January 11 2024 | 17 Min Read

Tucker’s finance operations buoy exceptional client service

Posted By
Wendy Mackenzie
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Tucker’s finance operations buoy exceptional client service
Greg Tucker Info BoxGreg Tucker bundles finance with great carrier relationships, stable operations, and client advocacy to deliver on his promise to customers: exceptional client service.
Sitting at the helm of the finance, auditing and HR departments, Tucker’s role is integral in IL2000 offering robust freight management for companies across LTL, full truckload and international modes of transportation.
“Carriers are crucial to supporting our clients' logistics," says Tucker. "Financially, this entails ensuring our carrier relationships, credit limits and banking are in order. We also confirm proper insurance coverage on the shipments, especially high-value cargo. It all boils down to the dollars.
“Here’s how that works in practice. After the operations team monitors the shipment, they hand it over to the finance team for freight audit and pay services. Carriers are taken care of for the service they've provided, but if there are any claims or damages that happened along the way, the client services and auditing teams remedy the situation on behalf of the client.
“We’re an extension of the client, the liaison between the client’s and carrier’s finance groups when there’s a problem,” says Tucker.”
“What we do internally in finance and auditing is not really any different from other companies, but externally, that’s a different story. We remedy problems with carriers and develop proactive solutions for our clients. That has enormous implications for client and carrier relationships.” – Greg Tucker

Today’s market: monitoring and meeting expectations of affordable freight rates

The recent disruption in freight capacity with YRC is a good example of how volatile the market can be and the importance of having experts in your corner.
“The demand for freight did not go away, but the carrier supply tightened up. Economics could lead to higher freight rates, which means we need to negotiate those rates with the carriers and provide quality service and savings for our clients. It’s about monitoring and meeting those expectations of affordable freight rates.”
While rates are a constant battle clients face, Tucker notes another common struggle.
“Access to information,” says Tucker. “We see clients struggling with it every day. And that’s one thing IL2000 prides itself on: we fit our technology to our clients so we can better analyze their distribution and provide real information about their supply chain. We offer a suite of technology services, which is a welcome benefit to many companies."

Client service delivers behind-the-scenes expertise

Tucker explains what exceptional customer service means at IL2000.
“Our mission is always to provide exceptional customer service day in and day out, whether that entails sitting on the phone for an hour with a carrier to follow up on a shipment or emailing a carrier to check the timing against an appointment window.
“My promise to clients is that carriers will be well taken care of and paid on time. This creates a foundation for strong relationships with our carriers and equips IL2000 to negotiate affordable rates and reliable services for our clients.”
“Exceptional service sets IL2000 apart. We fight for our clients. Instead of clients having to waste capital resources on legal or insurance battles, IL2000 takes that on in-house.” – Greg Tucker

Financial negotiations in action

Tucker provides a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes negotiations that IL2000 undertakes on behalf of clients.
“We have a food ingredients manufacturer who had an issue with a valuable load. Long story short, a refused shipment caused the product to be returned, as guidelines on usability are stringent regarding food-grade products.
“Though no fault of the carrier or IL2000, we are going to battle for the lost product. It’s technically a client issue, but we are the client’s advocate at the end of the day. That’s just how we do business.”

More than accounting in Tucker’s wheelhouse

As CFO, Tucker oversees the company's financial actions, managing financial relationships and risk with clients, ensuring timely payments, and keeping shipments moving. On a higher level, that oversight extends to ensuring the company’s capital resources are sufficient to support the client's and carrier’s continued success.
Tucker also heads HR and accounting operations.
“I do so much,” Tucker laughs, “but the most rewarding part of my job is developing a relationship with the client. A great line of communication breeds success. With open discussion channels, all issues typically can be resolved quickly, strengthening that bond.
“Let me give another real-life client example. One of our large, newer clients asked for their total spend for the year. Within five minutes, our BI & Reporting team sent him the complete spend data for all his suppliers. He immediately shot back an email thanking us. That’s the rewarding part of the job, when clients recognize the value we’re adding, and that relationship solidifies.”
“All customers respect integrity, timely communication, and accuracy every day. If there’s a problem, we are proactive versus reactive. It’s about building that relationship and keeping the lines of communication open.” – Greg Tucker

Success with finance

“Many of our finance team's greatest successes come from a highly proactive approach to problem-solving. But we are also responsive. When a client comes to us with an after-the-fact issue, they're often looking for a resolution and don't know how to find the answer. That's where we come in and deliver a solution for them,” says Tucker.
In some instances, it’s a question of education. “There’s a lot to know about moving shipments, and often clients make assumptions. For example, they may assume that detention fees aren’t always warranted when, in fact, they are standard in carrier tariffs. We help with that education and bridge the gap in that knowledge.”
Knowledge is power, even in the logistics world, and technology is the way to keep real-time, vital information flowing, especially when it comes to freight audits.
“Society leverages technology -- at our fingertips, on our phones, everywhere. The vision for the audit and accounting teams is to leverage technology in the same way, providing better data and more real-time information to our clients." – Greg Tucker.

You say it, you do it.

“When we say it, we do it. We commit,” says Tucker. “It’s a matter of self-accountability and strong lines of communication. My team and I respect everyone we come across. That’s the foundation of good client service.
“There have been tough situations through my two years here, and I've watched my team go out and solve those problems. They're proactive. They know what needs to happen. They have experience and are leaders in their own rights. I’m most proud in those moments.”
Tucker offers his thoughts on what makes a good leader.
"It's being accountable for the person to your left and right. Be willing to dive in and address the problem on your own, recognize when your team needs help and provide that leadership when times get tough.”
"Being a good leader is being the first to step on and the last to step off." – Greg Tucker.

Connect with an IL2000 consultant now and start putting our expertise to work for your supply chain.

 

Topics: Budgeting, Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence, SME (Subject Matter Expert)

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