Accounts Payable Tips for Freight Agents
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This episode features an interview with Taryn Reeves, the head of the AP department at SPI Logistics. She provides an insightful look into the inner workings of freight accounting, detailing how her team processes invoices and resolves common issues that arise. Listeners will gain valuable perspectives on building strong relationships between brokers/agents and accounting to ensure smooth operations.




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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI logistics and I am your host, Blythe Brumleve. We've got a special guest for you today, a person from SPI logistics. You know we do these regular recurring series where we interview someone went from within the company or a freight agent to get their perspective on how the inner workings of the freight agent world looks like. And today we've got the head of the AP department, Taryn Reeves, on the show. So, Taryn, welcome to the show.

Taryn Reeves: 0:36

Well, thanks for having me. I look forward to our conversation, absolutely Now.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:41

You know for I was reading through there was like a news story recently that talked about how there's like the shortage of accounting professionals and that you know the industry is, you know, going to be facing some productivity issues and things like that. I'm curious as to if there's a shortage now, how did you originally find yourself working, you know, in accounting at a trucking firm or, you know, essentially, a freight company?

Taryn Reeves: 1:05

Well, I actually did a like short term contract work for them back in 2008. I was leaving to go to Southeast Asia and I knew James from when we were younger and he said hey, I need someone to fill in. Can you come for a couple of months to get some extra money? Like, oh, okay, sure. So I was here way back when and then I was actually working in automotive apprenticeship, I was doing marketing for them, and then the government decided to bring that all in house and so once again I said to, james was like hey, if you need anyone to cover vacation for the summer, let me know. I had just had my second daughter. And he he was like oh, I need you tomorrow. Oh, okay, not that answer I was kind of expecting. So I had one day training and then I covered a two week vacation and then they asked me to stay a month, and then three months, and then they're like Okay, what's it going to take to keep you?

Blythe Brumleve: 2:05

So so I guess, what does your, your day to day role look like? So?

Taryn Reeves: 2:09

we do all of the paperwork processing. Well, I say paperwork, but we do all the document processing for the whole firm. So anytime a carrier moves a load, we validate every single invoice, every single proof of delivery with whatever the agents put into the system to confirm that the numbers match the delivery, shipper PO numbers, amounts, all of that match, before we actually pay them.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:36

And so I would imagine that's a lot of like manual. Is that like a lot of manual entry, or are you? You know one of the, you know the part of the teams that are really starting to adopt? You know a lot of this new technology coming into the mix, or is it still something that you need to? You know manually verify?

Taryn Reeves: 2:51

So back in the day I would have a piece of paper on my desk with all the documents. I would verify it to the screen, I would initial the bottom, I would put in all the information. Then it would get processed at the end of the week. So thankfully, we gone through a couple different systems and we have one now that we use one email address. Every single invoice and proof of delivery goes into that. So we receive anywhere, I would say, between 350 and 400 a day. And then, because they're all in one system, I have a team that goes through and we just look at all of them one at a time. But it's a smart system so it reads the invoice number and the amounts and it kind of generally reads the information. So we just do a little bit of verification. As soon as we hit save on that, all the information transfers into our DMS system, our TMS system Revenova.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:43

Oh, wow. So then I would imagine that that's such a breath of fresh air for a lot of your responsibilities and almost like a little bit of maybe it helps ease the worry of maybe getting something wrong.

Taryn Reeves: 3:55

And I would say there would have been no way the growth that we've had would have happened if we still were in any of our old system. There's not a chance we would have been able to cover what we do now, and plus we had, we used to have a specific person that we had hired for filing alone. So you would do it all. You would put it in a bin, she would come in, she would take it all to the back warehouse and then file it all away, and so you have to keep original documents for I think it used to be 10 years. So we just had a warehouse full and then eventually they stopped sending them in, emailing them in, but we didn't have a system. So we'd still print them out, scan them in, load them in and move forward. So, thankfully, the system we have we got, I would say, just before COVID happened and we all got sent home, and without the systems that we had in place it wouldn't have happened, it wouldn't have run smooth at all.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:51

That's interesting. You say that because I remember when I worked for an asset-based 3PL and we switched TMS providers and the TMS provider that we switched to did not have a strong accounting portion of it, and I don't know that a lot of folks realize how important until you're already in it, until you've already like your upshits Greek essentially how important the accounting features and functionality within a TMS it really matters. Is that still a safe assumption? Oh, 100%.

