Jeff Rogers, CEO of Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc., sits at his desk with a spreadsheet filling one of his computer screens; assorted printouts indicating various numbers and charts are neatly arranged on top of his leather blotter. Nothing about this picture looks out of place for a busy CEO who leads a rapidly growing, billion+ dollar transportation and logistics company. Numbers are a critical and daily part of Roger’s world. “The numbers always tell a story,” he said.
As a more than 30-year industry veteran and leader of the Metro-Detroit-based Universal, Rogers laments that data has always been the key to organizational success in transportation and logistics, with so many moving parts at work – both literally and figuratively. However, he says it’s never more important than in today’s extremely competitive marketplace.
“Our industry is facing new and regular challenges all of the time,” Rogers said. “Challenges like a growing national driver shortage that shows no end in sight; challenges like increasing pressure from manufacturers who continually need to trim time and costs from their supply chains; and challenges like the positive yet still new facets that technology is bringing to 3PLs like Universal.”
According to Rogers, while the need for useful data has not changed, how Universal is obtaining it has evolved thanks to new technology within the industry. It’s allowing companies like Universal to get better, faster, and more accurate data in order to design the best solutions for their Fortune 500 customers, most of which are in the manufacturing or retail/e-tail segments.
“Technology is the driving force in transportation and logistics today,” Rogers said. “We continue to learn more from our equipment and technology-enhanced processes, all of which is allowing us to work much smarter than ever before.”
Among some of this latest technology are Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs that are now mandated by the U.S. government.