“Proud to have been a finalist from The Goering Center’s best Family Business with 100+ employees for our legacy, leadership, and strong culture and am honored to be apart of it alongside Rex Taylor, Drew Taylor, and Keith Swensen and the rest of the Taylor Logistics & Taylor Distributing Family. Thank you Noelle Taylor for all your work with this and John Goering & Carol Butler for their work and dedication to the Cincinnati community” – Grant Taylor
At Taylor, it is our mission to exceed customer expectations by diligently working harder, smarter and longer than any logistics company while ethically serving our employees, our carrier base, the environment, and the motoring public. As a service provider, our most crucial goal is to provide the highest level of service for our customers and our customer’s customers. With thousands of other logistics company in a very competitive industry, customer service is the nucleus for how we conduct our business.
The foundation for excellent customer service is relationships. One of the most valuable relationships as a third party logistics company is the relationship we build with our carrier base. Without a go-to contact base comprised of best in class carriers, it would be impossible to meet delivery schedules, keep up with customers volume, and stick to rate benchmarks. We also leverage our transportation management system (TMS) to optimize carrier loads and reduce costs across truckload and less than truckload.
Carrier relationships are not only important on the brokerage side, but it is also crucial at our distribution centers. Our warehouse managers use data to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers, and manage docking time to enhance the efficiency of our carriers and shippers.
Another essential aspect of developing a successful carrier relationship is communication and feedback. Open discussion based on facts builds trust, integrity, and respect. Understanding and respecting the value that each party brings to the relationship makes the relationship grow even stronger. In a great partnership, carriers will have the opportunity to run their business more smoothly, and shippers will have the power of data to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their operations all while reducing costs.
Although Taylor’s taglines have changed throughout our nearly 170 years in business, they’ve always been geared around our founding year. From “Since 1850″ to the longer ” Your Trusted Partner Since 1850″ we’ve never shied away from telling people our age. However, through recent research amongst our customers as well as industry experts, it came to our attention to rethink our tagline and our overall branding. No, we’re not getting rid of “Since 1850″, but it’s no longer our primary talking point. It’s moved to the secondary so we could talk about our processes and people first. We are thus repositioning our brand to the new era of ” The Nation’s Most Innovative Family Owned Logistics Company.”
Why the change? We asked our customers why they like working with Taylor. What sets us apart from the thousands of other logistics companies out there? Two key points stood out to us the most the first being the fact that we are a family owned and operated business, and the second being our innovation. Taylor is a mid-sized family owned business currently in 6/7th generation ownership. We provide a level of customer service that large corporations cannot. But more importantly, we are progressive; we stay up to date on our software, processes, and technology. But it doesn’t just stop there; our company culture is progressive. We rely profoundly on education and our quality program. Our quality program is a massive part of how we stay on the cusp of innovation not only is it apart of our mission, but it is also in our values. At Taylor, we have a saying: 85% on improving processes and 15% on innovation. That’s what makes us the Nation’s Most Innovative Family Owned Logistics Company.
Employee education is an essential key to the success of your organization- it’s a fundamental way to set your business apart from the competition. Employees who feel their company is invested in their careers are likely to stay longer and work harder. On top of employee satisfaction training allows your employees to become more versatile and bolsters the value of that employee. There countless benefits to the importance of employee development, such as– a more competitive workforce, increased employee retention, and higher employee engagement.
At Taylor Logistics, we make sure all staff members in any role are equipped with the tools they need to succeed. We have memberships to many professional logistics, warehousing, management, and quality organizations that allow our employees to benefit from their classes, webinars, and discussions. Organizations such as The Resource for Warehouse Logistics (IWLA) which offer various course offerings throughout the year. A number of our staff members have attended IWLA courses including their Essentials of Warehousing and Rate Class. All classes are closed with a course exam and upon a passing grade are complete with a certificate adding value to that employees’ career.
Along with classes, our upper management will send several employees a year to various conferences in our particular fields. It’s a part of the Taylor model not only to learn and grow from these opportunities but to gain a new network from them. Through these various organizations and conferences, we have expanded our industry contact list, which allows for continuous brainstorming and mentorship.
Training doesn’t have to be as complicated as sending someone to a class for a certification or to a conference but can be a tutorial on creating a PowerPoint Presentation or on Adobe InDesign formatting. If there is an area an employee is looking to improve in, we try and provide the tools necessary for their success. The importance of training our employees – both new and experienced – cannot be overemphasized in our organization.
Other classes, organizations, conferences, and certifications our staff attends:
When storing another companies’ products in your warehouse it is crucial that your operations team has a system for sanitation and workplace organization. At Taylor we utilize the practice of 5S which stems from concept of lean management.
Here are the steps of 5S:
- Set in Order
This requires all equipment and tools have appropriate areas within the warehouse. It’s important to sift through materials, keeping only the necessary items needed to daily complete tasks.
5S: Set in Order
It’s important to make sure all items have a designated location. Organize all workplace items in a logical way so they make tasks easier for employees. It’s also important to make sure each item has a specific spot to ensure that the team doesn’t put an item in the wrong place it also allows for managers to tell if something is missing.
After items are sorted and set in order it is time to clean. A clean and orderly warehouse ensures purpose-driven work place all team members. Look for potential safety hazards and hard to read labeling. Storage bins can be used for smaller items to prevent any loss.
Create a set of standards for processes and organization. For every item create rules for how and when they will be used. These standards can involve schedules, charts, lists, etc.