Taryn Reeves: 5:24

And I would say that the one that we moved to I wouldn't say necessarily had all the accounting side that we need, but between James and our IT support team we have one gentleman that came in and any questions we had we could throw in there. And you know those like IT gurus that could just get in the system and look at all the numbers and they could figure it all out. He kind of grew root the system for us so that everything could talk to each other as we got new, different document management systems and yeah, it was a real blessing.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:56

That's amazing because we've done a bunch of these interviews with SPI freight agents and then a couple from within the leadership team, and one of them was with Eze Borralta, who is he's the head of IT for SPI, and that has been one of our more popular episodes from all of like the SPI interview series. And I think it's because of what you said. Like, you know, when people are really curious about how you can make these different tools and technologies sort of talk to each other in order to because you're bringing in freight agents that have their own tech stack, that have their own things of what they're dealing with and maybe their own processes, so maybe that's a really good segue to start to talk about. You know, when, I guess, a freight agent is shopping for a new opportunity, at what point is your department brought into the mix? Are you regularly meeting with them or you know, maybe having those conversations you know around financial data and you know things that they need to know before they join SPI, or is that more of like the higher level executives that are talking about those different things?

Taryn Reeves: 7:00

So it's usually, once they've confirmed that they want to work with SPI, they start getting trained within our system and then, once they get their training within Revenova, initially from our client support team, they get sent over to myself to talk to them a little bit how the AP side of things works. Because, in all honesty, we know why an invoice is being held. We can see the three different systems. So if they're getting phone calls and they're like hey, I haven't been paid, it's been three weeks, blah, blah, blah, your team sucks. Then they phone us and they're like hey, they're like hey, I just heard you guys suck. I'm like Whoa, whoa, let's back up here for a second. And then I start looking. I'm like, oh, they just didn't send in their or didn't update their wallet, or they just didn't send in a blank and we just needed the notice of assignment. So when I first train them all, I tell them, as soon as they get a phone call, send them to us, give them either transfer them to us or get them to send us an email, because we can see exactly where it's at. And it's usually not that we don't want to pay them or there's an issue, it's usually just something small that if they haven't received that payment it's usually something like they don't have their ACH information in there correctly, or they have a factoring company in the system but they didn't put it on their invoice, or something small that we can solve within a quick email or a quick phone conversation with that carrier direct.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:22

What other things are you? Are you training the agents on during their onboarding process?

Taryn Reeves: 8:27

I train them in all the different email addresses that where the carriers can send them. I talk to them about our fast pay program because we do offer a quick pay and I've heard as I've been talking to them that it's one of the best in the freight industry, which is pretty nice to know. We offer a same day 2% quick pay. The only thing is we can't offer that to a first time use. Our network won't let us override it if it's a first time carrier, so they do have to have moved a load with us in the system for that. So as I train them about the quick pay process and a lot of them, if there's like a blind shipment or the documents are always going to say the warehouse on them but they're actually giving them to head office or vice versa, then we won't process them in that if that information doesn't match. So I always talk to them like, if it is blind, make sure you note it on the rate confirmation. If it's going to always go to a warehouse but you're always going to note head office, just give us a heads up. We can make an exception, process those without bugging you, because ideally we want to be able to process everything after they've put it into the system, after they've done their part. They got their customer happy, they got their carrier happy. Let me do the rest. So that's kind of where we sit. So I don't want to have to go back and forth. But obviously agents all move different kinds of freight. So whether you're moving something to grocery stores or to empty sites and you're building something, it's going to look very different on the proof of delivery. We get so kind of as that relationship gets rolling with our new agents, if there's anything that comes up that we're being held on or we're going to them a lot, I just have another conversation with them and say can we get confirmation? We can do this moving forward or update that moving forward, and then we don't have to go back to them every time.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:10

How long does that sort of onboarding training process take? It sounds like it might be relatively quick.

Taryn Reeves: 10:16

It is, and I think it depends on every different agent, because some I don't want to say old dogs, new tricks, but some old dogs, new tricks. It's hard to teach and so there are a lot of little things to learn within the TMS system that we use. But because we're so open, we have a huge team of client care that is a phone call away at all times. We have a really knowledgeable AR and AP team, so I would say they should be up to it. As they're getting all their customers into it. They should be up and rolling within the week.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:54

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the freight agent trenches, sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SPI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI? Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit SPI3PLcom. And then what I would imagine for a lot of these freight agents is so it's not just the conversation that they're having to figure out what kind of program is right for them payables, all of the details that come under your umbrella but also, from their customers and their carrier perspective, what does that setup process look like for them?

