AMT Transportation Technology: Work From Home
6 minute read
Here at AM Transport Services, we’ve been technology-forward since our inception. That means we’ve invested time and money in finding and using technology that makes us better for the manufacturers and the carriers we work with. We started using a Transportation Management System (TMS) long before many of our competitors, and we switched to cloud-based technology when we saw the advantages in both flexibility and security it would offer team members, customers, and carriers.
We instituted a work-from-home policy a couple of years ago to provide parents with flexibility when they were experiencing daycare problems and to help team members who had trouble making it work safely during times of inclement weather. And of course, we work remotely after hours and on weekends when necessary. So with many businesses shutting down to protect employees and slow the spread of COVID-19, we sent everyone home. So many companies are not yet work-at-home capable, so we’re grateful that we were ready for the challenge.
We understand that you need a logistics partner ahead of the curve. If your logistics partner is using an antiquated TMS lacking cloud-based capabilities, you are in a world of hurt as state governments, in an effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus, tell workers to go home.
We didn’t foresee COVID-19, but we did know a long time ago, that the ability to work from home gives us an advantage all the time. Listen, the logistics industry experiences a lot of disruption on the best of days, so the ability to work from home (or wherever you land) is simply a good idea.
With our team at home for the past few days, we thought you might be interested in how they are adjusting to their new work digs, so here they are sharing their WFH (work from home) journey!
I’ve been working remotely since 3/18/2020 and so far so good. I definitely had to work some kinks out the first day. For instance, the room was terrifyingly quiet which is about the furthest thing from my normal working environment. I never realized how much I actually enjoyed working with some level of noise until I could literally hear myself think. I also quickly realized how much I miss my midday runs to the popcorn machine to get a quick snack. Popcorn has now been added to my list of essentials.
As far as the actual work, I feel like I have been just as productive, if not more productive, since working from home. For example, I mentioned my midday popcorn runs earlier. Now that I don’t do that I gain an extra 5 minutes in my work day, and I’m sure it’s the same way each time I get up to refill my coffee or water. I’m able to engage for longer periods of extreme focus which makes the work and day go by very quickly. Overall, I’m a fan of remote work. However, I’m a bigger fan of human interaction. While I know I’ll be able to tackle working remotely with no hiccups, I’ll be more than happy to see the familiar faces in the office again!
I started working from home on 3/18/20. Setting up my work station was a little bit of a challenge, since I utilize three monitors each day, but after a couple hours I was up and running.
As far as the adjustment goes, the biggest obstacle for me has been working from my wife’s sewing table. You don’t realize how much you appreciate your stand-up desk until you’re forced to operate without it.
From a day-to-day standpoint, I haven’t missed a beat, which is a testament to the group we have at AM Transport and the technology we are provided with.
Being a creature of habit, I miss waking up each morning and driving to work and hopefully, we can get back into that routine soon. I miss the daily face-to-face interactions with my fellow co-workers but I am proud that we have been able to adapt and adjust on the fly, especially in such a fast-paced environment as the transportation industry.
The past week has shown what a strong group of people we have in the organization and how we can overcome obstacles in the face of adversity.
I love information. That’s my selling style and how I live my life. I’m a curious person who’s always learning. The Coronavirus pandemic has me extremely fascinated. I’m probably reading way more than I should about it. Along with this information I’m trying to stay a couple steps ahead in predicting the future outcomes. Most of the time I’m wrong but I just had a feeling that sooner or later we would be mandated to work from home.
I was a big proponent to “try it” before we had too. We knew that we had the technology and the right people to be able to pull it off, but we’d never really tried it on a large scale. The analogy I used was, “let’s test the generator to make sure it works before we are forced to use it.” Luckily for us the generator worked and our team rose to the occasion.
For me personally, I’m working from a spare bedroom we have in our house. I have a 3-year-old and 5-year-old who are staying home with their mom right now. I think they believe Daddy works for the CIA or NASA because we have a digital door lock on that bedroom. Mainly just to keep them out of the stuff that we keep in there, so now they see Daddy enter a key code every morning.
I’m trying to limit the back and forth trips because I don’t want to get them worked up, but they are really curious about what is going on in that room!
To be honest, I thought, “Man this is going to be great. I’ll finally have some time to catch up on the articles I need to read and videos I need to watch, and maybe I’ll get a chance to read a book here and there,” but it’s actually been the opposite. The days go by extremely fast, and I have been super productive. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon period, but I really enjoy working from home so far. I do miss interacting with my AM Transport family but I try to be mindful of staying in touch, and I think it’s important to do video calls whenever possible.
It is working well for me.
Alexis, my wife is a teacher, and she has the kids in “school” here at the house. She’s created a schedule–reading and math in the morning.
Then they eat lunch and then get a recess. After that, they build stuff with legos and then are done for the day.
I came into the office and grabbed my monitors and all of the stuff off my desk. It is nice that we have the ability to work from home. We have video chat active all day, so it still feels like we are at the office.
I have utilized our mobility before on the occasional Saturday morning or when I need to fix an error, but it has been a unique experience moving this to a semi-permanent situation.
It has been great watching Mary work, as we share an office now because she has always been WFH. Outside of sometimes having to move myself and my laptop out of the office when she is on a call or meeting, it has been pretty smooth.
It’s nice that AM can transition like this without any hiccups.
“We’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future.”
I have to admit, I was slightly concerned when I heard this news. We have an incredible atmosphere and chemistry at AM Transport and though I knew we would figure out how to keep the day-to-day operations running–I wasn’t quite as sure about the communication between team members.
And guess what.
I was completely wrong.
The transition has been way better than anticipated and honestly, it feels like we’re working side-by-side thanks to constant team video chats throughout the day (thank you Google Hangouts!).
I’ve actually loved it so far. And even better? I get to hug my daughter when she wakes up in the morning. And if you have kids, you know how special that feels.
It’s a huge testament to our team and technology that we’ve been able to pull this off without losing a step. I think we’re all excited for the next challenge that comes our way.
If you’re looking to outsource your logistics services during this difficult time, please schedule a call with us today. We’d love to tell you more about our technology and how it streamlines processes and saves you both time and money.