Today was a very important day for FreightPros – in the entrance of our office, we visually rolled out our core values on a very slick canvas, printed by our friends over at Buildasign! Our five values are:
Support: Build Trust by Having the Backs of our Team and Customers
Produce: Ideas Carried Out by a Culture of Doers
Respect: Promote a Friendly and Compassionate Attitude
Balance: Work Hard, Have Fun, Give Back
Develop: Foster Personal Growth and Continued Learning
Some companies establish their core values at the inception of their business and that is oftentimes the smartest thing to do in terms of laying the foundation for what principles guide everyday actions and decisions.
Though we acknowledge the risk of not having written values right from the get go, there is a larger sentiment of solidity knowing that these values are the byproduct of five years of experiences, mistakes, successes and perspective that have been non substitutable in framing the vision for what we aim to build and what we’re all about.
Beyond that, this time has allowed us to form our close team and gather their feedback and buy in about the type of environment they want to come to work at each day (more on that later in the post).
To those non freight folks whose only shipping experience would be dropping off a package at the UPS store (that was me 5 years ago!), the freight world is a complex ecosystem filled with varying personalities and differed interests. It is important to briefly frame the dynamics of the day to day to properly understand how we arrived at our five values…
Every shipment is of the utmost importance and you are reliant on third party forces (i.e. dispatchers, truck drivers, shippers, warehouses, etc.) to play their part in what needs to happen to facilitate a smooth transaction.
Oftentimes, the situation has some unique component to it that requires over the top communication, honest expectation framing with customers/carriers and keen problem solving ability to minimize costs and maximize results. All these elements make every day different, engaging and never dull.
Occasionally though, even if the execution of all of this is carried out flawlessly, unforeseen mistakes and/or events cause undesired outcomes leading to uncomfortable conversations with various stakeholders of the shipment. Naturally, all these factors promote a certain level of positive and negative stress that can be responded to in various ways. Phew!!
We believe this freight landscape has produced an exciting challenge. How do we take a freight industry that can often be unnecessarily antiquated, nasty and complex and build a value system that uses these inefficiencies as opportunities and motivators to enable us to build something really cool and totally against the status quo?
In answering this question, you start with the fact that your team, processes and technology shapes your culture which then produces a certain product. It is the varying ways you think about that statement and how you prioritize the ingredients of that equation where we feel confident in our path.
Though we are process and technology geeks, the overriding element of our success will be our ability to have one another’s backs and this is at the core of all five values. It takes a firm understanding of the power of a team; that it is everyone’s responsibility to seek out opportunities to prop up and look out for one another.
Whether it is prioritizing team visibility into everyone’s workload in the attempt to offer assistance or encouraging team members to learn outside their role, we believe our success depends on our interrelatedness with one another. Now, this is not to say we don’t strive for autonomy, it merely implies that the more we are supporting and learning from others, the happier we will be and the more we will grow.
In turn, this focus then leads to a more informed, more pleasant team member who delivers a superior product to a customer not accustomed to that level of intelligence and communication. #SUPPORT
Due to emphasis on team dialogue, openness and comfort with each other, our aim is to promote a culture of idea penetration. We love ideas! However, ideas are worthless if they are not substantive backed, speedily implemented and properly tested in an environment that accepts and expects a certain amount of failed ones.
We feel that our embrace of ground up company optimization furthers our production because the more vested we are in understanding everything we do on a day to day basis, the more data we are armed with to come up with meaningful evidence to bring about change that forwards the company. #PRODUCE
Along these lines, the best ideas come from team members who find pleasure in getting into the shoes of the person on the opposite side of the conversation. This interaction could be with conflicting internal team members, unaccommodating partner carriers or unreasonable customers.
The better we are at getting excited about understanding the opposite end of the spectrum, the faster we will be able to further relationships, optimize processes and grow individually. With that said, we do have the power to choose who we interact with and will make sure to not prolong a relationship we know only brings negative energy. #RESPECT
The freight days can be nonstop and more often than not, you leave work with a whirlwind type feeling, not sure what just happened. These days can be great because time goes by fast and you are exposed to tons of unique complexities that build an invaluable foundation to handle any type of situation (not just freight related). At the same time, without the ability to step away from these days and think about how they further one’s overall personal growth, we believe they are unsustainable.
It is important to us that everyone in the company uses their day to day as examples to reference as they aim to master whatever role they are passionate about. The role could be sales, account management, marketing, whatever; it is our intention to get everyone excited about internal prioritization that promotes new skills and encourages the pursuit of abundant outsides resources that further confidence and ability in what they do every day. We firmly believe that once personal growth stops, we lose a contributor to our culture. #DEVELOP
So this whole post has been about work, which makes sense given the context, but work is a very distant second as compared to the aggregate of family, acknowledging our fortunes and making sure we fulfill personal bucket list items that grow us culturally/spiritually. We work very hard so we feel good about taking that coveted trip, being with family when it is important or taking a personal day.
This concept only works if we constantly strive to build rock solid teams so when we are out, service levels don’t skip a beat. On this front though, we do believe in earning your keep and working towards the right to have this type of flexibility regardless what position you are hired for.
Given our young age as a company, we have naturally had our heads down and continue to have our heads down as we continue to grow and build something that can support this priority. The thought of creating an environment that views personal and social prioritization as core components to a superior customer offering is super motivating. #BALANCE
While two paragraphs went a little out of order, our values can be remembered as being SUPERBAD (yes, we are counting “SUPRE” as the same as “SUPER”). It was not our intention to come up with an acronym, or this one in fact.
Despite that, we will definitely own it because we are confident we will create something badass or even slightly weird compared to the conventional logistics company, but hey, maybe it is just the Austin in us!