Taryn Reeves: 12:04

Well, for the carriers, we just started using a new onboarding so they actually have to go in on their own and they have to fill out all the information and then once again that's become a manual process too. So our system will either accept it or deny that carrier in general and then our carrier setup team will do a little bit more digging to help them out, to kind of get them rolling through that. For customer setup, it's very specific per agent. So if they have a customer they want to set up, they'll go to our AR team. They'll find out. If it's, they'll enter them as a prospect. Then they'll have a talk about how many loads they move. If there's any other agents because we never want stealing going on within like SPI, we're such a big family and such a big team. We would never want that to. Like hinder. We've had, unfortunately, a couple agents pass away and we've had other agents that have just like gracefully taken them in, not taken the cut, given that payment directly to their wives of the person that passed, just because they're like we're just here to help. It's just hard to hit home. So, yeah, it depends on the different customer they're hiring. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, how it rolls smoothly. But yeah, it's just lovely.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:15

Typically it sounds like it's pretty simple setup because I would imagine for a lot of customers they just don't want any kind of disruption right now. They look for any kind of maybe reason, but it sounds like maybe they have a really great relationship with a lot of your agents and then that just makes the process of moving from maybe another Freight Agent Program to SBI a lot more smoother. Is that a safe assumption?

Taryn Reeves: 13:36

And I've heard that a few times and then, as I'm training some of the Freight agents, they'll say things like oh yeah, yeah, yeah, we did that on our old firm. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you're saying with that. And so they get kind of cute and like oh, we know that I had one that called me after we had had our initial talk and he was like I'm just calling you, I think he called it to fill your tank. Or there was a saying that he used I'm not American, so it was a very American saying that he used and he literally just gushed about how lovely it was and how comfortable he felt knowing that he's coming here and he said now I have this Peppy cheerleader and AP that's going to help out all my carriers and I've become like a selling feature for him to use. And, yeah, it's just, it's just nice to hear.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:23

Yeah, because I mean that kind of hints back to it to we were talking before we started recording that you picked that you and obviously on this interview so far, very like bubbly personality, great, you know, interview so far that's. I don't think that's typical of like normal logistic or logistics like accounting departments, at least ones that I've worked with. You have a couple, of course, that are, you know, very cheery, but the rest of them are just, you know, sort of just in the computer and just focused on data.

Taryn Reeves: 14:49

Yeah, it's really true, but I think that that's why I've kind of landed so well, because I deal with truck drivers all day. So I can't really like take a phone call and be like your paperwork doesn't match. I can never do this again. I really have to be like that sucks. 30 days. Let's get you your money, and then they're like oh, you actually want to help me? Like literally my only job is to pay you. That's what I do.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:14

I mean, yeah, that sounds like a great opera. I mean it doesn't sound like you're dealing with a lot of folks that are on the angry side, maybe per se. Oh well, let's talk about some of maybe those ongoing, I guess, sort of relationships that you have to manage with your agents and, you know, maybe with some of their customers and carriers. How do you what are some of those common problems that maybe pop up across a lot of different ages, maybe not just one or two?

Taryn Reeves: 15:44

I would say for processing side of things. Unfortunately, if there's a signature that is in a carrier or a shipper location and they come back and say that's the receiver, if an auditor looks like that, they're a little more black and white and robotic than I am. So, yes, I want to believe you, but if they look at that, our customer doesn't pay us because there was no signature on it. I have to go back to these poor carriers and be like oh, thanks for driving for two weeks straight, but your signature's in the wrong spot. And I think that that's probably one of the hardest parts of my job is that I don't want to not hold your money because you didn't sign it right. But if my customer is not going to approve it, then you need to figure it out on your end. So whenever I talk to those carriers it can get a little bit heated, but our patrons are net 30 days. So typically our customers' patrons are the same, so it's usually as soon as they get approval we can release payment right away, because then the auditor will be like oh, customer's fine with it, you're okay to pay it, we're okay to move forward. So I always suggest get your shipper to sign it when you leave. Always sign it on your own, and then the receiver has no choice but to sign it either anywhere on the page or in the right spot.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:01

Oh, interesting. So what would happen in a situation like that? You just does the carrier just have to drive back to that customer and get the right signature, or does you know additional approval process happen? So?

