random questions around the freight industry like What is the number one problem your company/organization is trying to solve? What’s been the greatest innovation in the history of the freight industry? What’s the best thing about living in Colorado and MORE! Want to hear his responses??Watch the full segment with Peter on the Hot Seat here.
Rush Feldhacker, Metafora Industry Consultant, chats with the host about the F3: Future of Freight Festival, which is happening in Chattanooga, Nov 1-3, 2022.
Who will be at FreightWaves F3 from Metafora?
- Ryan Schreiber, VP Industry & Growth
- Steven Godfrey, Chief Delivery Officer
- Adam Perlmutter, Director of Industry Consulting
- Rush Feldhacker, Industry Consultant
- Nick Oliver, Associate Director Consulting
- Shanna Greathouse, Director of Partnerships
- Teresa Ronquillo, Director of Marketing
Metafora will be presenting a rapid-fire demo of our integrations solution: Socket.
We are co-hosting a networking party with our partners at Lean Solutions Group. This event is on Wednesday Nov 2 at 9 pm. We’re taking up the street right outside the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and all F3 attendees are welcome.
We’re going to have:
- Live DJ
- Beer, wine and hot toddys
- Fire pits
- Make your own s’mores
- Giant Jenga
- Great company
- Free giveaways!
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show to chat about What is the real reason for “quiet quitting”?
- Quiet Quitting is the latest workplace trend to take the internet by storm. It means employees will only do the work outlined in their job description and nothing more. In doing so, they are “quietly quitting” by carrying out tasks that are often assigned to them unnecessarily, such as unpaid overtime or duties that exceed their role/job title.
What is the cure for Quiet Quitting?
- Business owners can be proactive and prevent employees from feeling the need to quiet quit in the first place. For example, your approach should:
- Improve employee engagement
- Focus on staff training
Robert Bain, Metafora Industry Consultant, chats with the hosts about the market, capacity, and the super bowl of powerlifting.
- Businesses in transportation and logistics need the right strategy in order to work through a recession in the right way. Although the temptation might be to cut back and spend as little as possible, this could be the wrong way to approach things.
- Continuing to invest in the development and growth of your business could give you an advantage over competitors who are pulling back
- Focus on People: Define your hiring needs & budget, and Invest in staff training.
Peter Rentschler, Metafora’s CEO, joined the show to chat about Trends heading into 2023. He was asked about what to expect in 2023:
- Valuations dropping: - we've had 15 years of low interest-fueled growth. Businesses valued on discounted cash flows will look more valuable when it's a 0% discount applied, at a 10% discount (in line with inflation/interest rates) those businesses look a lot less valuable.
- Private Equity slowing down - starting with smaller deals, but even big deals are slowing down. Strategics are looking for deals, and PE firms that were overpaying are pulling back. The increased cost of debt will mean deals that were historically high-leverage will be more expensive.
- Increased in consolidation - as PE slows down, strategic consolidations will increase. In the past year there have been dozens of businesses that grew 100%-400%, $50M to $350M. These players will be sucked up from bigger players as organic growth slows due to the recession.
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show to chat about Training as a Service for the Logistics Industry.
- Training-as-a-Service aka TaaS is a software-based training service.
- Yes, this means training on a subscription model
- As with other technology, TaaS seeks to simplify and improve the lives of its users. In this case, it improves the lives of the users and those around them, since it reduces the lift needed from managers and co-workers. It is flexible, scalable, and with the right provider, it onramps and upskills your employees in a fast and effective way.
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth, joins Bill Priestley for 10 questions in the Hot Seat. He was asked some random questions around the freight industry like What is the number one problem your company/organization is trying to solve? What's the best book you've ever read that helped you in the industry? Best swag you ever got from a freight-oriented conference and MORE! Want to hear his responses??Watch the full segment with Ryan on the Hot Seat here.
Peter Rentschler, Metafora’s CEO, joined the show to chat about the potential rail strike and the crisis that was averted with the new deal. He was asked about what the unions voting on and what is most important for freight business to succeed in this ever evolving industry. They discuss:
- Fair wages
- Building relationships with your customers and understanding their interests
- Agile businesses in their operations are going to win in the long run
Watch the full segment with Peter about the potential rail strike here.
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO, chats with the hosts about some situations in our industry that have been solved with tech.
- Automation is the most common use case
Tech frees up resources so they can focus on more difficult tasks and problems
- Dealing with historical knowledge of your team
Ex: Pricing engine - the mental algorithm that an individual has and transforming that into a data driven output rate that the whole team can utilize.
- Aggregated data and data strategy
Watch the full segment with Peter about Using Tech to Solve Problems here.
Shanna Greathouse, Metafora’s Director of Partnerships joined the show to chat about data strategy in T&L. Bringing the data together is not easy. Ensuring data quality and planning for normalization and transformation is a huge challenge. The cost of managing enterprise integrations is high and increases friction of expansion and growth. Integration also constrains scalability.
What are some common goals for creating and executing data strategy in T&L?
