October 19 2023 | 8 Min Read

Jernigan: Employee savvy at core of responsive, industrious solutions

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Wendy Mackenzie
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Jernigan: Employee savvy at core of responsive, industrious solutions

Ericka Jernigan Info BoxEricka Jernigan, HR and Accounting Manager, explains how attracting and retaining a high-caliber team underlies IL2000's success.

“As a business, we don’t focus solely on being a 3PL,” says Jernigan. “We don’t just move freight. We are all about client service. We support and advise customers in every supply chain management decision they encounter. That's a big part of why we stand out, and it makes us very different from what you see other companies doing. Ultimately, at an intensely practical level, we put the client first every time, and I think that's why we were recognized as a Most Engaged 3PL award recipient again this year.”

HR plays a large part in crafting the unique team that caters to such a broad spectrum of clientele. “Recruitment of supply chain talent is more than just hiring someone looking for a paycheck. We’re growing something big and important here at IL2000. Choosing the right people is critical.”

“We have a different dynamic here – we communicate well. We’re here for our clients and for each other.” – Ericka Jernigan

Let's dig into a few of the details of our supply chain talent that creates our success and vice versa.

A cohesive team on and off the field

Jernigan, who played college softball for four years, knows something about keeping a team working together on and off the field. In IL2000, that takes the form of recognizing advantageous differences while maintaining a strong sense of shared purpose and unity. Jernigan maintains that balance throughout the whole HR process, from vetting and interviewing to hiring, induction and retention.

“We hire for a specific role in a designated department, a role which forms an integral link within our supply chain teams. Once we’ve found a candidate, a few people from across the company will talk to them to form different perspectives. We're looking for the gifted ones who flow with us and approach the work collectively rather than individually.

“I manage the employee onboarding from start to finish. I manage employees in 18 states and countries with different backgrounds and unique abilities. It’s fun to be the first to get to know them.

“Everyone is unique, and my biggest lesson has been to adjust my expectations around the fact that not everyone learns, works, and understands things the way I do, and that's okay. It doesn't mean someone is disagreeing or not understanding, just that I need to explain it differently and give them time to process."

A lot of effort goes into building the team at IL2000.

“We have a designated team comprised of non-HR employees whose only objective is to make it fun for every employee to come to work, even though we are in different states and countries. My favorite is the Employee Spotlight, where we pick a handful of employees to answer three fun questions at our monthly Town Hall meeting. The answers get us laughing and help us learn something new about each other.”

“HR allows employees to feel someone’s got their back when a problem arises.” – Ericka Jernigan

Navigating supply chain talent recruitment and retention challenges

IL2000’s track record of employee retention tells its own story.

“We vet our employees carefully, and we must be getting it right because many of our employees have been here for a long time. We’re celebrating 16, 17, 18 and 21-year anniversaries this year alone. When we find loyal people, we know it right off the bat. The people here are looking for a career, not just a paycheck.”

Jernigan explains how transportation industry challenges demand a team with exceptional proficiency.

“You need a high-caliber employee to thrive in the transportation industry. It’s ever-changing and always surprising you – sometimes good, sometimes bad. Our team never blinked when one of the biggest LTL carriers recently went bankrupt. It was not a big challenge; we just shifted onto our current carriers or went out and found other ones. I’m really proud of how we’ve handled that transition because covering those lanes took a lot of work.”

Expertise circumvents client struggles

“Carriers are understaffed and overwhelmed, which doesn’t just cause issues for them, it causes issues for our clients, and thus for us,” says Jernigan. “When a shipment doesn’t go off perfectly, clients struggle with understanding why. There are so many things that can affect a shipment; truckers can cancel mid-route, or an accident can happen and the load must be claimed. Any number of things can happen to a shipment, and when it does, clients don’t know everything that must be done to rectify the situation.

“Even where there is a problem that IL2000 has not created, we jump in to correct it, whether that means sending out a rescue truck or handling the claim to ensure the client is paid out for the damaged goods. We're so good at solving those issues because we have a balanced mix of seasoned, knowledgeable employees who create space for new ideas and younger hires with fresh perspectives. One great thing is no matter what department you’re in, the other departments are knowledgeable and don’t hesitate to lend a hand. Everyone here wants to see our people and clients succeed.”

“I wish our clients could see how much work we put into one single shipment, much less the thousands of shipments we handle every week.” -  Erick Jernigan

Unrivaled service to our customers

Jernigan believes customer service is what sets the company apart.

"You won't find another 3PL as responsive or more willing to help than IL2000. The new clients we’ve onboarded this year say we’re more attentive than any other company they’ve worked with, even helping with issues that aren’t ours.

“Let’s say a customer goes rogue and sets up a shipment on their own, booking it with a carrier that nobody has pricing with. They’re set up to pay triple the price of what it could be. Not a problem. We’ll move on it and call whoever we need to figure it out. Our client’s issues are our issues.”

“Honesty is key. Integrity is easy.” – Ericka Jernigan

 

Take advantage of a stronger supply chain talent team–IL2000. Connect with a consulting engagement executive to get on the winning side in logistics now.

 

Topics: Entrepreneurial Spirit, Core Values, SME (Subject Matter Expert)

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