Taryn Reeves: 17:12

it completely depends on the situation. Some of our customers we can email almost right away and just say, hey, you received this freight. I have documentation of this. I'll go to my AR department. They'll come back and say, oh yeah, they said that this is going to be fine and then we can process it per normal. Otherwise we call it a hold until customer approves and we'll send it to them. We'll invoice them with the paperwork we have and, like I said, typically they pay us within those 30 days, so we can release payment before the carrier even is notified of it. And sometimes our agents will be like oh, no, no, no, that carrier, that customer is one of my best friends, just go for it. Or oh, that customer, he's been with me for 35 years, just pay for it, right? I don't know why all of my agent mimics are always like old guy sounding. Not all of them are. Lots of them are beautiful females.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:02

Let's talk about maybe. What are some of the ongoing questions that that not, maybe not necessarily problems or maybe some ongoing things that freight agents are coming to you with as far as, like you know, maybe getting paid a little bit faster or you know, some discrepancy on, you know, a bill. What kind of questions are they regularly coming to you that they need answers for?

Taryn Reeves: 18:24

I would say for additional billing is probably the number one reason. Why are we communicate back and forth with our agents? Because sometimes there's a lumper when they pick up or they deliver, and the carrier will call them and then just be like, oh hey, I just got here, I need a lumper. And they're like, yeah, yeah, yeah, go for it, I'll pay you, and then they'll forget. They won't be at their computer, they won't put it in. I get an invoice now and being invoiced in additional $250. And so then we have to go back to the agent to talk to them about that. I would say that's probably the number one is like either waiting charges because a lot of the times they are just on the phone, and then they're like, hey, I've been waiting here for three hours and it was only only supposed to take an hour, and our agents will be like oh yeah, no problem, I'll pay you the extra $100 for waiting. I really appreciate you. They forget to email, they forget to add the system, whatever the case may be, and then we get that additional billing. So I would say that those are usually the number ones. And or vice versa, they talk to a carrier and they said like, hey, you were four hours late. My customer is going to deduct this. I need to deduct you. They'll deduct it in the system but the carrier tried to pull one over and send us the original rate confirmation with the original invoice. So I would say mostly it's amount differences, not necessarily paperwork issues, if that makes sense.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:44

It does. It does definitely. Now, before we started having this conversation, I went to Twitter, slash X to ask, because I have a lot of freight brokers and agents that follow me on social media, and so I asked freight brokers what are some common things that you would want to know to do your job better from the accounting team? And I got a couple different responses. One was very friendly and genuine approach to want to work with the AP team, because I think that there's from my experience working at a 3PL, there were some times when you had some shadier actors within the company that were trying to pull one over on the accounting team and the accounting team just stood up for themselves and said, no, we're not going to do that this way here. So from this question from Mike, he has the very friendly and genuine approach of wanting to work consistently and develop a great relationship with the AP team. And he says oddly enough, I've been engaged with our accounting team around payables aspect and best practices, so this episode is going to be a timely listen for him. He goes on to say that a lot of the best practices he's worked with them on is average days to pay and quick pay process were the ones we touched on. Also talking through document management workflow internally, because that's been an opportunity for us, from the carrier side of things to the accounting team, to build a customer. Is that a good example of how maybe a freight broker or a freight agent can work well with the accounting team?

Taryn Reeves: 21:13

For sure. And our pay terms, like I said, are net 30 days from the date we receive a valid invoice and proof of delivery, which we're pretty much on point if you pull any of our reports to be at that mark. It kind of comes into an issue with any of those quick pay questions only because some of the carriers want to take the load because they'll get quick paid. But obviously that's a service that we offer and we can't offer that on a first load moved. So it kind of becomes a little bit of an issue. So for those ones, there is a way around it. We request them, mail the originals to head office and as soon as we have that original bill of lading in head office my system will let me override it so I can still pay them that exact same day. And so because the pay terms are 1% for five days as well usually it takes about five days to get there, get here, so I'll deduct it for the 1%, give it same day pay term when I got it, but it'll be the five-day percentage deduction because then it helps them out, helps us out and we can still offer that service.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:21

And it sounds like, if I'm reading between the lines here, it sounds like you're genuinely trying to get people paid as soon as possible, but you still have to cover your own basis and cover your own tracks.

Taryn Reeves: 22:33

And it's very unfortunate that when, since double brokered loads have kind of come into play a little bit more recently Mark Funk is one of our directors and he was talking to me about back there was a little bit of a drop in the economy back in 2008. And he said back then double brokered loads really kicked into high gear and he kind of saw the same thing within this year again and I my heart breaks. You know, because you talk to this, I always think they're mom paws that are getting ripped off. They probably aren't, but you get a call from this mom paw that moved this load. They can't find their money and I'm digging around for paperwork. But somebody else has invoiced me and so now we're trying to figure this out with this cute little mom paw company, whereas like it's someone that's trying to scam us. So it's like my heart breaks and it's like I want to give you your money. I know you did the work, I know your husband's on the road and I'm trying to deal, deal with this right, and so, yeah, those ones are a little bit trickier.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:30

So how do you, how do you navigate towards it? To figure out, you know who is legitimate, and then who isn't.

