October 12, 2016 - posted by Rachel Bonello
Parker Stallard, Executive Vice President of TPS Logistics in Troy, Michigan.
A year ago, Parker Stallard and his team at Troy-based TPS Logistics launched Badger Application, an app-based freight tracking solution that enables shippers and carriers to update and track shipments more accurately. Today, the app has more than 700 clients and counting. “It’s been doing well,” says Stallard, executive vice president of TPS Logistics and president of Badger Application (a separate company). “We developed an affordable technology that gives shippers real time visibility to their supply chain operations via web-based dashboards.”
The app, which drivers activate with their smartphones, costs $99 a month. With more than 3.2 million truck drivers in the United States, the end point of the supply chain — manufacturers waiting on parts or retailers looking for orders — often never knows exactly when the goods will arrive, unless they call the logistics firm overseeing the delivery. Given the potential for bottlenecked traffic, weather delays, and mechanical failures, knowing when and where a driver is at all times can be a big advantage. “If a manufacturer was counting on a set of parts to be delivered at a certain time, and those parts are delayed, they have workers waiting around,” Stallard says. “But with Badger they know where the driver is, so if they see there will be a delay, they can assign those workers to another task. It makes everyone more efficient.”
Growing up in the family business, Stallard says he literally learned the in and outs of the logistics industry at the dinner table. He started out as an intern in 2003, and joined the company full time in 2007. From there, it was a roller coaster ride through the 2008 global financial crisis, which saw around 75 percent of the company’s automotive clients — a majority of the business — in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“Today we’re 45 percent automotive, 30 percent health and beauty aids, and the rest is oil and gas, and retail,” Stallard says. “Going forward, we know there will be a shortage of drivers, which will lead to tighter capacity and will drive up transportation costs. That parlays into our strategy of using technology to make the industry more efficient.”
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