This step focuses on taking all of the previous steps of 5S and transforming them into ongoing habits to ensure continuous improvement. Sustaining a lean warehouse involves constant evaluation and discipline. The goal, after all, is to be as efficient as possible.
Working in a warehouse at times can be repetitive, demanding, and labor-intensive. How do you keep warehouse staff engaged and motivated in such an environment? One of the most important resources is a motivated team. How staff are treated and how they value the company has direct impact on our overall success and competitive advantage. With our warehouse team being such a critical part of the company Operations Manager Randy Newman in Bellevue, Nebraska came up with a creative and innovative way to keep our staff motivated.
Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Internal rivalry is an effective way to ignite motivation as well as boost performance and productivity. To avoid stress and hostility, great managers must know effective ways to help competition benefit the workplace. Randy has successfully implemented a friendly competition that has our warehouse staff excited and motivated for work each day. He came up with a monthly awards system that are given out to warehouse staff. Awards such as monthly picking winner, receiving winner, putaway winner, loading winner, and most improved. These awards are based off of three different criteria accuracy, efficiency, and teamwork. It’s not all about who gets the job done fist but who does it with these three things in mind. It’s human nature to thrive on success. We simply love it when we meet a target because it’s proof of our hard work and achievements. All awards are complete with bragging rights along with a WWE style belt that can be worn for the shift or simply held for a picture to be added to our warehouse board.
Since the implementation of Randy’s award system, we have had a great response from both warehouse staff and management. Healthy contest has made the team stronger than ever. Even though the awards are given out individually it’s teamwork that makes them possible. All in all, the awards have encouraged team members to use the competition as an opportunity for personal growth, to learn from each month’s winners, and to be more motivated. It’s creative ideas like Randy’s that are what makes Taylor’s workplace an environment for all to succeed.
In 1841, aboard a small ship called the Russell Glover, John Taylor (1794-1875), his wife Dinah Raikes, and their six children including our founder John Rex Taylor emigrated from Bath, England to the United States, arriving in New Orleans in March. From this popular immigrant port, the Taylors made their way up the Mississippi River to the bustling river town of Cincinnati, Ohio where John Rex Taylor assiduously began his business (before 1850, but who’s counting?) with a horse and wagon, delivering goods to and from the Miami and Erie Canal the engineering marvel which ran from Toledo to Cincinnati, providing goods from as far as New York City. He named his business the Taylor Drayage Company, thus creating the point from which we trace our values, vision, and culture. Soon after, John Taylor joined his son in the business. The 1860 census shows John Taylor as Drayman and John Rex Taylor as a Laborer. For reasons unknown, John Rex Taylor and his wife moved to Wisconsin for a few years (most likely to start a new terminal for the business) but soon returned to find John Taylor in charge of the Taylor Drayage Company. Along with his father and son Edward, John Rex Taylor operated the business as a family affair, the same way we do today. In the early 1900s, Edward took over the business, adding larger and stronger wagons, pulled by two or more horses, called teamsters. The 1910 census shows Edward as a Team Owner. However, the increasingly viable motor truck put the horse and wagon at risk and it was during this time that Edward was succeeded by his son, John Rex Taylor III. During the Horseless Age John Rex Taylor III steered the company through disruptive technological advances, economic turmoil, and strict government regulations. The change to motor trucks brought the decline of the Miami and Erie Canal canal an important route to the Taylor Drayage Company and the rise of the rails, spurring two important events: a move closer to the railroads and a change of the name to the Taylor Trucking Company. During this time, our three largest customers were Oscar Meyer, Swift, and Planter’s Peanuts. To this day our market focus is food. John Rex Taylor III kept the company steady, effective, and innovative in the midst of this major change in American commerce and transportation, along with the dangers of the Great Depression and the Motor Carrier Act of 1935. Because of this act, today we boast the Motor Carrier number 022276, a true testament to our longstanding history in the Cincinnati transportation business. John Rex Taylor III’s legacy teaches us that ultimately, effectiveness trumps efficiency. No amount of efficiency in horse drawn wagons would have allowed us to stay in business. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right thing. Bringing the company through the mid-century was John Rex Taylor IIIâ€™s son, John Rex Taylor IV; or, Jack Taylor. Jack was the family’s first college graduate (Indiana University, 1949) and a proud member of General Patton’s Third Army in Europe. With the addition of warehousing, the company name changed again, this time to its current Taylor Distributing Company. With customers like Jolly Rancher, York Candies, M&M Candies, and Vicks Cold Medicine, Taylor continued its dedication to food storage during a boom in the Candy industry. Jack Taylor also saw a major change in the development of Warehouse Management Systems. In the beginning, inventory control was done manually. Jack kept it all in his head. But in 1972, with a move to a new warehouse on nine acres of land on Sharon Road, the company saw its first automatic technology: the IBM System/34, running on RPG II, with 64KB of memory. Today, our warehouse runs on the organized and efficient Synapse by Zethcon. Under the current management the sixth generation formed a third business, Taylor Logistics Inc., a brokerage-based logistics offering integrated solutions. And after many years in the pool distribution business, Taylor ended its operation to focus fully on the drayage business, bringing us full circle to our heritage. From its founding in 1850 to today, the Taylor companies have represented a steadfast, adaptive, and continuously improving business that has earned its longstanding reputation and defined the standards of logistics by committing to excellence in customer service and employee satisfaction.