Taryn Reeves: 23:37

So with the new inflammation of the uploading for carrier process that we have, it's really starting to streamline. They have a lot of kind of hoops they have to go through in order to become an legitimate carrier. If we always look for the carrier name that's on a bill of lading, and so sometimes those are correct, sometimes they're incorrect, sometimes they're shipper air, so you kind of have to kind of a gray area, but it needs to be pretty black and white, and then when in doubt we always request the original, because legally you have to pay whoever has the original bill of lading. So if it ever gets to that point where we're super doubtful and we have no idea who moved this load, I've received three calls from three different carriers or three different factoring companies, because a factoring company they've hired to handle all of their receivables and so if they're sending a rate confirmation and a bill of lading to a factoring company, they call us for the verification. Like, oh, I have a different carrier in my system. Then the question starts coming up, and so sometimes I'll get a call from two different factoring companies that same load that both have paperwork for it, and that's when we've kind of gotten a red flag. So we have little pre alerts that we can put in our document management system. We get Mark Funkin involved and he's been so beneficial and takes I say he has a really, really hard backbone because he's just like has to deal with all of that and so anytime I'm feeling some kind of way, I'll just call him and be like okay, my heart's breaking.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:01

What are you doing with?

Taryn Reeves: 25:02

this and he'll really, he's really amazing.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:06

Well, I feel like I really want to ask Mark Funk this next question, because the next response that I got on Twitter was a little bit more colorful when asking how to work better with the accounting team, because, and I quote, he says I look in the mirror and I asked that department why in the hell they waited so long to get the invoices out. The reply from the accounting department is always you know, shut the f up and stay in your damn lane. So obviously a response like that. He's dealt with some frustrations from other accounting departments, not yours.

Taryn Reeves: 25:38

Clearly I couldn't imagine anyone in our head office talking to any of our agents like that ever. So. So he's talking about the accounting department for invoicing his customer. So that's a little bit on the other side, because that's an accounts receivable side of things. So for accounts payable, if everything's not matching, we technically can't invoice your customer because they're not going to pay it if it didn't deliver to the right location, it didn't have the right pickup or purchase order number they didn't have like. So there's kind of stipulations where we can't invoice the customer if the amount doesn't match and we invoice the customer without the lumber and we go back to them like, hey, psps, another 250 bucks, they're not gonna be like oh, okay, sure, I would love to. They're gonna be like Well, I paid my original invoice, you can wait on that. And so some of those amount differences get the hold off for invoicing the customer as well. So there is a lot more to it than just invoice your customer. But we do try, like we are same day to 24 hour data entry. Just because of our fast pay program we need to get through pretty much all 400, 350 invoices daily and so because of that all of our customers get invoiced at the same time, as soon as we've validated that proof of delivery, that gets sent out to the customer. Thank the good Lord, that's all automatic in the system to nowadays, and so I would say it's a lot more streamlined that, hopefully, what this gentleman that messaged you is dealing with.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:16

Yeah, it looks like there's a little bit of heat behind this little spiciness behind that response. But I you know you had mentioned that the fast pay program you know a couple times. I think you also said it's one of the best in the nation. Can you tell us a little bit more details about that?

Taryn Reeves: 27:31

I was training one of the agents last week and so they maybe it was two weeks ago and they always talk to us about whether or not, or whether or not we offer fast pay, and so I told him our fast pay terms. He's like, oh, that's the best there is out there. I'm like, oh well, thanks. And so we recommend, if they are requesting it, to send it to a different email address, because then it kind of doesn't get lost in the mass of the 350, 800 invoices over the couple days that we receive them, and then we can review it right away, look at it, let them know if we need anything. Let them know that they have to update, because sometimes they don't even have their ACH information or EFT and Canada information in the system. So if they're looking for a quick pay and we're sending them a check, they're going to wait because they all go from Texas, but they're going to end up waiting, however, many days in the mail for that check to get there. So there's a couple things that we double check with them just to make sure same day mean same day, because that's kind of a big deal.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:30

And so you know, as you know, you're evolving these, you know training these new agents that come on and you're continuing that relationship with them. What do you wish that they knew about your job? To make your job easier?

Taryn Reeves: 28:47

Good question.