- Master data - one handles warehouse and one handles inventory
- Making it so can close out books seamlessly month end
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora’s VP of Industry and Growth joined the show to chat about the current state of training in our industry
- Where is there room for improvement for training in T&L?
- Why do you think more companies aren’t actively investing time and resources to upgrade their training programs and processes?
- What are some signs that a training program needs attention?
- What are some first steps or recommendations for people to improve their training?
Robert Bain, Metafora Industry Consultant, chats with the hosts about continuous improvement for your employees, i.e. ongoing training and development.
What does continuous improvement for knowledge and skills look like for a business?
- Ongoing and developmental training is an excellent way to encourage continuous improvement for your employees.
- Ongoing and developmental training is also a great way to improve your employee retention, team productivity, and company culture.
Adam Perlmutter, Metafora’s Director of Industry Consulting joined the show to chat about how training improves employee retention, boosts morale, and promotes a strong company culture.
Investing in training is investing in your people. Investing in your people is key to the short-term and long-term success of your business.
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO, chats with the hosts about why is it important to continue investing during the pandemic / broader economic recession.
The easiest thing to do is panic and cut costs across the board. This is what many companies do, in many industries.Thus, you have the opportunity to expand while others in your industry are cutting back.
Metafora POV: You should be doing the right thing for your business, no matter the market. This means, investing in:
- Improving your Customer Experience (Relationships)
Robert Bain, Metafora Industry Consultant, joined the show to chat about the importance of having experts that help you build your inorganic growth strategy.
Typically, consultants adopt a three-step process for finding suitable partners, including identifying targets, target sourcing, and readiness evaluation. The goal is to find a shortlist of suitable partners within the transportation and logistics space who are ready to work with you and fulfill your operational needs.
Maggie Domondon, Metafora’s VP of People, joined the show to chat about company culture. She had the opportunity to help with the cultural revolution from its beginning stages. What were some of the most important steps Maggie took to lead that?
Believe in team and leadership
Celebrate based on values recognized!
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO, chats with the hosts about quantifying the ROI of a strong company culture. Culture more than pizza parties and happy hours. Culture is about how your people feel about working there. It’s the shared values and mindset. You can measure both quantitative and qualitative indicators to assess your company culture. For example:
- Employee Net Promoter Score: How likely are you to recommend this company as a great place to work?
- Retention: Are your employees staying with your company?
- Referrals: What percentage of your new hires are coming in from referrals?
- Customer Service: A happy, healthy culture breeds productivity and quality.
Rush Feldhacker, Metafora Industry Consultant, chats with the hosts about The Changing Nature of RFPs. He speaks about some of the challenges with the current RFP process, and how he predicts a shift to a shorter bid cycle.
For both the shipper and the broker or carrier the time and resources that go into performing an RFP are high, but there are a lot more RFP tools and solutions available than there have been in the past.
Digital Freight Brokering
Ryan Schreiber, Metafora VP of Industry and Growth, joined the show to chat about Digital Freight Brokering as a digital platform or tool that matches shippers to transportation providers.
Truck drivers can manage freight opportunities based on real-time availability as well as digital technology optimizes their delivery routes and maximizes utilization.
The Value of Outside Help
Nicholas Oliver, Metafora Senior Consultant, chats with the hosts about numerous reasons why a company may want to consider utilizing outside help: such as staff augmentation, providing objectivity, and initiating change.
Outside help will take some time to learn about a client’s business to understand what pain points they are trying to solve or aspirations that they are trying to achieve. Save time by partnering with a consultancy that knows your industry well and can jump right into learning the specifics of your business and goals.
Advising the Owner/ Operator or Small Fleet in a Freight Recession
Peter Rentschler, Metafora CEO joins the FreightWaves Roundtable Discussion with Kary Jablonski of Trucker Tools to share advice on how to survive a freight recession. What were their main tips?
- Get scrappy!
- Communication: Have honest conversations with your partners and your customers. Understand what is profitable business for you and be able to communicate that to your customers.
- Be easy to work with! Create a frictionless experience for your customers.
Watch the full roundtable discussion with Peter and Kary here.
The Growing Need for Engineers in Freight Tech
Joel Bennett, Metafora's Director of Product Management, joined the show to chat about how things like M&A, a rapidly changing competitive landscape, and worthwhile efforts to modernize tech and solve the problems posed by legacy tech in freight companies are contributing to a growing need for software engineers in our industry.
Watch Joel's Segment about The Growing Need for Software Engineers in Freight Tech here.
Data Management in T&L
Steven Godfrey, Metafora’s Chief Delivery Officer, joined the show to chat about Data Management, the practice of collecting, protecting, and storing an organization's data so it can be analyzed for business decisions.
What are some industry challenges that can be tackled with quality data management practice?
- Data Silos: Data is everywhere! Many transportation companies have been built on and grown from acquisitions - technology has often kept the silos divided rather than bring them together.
Watch the full segment with Steven about Data Management here!
Catch Metafora subject matter experts and industry leaders on FreightWaves NOW on FreightWaves TV each week!