Avenger Logistics: Growth Is a Team Effort
Avenger Logistics Creates a Culture of Success
By Matt Clements, Director of Carrier Operations at Avenger Logistics
Avenger Logistics is a relatively young company, but our business has grown dramatically since we first started covering loads in December of 2015. Our recipe for success has several ingredients - we started with a group of experienced brokers, we use the best technology, and we have a team-oriented culture that helps people excel.
Several of us who work here now formerly worked together at previous companies in the Chattanooga area. Avenger got a big boost from having a core group of experienced brokers who already knew how to find freight and make strong connections with both shippers and carriers.
Technology also is playing an essential role for us. Our founders had great success with McLeod’s PowerBroker system, but also had experience with other proprietary systems. When Avenger got started, there was never any doubt in our minds that we wanted to return to PowerBroker. Our use of McLeod goes hand-in-hand with our ability to grow.
We had the talent and the technology, so the final ingredient has been our ability to create a working environment that supports growth. We’ve worked hard to foster a sense of shared success and the results speak for themselves. Our annual revenue has soared over the past five years. Creating the right company culture requires a concentrated effort from management. Here are some of our tactics for supporting our staff and encouraging growth:
Make managers accessible
Our managers are always willing to stop what they’re doing and help anyone with anything. They foster a team spirit by making sure everyone knows they’ll get the support they need to excel at their jobs. We may compete against each other to make our numbers, but we maintain a sense of camaraderie. Most of our managers don’t have secluded offices. Their desks are scattered amongst the brokers, not tucked away in corner offices. If any of our brokers need anything, all they have to do is turn around and ask us.
Give brokers a strong and fair commission plan
The commission plan we use is based on the cradle-to-grave model of customer support. In other words, a broker would be the single point of contact for each customer. We all prefer that approach to the customer service model that divvies up the tasks so that more people are involved. We think that the cradle-to-grave model rewards people more fairly for their hard work and leaves them feeling more satisfied at the end of the day. This also helps us attract and retain the best industry talent.
Do everything to satisfy customers
Some of our larger customers are very demanding, so we have to work hard to ensure everything goes right. Our cradle-to-grave model is part of our commitment to customers. There’s one point of contact. We make sure whoever is handling a customer’s freight knows every aspect of their business. Also there are plenty of other brokerages who are constantly trying to win business from many of our customers, so the competition is fierce. Our approach is to stress discipline and dedication. We will do everything for our customers. We never turn down a load. Sometimes that means taking a loss, but we accept that as part of the cost of doing business. Going the extra mile for the customer is never easy, but it pays off.
Demonstrate hard work
There’s always the danger that complacency will creep in, so we fight against that by staying involved and demonstrating that we’re all in this together. We strive to lead by example, and that means hitting the phones as hard as anyone or working in other ways to keep pushing the business forward every single day. Instead of simply telling someone how to find freight, we get on the phone and show them how we do it. This helps motivate everyone across the enterprise.
Always be ready to help
We assist anyone else who asks for help. When a broker sees that a manager will do whatever it takes to give assistance whenever help is needed, it creates a different atmosphere. People begin to adopt the same attitude. You may be striving to hit your own numbers, but you also feel part of the team effort. Ultimately we’re building this together. The sense of shared success makes the work more satisfying across the board.
A Strong Culture Helps During Difficult Times
Business was going strong when COVID-19 hit, and we were able to maintain our pace as we moved to working remotely from our homes. This was possible because our people stepped up and went above and beyond what we normally ask them to do. They essentially started working 24/7, given that there were no set office hours. Our team spirit helped keep people motivated and feeling positive. And with McLeod PowerBroker in place, we had the underlying systems infrastructure that allowed us to cope with this sudden shift in the way we operated. It’s a difficult time right now, and our people have done a great job of staying positive, supporting each other, and going out there after the business.
Business was going strong when COVID-19 hit, and we were able to maintain our pace as we moved to working remotely from our homes." – Matt Clements, Director of Carrier Operations at Avenger Logistics