Blythe Brumleve: 28:51

Because if you make the accounting team happy, everybody else is happy.

Taryn Reeves: 28:54

I think that what I always train them on is just give us a heads up. Because if you have 10 trucks going into a warehouse and it's going to be first come, first serve bases, but you've put load a, bcd and then carrier a picks up load C, but that's not what it says in my system. It's going to get stopped and we're gonna have to have a lot of back forth on all 10 of those loads. So if they just gave us a heads up that says hey, I have 10 loads moving out of here, first come, first serve bases, whatever PO number gets picked up there, you can just put it into the system. As long as we get all 10, we're good to go. That simple email. We put a pre alert on 10 different loads and as those came in we would be able to update for invoicing all of their customers and we would all run smoothly. So because obviously it's up to the carrier whenever they feel like invoicing us, right. So if they end of the month they decide like, oh, I'll bring in my accounting to come and invoice all of these now, then it might take a whole month for us to get a couple of those. But if we already received eight of them, we could have processed eight of them instead of waiting for all 10 and those last two at the end of the month. And then it kind of keeps everything rolling smooth.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:06

Yeah, so communication sounds like is very key, as with a lot of other aspects in life. Now, you know we've talked a lot about you know that of existing freight agents that are shopping new programs, that are on-boarding with you guys and continue with that relationship. But what about for maybe, some potential like freight brokers that are looking to maybe make the leap in the future? How, what are some best practices that they should be looking at with how they're managing their finances, they're their payables, things like that, to set them up for success?

Taryn Reeves: 30:37

Um, I think that as long as they hour they are managing their finances and their payables, they're gonna be on a pretty good term. Because if they come with no bit, no book of business, they come not knowing where they stand on any end already. Then they're gonna come in and not know if they're succeeding or failing at SPI. And so I think if they come in already knowing a little bit about their own business, then they'll be able to see that having the back office support at hot head office is actually going to let them focus on their customer growth. Because that's pretty much the point the more Agents get to focus on their customers and we get to kind of handle the day-to-day, then they're going to just be able to grow bigger and bigger right and that's kind of what they're in business for for themselves and to grow their business and so they don't want to handle the day-to-day Invoicing and PO numbers and data entry part of it. And so I think if they come into our business already knowing where they're sitting and or failing succeeding, they'll see that we can help them succeed in a lot of different ways.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:39

That's very well said and you know, as we round out this sort of section of questions before we get to, you know, the final segment of the relatable eight questions, anything that you think that I didn't ask, that you think is important for you know Current freight agents, potential freight agents, to know about working with the accounting team.

Taryn Reeves: 31:57

I Would say if you're coming in as a freight brokerage that moves LTL loads, just tread lightly, because LTL is a lot and has a lot of hidden fees in it, so the final charges that you're gonna have are always going to be different. So always audit your billing before you complete a load in your system, because if you're auditing it first and then complete it, then there's not going to be any surprises for you.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:24

Oh, Great, great little added insight there. That that was awesome. So thank you for that. And you know, as just mentioned the relatable eight, this is a section of the interview that the audience has come to really know and love. Over the last few months, we've been asking this set of questions, you know, to just sort of I it's kind of breaking the ice, but not really because it's towards the end of the conversation. So, but with all that said, let's get to the first one. How do you think about marketing when it comes to you and your company? Because I imagine you know appearing on, you know, a podcast like this, is definitely a form of marketing. So how do you think about that, that sort of process? Is this your first podcast interview? Have you done others in the past?

Taryn Reeves: 33:07

This is actually my first podcast interview and I think that Marketing obviously comes with a little bit of challenges of its own, because the bigger you grow, the more you get known, the more kind of I don't want to say scammers come out, but the more that they get that, scammers come out. And so when we were just kind of like happy, go, lucky little family and head off as just doing our work, right, it kind of changed the dynamic as well, because the bigger you get, the more corporate you get, the more little, less family that the whole head office starts to feel like and but I obviously I think it's great our marketing team is doing fantastic. They sent us out fun yeti cups during COVID. Mine's all like obviously washed off now. But I find even having something like that is so fun, because when you're out and about people like, oh, spi I work for, and then they start talking to you about all sorts of things, or even with my kids when we're driving You'll see a truck go by. They're like, oh, do you pay them? Do you pay them like? Oh, no, not them. Oh, I pay them every day.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:11

Oh, that's so awesome, that that's great. I yeah kudos to the marketing team over at SPI because they're they're doing fantastic things, and and also kudos to you for this being your first Podcast interview. I imagine it's not going to be your last. Oh you've been fantastic so far. Oh, then we have the next question what's your favorite social media platform and why?

