LiVe Logistics believes in enhancing customer service and satisfaction through a human connection that fosters and maintains enduring relationships and the company has been doing so since 2016. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Vernon Hills, Illinois.
LiVe Logistics was begun by two brothers, Adam and Chad Wakefield, and the two have decades of experience in the constantly changing logistics industry. The company derives its name from Libertyville and Vernon Hills, the communities in which the Wakefield families reside. This is a family owned and operated company, and family is important.
Being family owned affects not only how clients are treated, but the company’s employees as well. “I would say that it extends to our carrier partners as well,” says Daniel Burdick, LiVe’s Director of Business Development. “The foundation of our values is pretty straightforward. We’re a team of individuals who each bring a unique set of skills and experiences that all contribute to our success,” he says.
“We’re committed to providing exceptional service and value to our customers and our carrier partners. We view ourselves as an extension of their business and understand the importance of delivering superior customer service on their behalf.”
Daniel explains that the company “has a wide range of experience and relationships. We’re deeply rooted in the food and beverage industries and vertical across North America, as well as the packaging industry.”
Additionally, the company provides services to construction material manufacturers and manages freight travelling on dry van, refrigerated van (reefer), flatbed trucks, and intermodal transport. “Over the last year, we’ve been working more frequently with sprinter van carriers and hot shots (short haul and expedited shipments) to support the ever-shortening delivery requirements being driven by e-commerce, faster speed to market demands for new products, and last-mile delivery.”
LiVe Logistics is proficient in business analytics, consolidation, intermodal shipping, truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) transport, and warehousing. “I would say that, overall, transportation management and third-party logistics (3PLs) is our expertise,” says Daniel.
He notes that the company is seeing a lot of growth in LTL. “Our truckload customers ask us if we know someone that can help them, and we can.” This is important for one-off delivery and the company’s smaller customers.
There appears to be an increase in intermodal shipping. “The railroad technology that’s available integrates pretty seamlessly with our systems. We have greater visibility and better tracking with more predictable transit times. That’s an area of growth for us as well,” Daniel explains.
The company’s business analytics service is “probably one of the most important pieces of being a third-party logistics provider in today’s environment. Data really drives decision making and strategy.”
By assisting customers in comprehending shipping history, rates, and network analysis, “any or all of those things can really guide a customer to become more efficient [and] eliminate waste from their supply chain,” he says.
Another area of growth is in helping customers reduce the number of miles that their products travel each year. This is done “through consolidation. We’ve been working very closely with our customers on their inbound and outbound, to identify opportunities to maximize equipment utilization and lower miles, then balancing that with cost and service requirements.”
For a number of customers, it is essential to know where and when such shipments will be delivered. Other customers are not time constricted and are quite satisfied with the fact that a shipment arrives when it arrives. “There are all different ranges of service levels,” explains Daniel.
LiVe’s employees are specially selected, and the company encourages those who want to grow in their roles within the company. “We’re honest about who we are and where we want to go as a company,” says Daniel, “and then what is expected from each of us in our roles. This really resonates with a number of individuals who want to contribute and become part of our team.”
The company’s leadership provides opportunities for employees, but they, “require flexibility and innovation.” Employees are supported by management with the latest “logistics and supply chain management tools and technology,” something in which the company is continually investing.
“That fosters a culture of collaboration and teamwork and provides a challenging work environment that the hard work is rewarded for,” continues Daniel. “We have a great program that is really about supporting our team and the driving force for our growth.”
Every member of the company has a special role to play in the company’s success. “On-job training and ongoing professional development is really important to LiVe Logistics,” he says. It all starts with the hiring process, and Daniel says that one of the difficulties is in finding the right people to achieve the company’s goals.
For this reason, the company has partnered with a talent optimization firm, “to help us match candidates to job-specific behavioral targets for each of the roles we hire for. Knowing what drives our people not only helps ensure our team is empowered and engaged on the job, but it helps us train, mentor, and coach for each of their individual needs and goals.”
LiVe Logistics has developed a treasured company culture, and Daniel believes that the company’s team “is an extension of our families and our commitment to success.” This, in turn, provides a common goal, “of exceeding our customers’ expectations, earning their trust, and becoming partners.”
This, he believes, is a huge differentiator as customers realize that they can communicate with any member of LiVe’s team. “They’ll be supported and answered in a timely manner. We try to go the extra mile to make sure that we’re going above and beyond the call to [satisfy] our customers.”
Flawless services, at all times, are what the company values and aims to achieve. If that does not happen, “You have to be willing to have a tough, open, and honest conversation with your customer,” says Daniel. That is followed by rectifying the situation and taking steps to ensure it does not happen again in the future.
And this involves constant communication. “At minimum, you have to deliver what you promised, but more often than not, you have to exceed their expectations.” The company achieves this by “listening to the multiple voices of our customers and making sure that we deliver for all of our stakeholders.”
The company employs a cloud-based platform with the flexibility to “integrate with multiple customer systems,” says Daniel. “We’re able to communicate near real-time with our customers, our carriers, and vendors on what’s going on with our business. I think that a flexible technology platform that allows us to evolve, change, and integrate with other systems is really important.”
LiVe Logistics became involved with the SmartWay Program about a year ago. “We wanted to be part of that community, committed to benchmarking, keeping score, and assessing ways to help reduce the impact of freight emissions. Our goal is to contribute to reducing emissions by partnering with other SmartWay companies.”
The SmartWay Program, “really has a lot of momentum. More and more companies are joining and signing up,” he says, adding that “the more companies that come on board is really good for the industry and demonstrates a leadership position in doing our part for reducing emissions.”
There are some businesses that opt out of partnering with a logistics company for various reasons. But engaging with a logistics partner does have its advantages. “We work with a lot of different companies,” says Daniel. “They are very busy with their day-to-day operations and their manufacturing.”
Such companies may not have a specialized department to keep abreast of scheduling, pickups/deliveries, and tracking orders, for example. A logistics company enables time management to “redeploy resources to their core business,” continues Daniel. “Outsourcing is definitely an advantage; it’s an overhead burden they don’t have to bear, and you really have a team of experts with decades of experience focusing on your business.”
The company received the ‘Best in Cargo Security’ award in 2018, from CargoNet. CargoNet is the first nationally coordinated information-sharing system, which unites insurers, law enforcement, transportation companies, manufacturers, retailers, et cetera under one to share information and intelligence to reduce and recover incidents of stolen cargo.
Moving forward, Daniel would like to see LiVe Logistics, “continue to provide exceptional service to our existing customers and grow with them.” For those new to the company, the desire is to “share our culture and values, to become a member of each other’s families. We’re always out in the field meeting new people, seeing how we can help… It’s been very successful for us.”