A Conversation with Spartan Logistics at MODEX 2016 Conference
Palisades Logistics spent the last week at the 2016 MODEX Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. It was a busy week filled with interesting conversation and many observations and learning opportunities concerning the newest technologies and material-handling capabilities in the supply chain and logistics industry.
While at MODEX, Palisades Logistics was able to catch up with Bonnie Ginepro, Marketing Director for Spartan Logistics. Following is an excerpt from that conversation:
The Spartan Logistics Story
Palisades Logistics: We are here with Bonnie Ginepro, a representative of one of our 3PL warehouse partners, Spartan Logistics, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Spartan Logistics has 16 operations throughout the Midwest, including Indianapolis and Toledo. Bonnie, tell us about yourself and your role with Spartan Logistics.
Spartan Logistics: I am the current Marketing Director for Spartan Logistics and I work out of Spartan’s operation in Anderson, SC. In my role, I share the Spartan Logistics’ story with our current and potential customers and the logistics industry at large. Prior to this role, I was in a customer-service-and-operations-management role specific to our operation in Anderson.
Palisades Logistics: If storytelling is your job, tell us a little bit about the Spartan Logistics story.
Spartan Logistics: We are a privately-owned, family-operated, third-party warehouse and transportation company. Steve Harmon is our current President; he formerly held the CFO title for his first 14 years with Spartan. His father, Ed Harmon, started the company with a friend, Jim Ranney, in the mid-80s at the request of a customer in need of space. Since then we’ve grown into 16 different locations throughout the country with over 2,000,000 square feet under management. Our customers range from small startup businesses to Fortune 100 manufacturers and retailers. At Spartan we have a “can-do” attitude. If the warehousing and transportation solution makes sense, (i.e. it is cost-effective and increases efficiency), then chances are we can provide industry-leading service at a competitive rate.
Applying the Latest Technologies
Palisades Logistics: MODEX is all about material handling equipment and technology specific to the logistics and supply chain industries. How is technology used within Spartan Logistics?
Spartan Logistics: Technology to us is a tool. It is an instrument that we can use to our customers’ advantage but, at the same time, the technology in question has to make sense. We are not going to try to fit a “square peg into a round hole,” just as we are not going to try to use technology when the cost and investment does not make sense.
We do the same thing when creating third-party warehousing solutions and rates. For example, depending on the variables and costs, if a customer needs to be in Chicago and we have space in Indianapolis, we can offer that space. But we will look for a different solution if the distance is too great. Likewise, if a technology does not add cost savings and efficiency that is greater than the cost of that technology, we won’t implement it.
Our People Drive Our Success
More important to Spartan Logistics are our people. The Spartan Logistics associates who manage our operations, drive our forklifts, and perform our customer service functions have a greater impact on our success and the service we provide to our customers than any piece of technology can.
Technology can make us better, but it is our people that make us successful.
That’s not to say we don’t use technology when it makes sense. We had a great success story last year in Indianapolis where we were able to shave off $1 million from our customers’ annual 3PL warehouse and operating costs because of an investment in technology that involved bringing multiple needs under one roof. Bottom line: technology is worthless without the right people in place.
Palisades Logistics: Well Bonnie, it was good catching up with you and we appreciate your time. Here at Palisades Logistics we are true fans of the third-party warehousing solutions provided by Spartan Logistics and the top-notch service you provide to your customers. Any closing thoughts?
Spartan Logistics: We had a great week at MODEX 2016. Our mission stands on four pillars: Integrity, Teamwork, Respect, and Customer Service. We are always investing in our company and our people to better serve our customers. To that end, we continue to learn about the technology available to improve and adapt the warehousing solutions we can offer.
MODEX was a great example of taking advantage of an educational opportunity. Furthermore, we will continue to live up to our promise of investing in our people because it is our people that will make both Spartan Logistics and our customers’ third-party warehouse solutions successful.
Certainly keeping up with new technologies is a growing concern in the logistics industry; however, it does not have to be your concern. Palisades Logistics has established and nurtured business relationships with top-notch companies such as Spartan Logistics. The Palisades Logistics’ growing, regional network of partners affords the customers of Palisades Logistics a single source provider who has the resources ready to meet all your third-party logistics requirements whether they are local or regional in nature.