Taryn Reeves: 34:35

Okay, I'm pretty lame when it comes to social media, but I would say Facebook is still probably the one I use the most, but mostly because that's where I get all the invites to anything that's going on in my friend group from, because everybody posts on there. My husband's really into Instagram, which I also think is kind of fun and but I wouldn't say that I'm really on it, but so I guess it would be Facebook professionally LinkedIn, but I only go on there because people connect with me. I'm like yep, yep, yep, you look like a connection to.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:08

I love that. All right, next one what is your favorite sass tool that you use every day and can't live without?

Taryn Reeves: 35:14

Oh, definitely. Well, it used to be called hub trends, but now they call it triumph pay audit, and that's the document management system I was talking about. There is absolutely Zero chance the growth that we've had in our company would have happened without having a platform like that to manage our documents.

Blythe Brumleve: 35:29

Oh, that's awesome. Hell yeah, I'm clipping that out just to you know, to send it over to the trial. So if you're hearing that and you're listening, go send Terrin some swag, all right now. Next one what is your favorite freight business that isn't your own?

Taryn Reeves: 35:51

Well, I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for CND logistics. The owner there has named Dana and he was actually a coach on a Canadian junior football team and I used to cheerlead for them and my husband came and started playing for them and that's how we met. So I kind of a soft spot for CND.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:11

That's a great one. Awesome, this is. This has been my favorite answer so far for this section. Okay, what's one task in your current job that you can't stand doing?

Taryn Reeves: 36:20

Oh, definitely telling carriers that the signature is in the wrong spot. I think that it breaks my heart every time because I know you did the job, I know you got there, I know you left, and then I have to say PS, they signed it wrong. Like you're tired, you drove all day or all weaker for two weeks or crossing borders or whatever the case may be, and you know this annoying chicken AP that's like oh the numbers, the signature is wrong. Bye, and I think that that's probably my number one pet peeve.

Blythe Brumleve: 36:51

Mmm, that, yeah, that's got to be a tough one to deal with on you know, a regular basis to have to tell folks who already have enough on their plate that you know there's a little caveat and that's gonna delay in them getting paid. So, yeah, I wouldn't like that one either. Okay, so next one if you didn't have to worry about money, what would you want to do for the rest of your life?

Taryn Reeves: 37:10

That was a good one. I liked it. I kind of started thinking through this after I read that. Actually because I really like serving my family, like I just think that it's pretty awesome to be like All about the kids and all about my husband and kind of being a personal chef. And there's not very much Tradition in my family because my mom was adopted, my husband's dad was adopted, so it kind of lost a lot of like the traditions being passed down. So I think that if I didn't have to work, I would probably travel to a lot of little like remote little towns throughout the world and Kind of work with all those I say, little grandmas but that's kind of sexist a little grandmas or grandpas that are cooking and like baking all day and I would like to learn how they like use their spices or picked them or dried them and I would like to learn all those like little tips and tricks for cooking from like, yeah, those little remote towns throughout the world.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:02

I love that because that was one of the first things I know. You know, say what you will about TikTok, but my feed, especially during COVID and like during lockdowns I never got so much inspiration from that platform than watching, like these grandmothers in, like Lebanon, like cook over this open fire pit. I'm like you know a stove that looks like it's you know, a hundred years old. It was just amazing.

Taryn Reeves: 38:23

Have you ever seen those little places? They're like rolling their own gnocchi, like they're just like do it with that little fork thing and the special, and all of a sudden they have this huge bin. You're like, how you try and it turns into like, oh, this twisty ravioli.

Blythe Brumleve: 38:37

You're like what just happened. I tried to make wontons the other day and it was a disaster, so I this is very recent for me I spent about six hours trying to do this and ultimately I just emptied them all out and decided to do a stir fry.

Taryn Reeves: 38:51

Were you trying to close up the wonton fully? Yes, because if there's any sort of oils or any of the food that hits the outside of that, you're hooped from the beginning.

Blythe Brumleve: 39:02

It was a disaster and I probably maybe should have contacted you. I wanted to get these tips ahead of time and I've wasted a lot of time. Before I knew it was 11 pm at night and I was like I have to go to bed and you haven't eaten. That's why we had the stir fry. All right, we got a couple more. What is something you believe in that most people don't?

Taryn Reeves: 39:25

I think so. Obviously I don't know if no one else believes in it, but we all were obviously given a purpose in this world. There is a problem in the world that only one person is able to solve, and I think that there's a difference between being on your path for whatever that problem is to solve versus being in your, your like divine purpose versus your divine assignment, because obviously, my purpose isn't necessarily data entry out of freight brokerage, but I think that my assignment is doing this and being able to raise my family and learn how to make montons. But so I think that having knowing that difference and knowing that, just because you're not living quote, unquote your dream at the moment doesn't mean you're not in the right spot and you're not doing the right assignment you're supposed to be in right now.

Blythe Brumleve: 40:21

Love that Definitely. Life is a pathway and you have to partake in all of the journeys of the pathway. So last one what is your favorite supply chain or logistics fact?

Taryn Reeves: 40:33

Well, this one was kind of funny because I was talking to one of our agents that's been with us a long time. He used to even work in head office as well, in the operation section in the back and we were just chatting about I was watching a show called ridiculousness I don't know if you've ever seen it. So I was watching that and it kept on having all of these trucks running into the bottom of overpasses and it was like a little segment Rob Dyrdek did and I was laughing so hard. I'm like, so I was talking to him. I'm like these truck drivers are so ridiculous, I don't know where they're hiring them. And he says to me he's like you know, taryn, there's always the height on the overpass, but where they measure that height might be the wrong spot. So they measured it in the middle of the overpass, but your truck is driving to the right of it. You may think that you had the clearance, but then you run into it because it's on the right hand side and it's a little bit lower on the outside. I'm like, oh, they're not all just silly, it was just a mistake. So I think that that was kind of a fun fact of the logistics industry that I never put too and too together on.

Blythe Brumleve: 41:41

Yeah, I've never heard that either, because I have the same reaction. I see that and I'm like well, why didn't you know that? Like, why didn't the broker tell you that this overpass existed and your truck wouldn't be able to go under this bridge? And so I immediately, like, want to point the blame at everyone. But really we should, I guess, be pointing the blame at the engineer, or?

Taryn Reeves: 41:58

the construction, or whoever is the person. Maybe is it the city planner that puts that height on it, like maybe there should be inside and outside on all of them. I don't know what the case. I don't know who's in charge of that, but whoever it is, if you're listening, you should add a double one.

Blythe Brumleve: 42:14

It's also very, I think, severely underfunded. I know, in the States at least, like our infrastructure for inspecting bridges and dams. It's all very underfunded. So I'm sure there's a lot of folks out there that wish maybe they could change a lot of those things. But you probably don't realize some of those issues are a thing until someone unfortunately crashes into it.

Taryn Reeves: 42:35

Could you imagine what these truck drivers did before Google Maps came into play? Right, Like I just picture, because obviously it gives you best route. But imagine back in the day you were following one of those maps that came out from the roof and then you followed one thinking you could go there, but it came to something where you had to try to turn around or back down this windy rural road or something. I just, yeah, there's been so much Like what do you call? What are you?

Blythe Brumleve: 42:59

going to do. Yeah, you probably have no service anyways, and you probably didn't even have a phone when you were using some of these giant Rand McNally map books that my dad still swears by.

Taryn Reeves: 43:10

So he'll use those. I love your dad now.

Blythe Brumleve: 43:14

So he'll use both Right. All right, Teret. Well, this was a fantastic interview, fantastic answers to these questions, I guess. My last remaining one is if anybody who's interested in becoming a freight agent for SBI, where should they go to for more information? I'm sure we'll have a link in the show notes for them. But any last remarks that you want to leave the audience with?

Taryn Reeves: 43:38

Well, obviously, just go to our website and you can go from there. There's a spot on there for agents that are looking to get involved carriers, if you're looking for information, or customers, if you're trying to figure out to find an agent, because there's some customers that might be interested and not realize and they could save a lot of money using a 3PL versus just shipping on their own. So I would highly recommend just going to the website and feeling it out and everybody at our office is super helpful and you could call. You'll be able to get a hold of somebody that'll talk you through it.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:08

Absolutely Now for just you know, talking to the audience for a second. If you love the energy that that Taryn had on this interview which I, you know, obviously did then you should know that the rest of the FBI team has very much the same sort of just positive energy. That's why I like working with them so much. So. So, taryn, thank you again for coming on the show. Really enjoyed this conversation.

Taryn Reeves: 44:28

Thank you, and it was a pleasure meeting you as well. Officially, absolutely, yes, officially, right, okay, have a wonderful afternoon. Thank you, you too. Bye.

Blythe Brumleve: 44:40

I hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate, and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digitaldispatchio. Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.