The Freight Agent Trenches with Steve Burroughs
Episode Transcript
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Recording live from Vancouver, SPI freight agent Steve Burroughs joins the show to discuss the challenges and perks of working with family. Steve shares how he and his wife started working together and eventually brought on their children and daughter-in-law to work for their company. He admits that working with family can be difficult and requires many humbling lessons, but emphasizes the positive benefits of the family dynamic in the workplace.

Connect with Steve on Linkedin

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:

The listener will learn about a family-owned freight brokerage business, including their unique family dynamic, experience in the industry, and approach to running their business with integrity and honesty. The episode also discusses the capabilities of SPI Logistics to support freight brokers with technology and back-office support, as well as the importance of trust and authenticity in the freight industry.

TIMESTAMPS:

[00:01:11] Working with family.
[00:03:17] Diverse experience in the transportation industry.
[00:08:56] Empathy in the freight industry.
[00:09:55] Freight brokerages and technology.
[00:13:19] Switching companies and loyalty.
[00:16:23] Business technology stack.
[00:23:56] Multi-generational business growth.
[00:28:32] Working remotely with Zoom.
[00:32:48] Preparing for the future.

QUOTABLES: 

  • 00:02:27 - "I mean, we're family and the business will not come ahead of the family because the minute that it does, I'll shut the business down."
  • 00:05:42 - "$200 a week was life-altering for us."
  • 00:08:32 - "We do everything with integrity."
  • 00:10:30 - "They wanted to go home or they wanted to stop and see a girlfriend."
  • 00:12:39 - "You won't get him."
  • 00:16:19 - "and a lot of things we didn't know we were looking for in SPI."
  • 00:17:29 - "SPI has tailored our needs into the program. So and we'll ask for something and I'll say, hey, this will make our lives better. This will make our business faster. OK, well, we'll make it happen. And they do. And so that has made all the difference in our business."
  • 00:20:30 - "And I'm not going to have to work as hard to do that."
  • 00:24:40 - "It is our competitive advantage."
  • 00:27:22 - "I never want to be thought of as a kitchen table broker."
  • 00:29:38 - "Yeah. How I can take more time off."
  • 00:33:17 - "You guys have a very powerful story to tell working on all different sides of the business."

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ABOUT THE PODCAST:

Everything is Logistics is a podcast for the thinkers in freight. Follow the podcast to never miss an episode.

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:00

LinkedIn presents welcome into the episode of everything's logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host, Blythe Brumleve. And we are once again alive on location in Vancouver,British Columbia, Canada. I said the city name that writing country is very challenging.Especially the thermostat, you know, going from Celsius to Fahrenheit. It's challenging for us.

Steve Burroughs: 0:30

Like it's nine degrees, and I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I'll have

Blythe Brumleve: 0:34

the same exact reaction. So we're actually joined with Steve burrows, he is the your business owner for SBI logistics. Correct? Do you have an official business name? Are you a freight agent for SBI

Steve Burroughs: 0:46

freight agents,they call us team burrows. Nice.And we're from Southwest Florida.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:51

And we were talking before we hit record.You have nine children,

Steve Burroughs: 0:56

we have nine children and five grandchildren,and several of them work for your company, four of our children. And our and one of our our daughter in law works for us. Yes. And so

Blythe Brumleve: 1:05

it's a complete family affair.

Steve Burroughs: 1:06

We only have family workforce.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:08

That's incredible. So how do you navigate I guess the challenges of working with family? Because most people I mean, even the interview that we had before this said never worked with family. So how do you it's difficult,

Steve Burroughs: 1:18

it's difficult,you you learn a lot of humbling lessons along the way, my wife and I first started working together. And we survived those first two years without killing each other or divorcing each other. And then we brought our oldest daughter on, and six months after that we brought our oldest son on and then it just sort of progressed from there.Then our daughter in law joined us a couple of years later. And then finally, our fifth child who has a daughter, and then our sixth child has joined us so you know, I guess thereby kind of looks at it. All our children look at it. And they're they're kind of excited about the opportunity to join the family business. And, and we love that we love that we we love sharing this business with our family.And it does bring its own unique challenges because I'm a little headstrong. And I've had to learn to calmly, you know,traverse the waters. And don't always do a good job of that.But But we try. And we always have to remember and we've actually had meetings where I would stop everything and shut the phones off and say, guys, we love each other. I mean, we're family, and the business will not come ahead of the family.Because the minute that it does,I'll shut the business down. And so it has just it's worked for us. I know it doesn't, it won't work for a lot of people, but we kind of each have our own unique roles in the company. And and we've been very successful.

Unknown: 2:44

So give folks I guess a little bit of an understanding how long have you been in business? How did you get into

Blythe Brumleve: 2:49

freight? What's your freight backstory?

Steve Burroughs: 2:51

Well, my backstory is that I learned to drive a stick shift when I was14 years old, and a 76 cab over Peterbilt. I grew up in North Alabama. And if you didn't know how to move a truck, you couldn't work unless you worked in the coal mines. And I was too young to do that. So I was shagging trailers when I was1415 years old, and I have a degree in Industrial Management.And with an emphasis in logistics, I'm one of those those kind of odd birds I've got, you know, I've worked on every side of the fence, I have a CDL we own trucks, We've dispatched trucks, we've, I've been a corporate manager, a corporate director of transportation for a steel company. I've, you know, had 200drivers working for me, I've owned, you know, three trucks and had 17 leased on to me. So I've kind of sat on every side of the fence. I've had broker agents calling on me, and now I call on them. And so it just I think it gives us a unique perspective. At the end my position when I was with the steel company, I had the opportunity to I had an unlimited budget in the transportation department. So I sent myself to every single school I could find, and, you know, became an expert in the CSA scores and inspections and actually my level two accident investigator and everything I could get a certificate for and learn. I did. So it really it makes it unique for us to be in this industry. Because, you know, I just came from a session where people were asking questions about sales. Well, I could answer a lot of those questions because I was on that side of that was the guy that we're trying to find. And so we we, you know, I've always kind of been in the business, and we bought our own truck. I was working for another steel company. And in 2000 I believe it was and we couldn't find trucks. So we decided to buy one, and we bought a truck and then we bought another truck and then I left that business and we started just running trucks and built our business up and we're doing very well and then 2008came along and the bottom dropped out of the trucking industry and overnight our business was gone. So I went to work for the steel guy And I was with the steel company for about a year. And same situation came along that 2010 or so, my boss came to our 2009, maybe our boss, my boss came to me and said, you know, could your wife Mary, maybe broker some freight for us because we can't. And I said, Well, you know, that's,that's a conflict of interest,you know, and he said, I know that, but we need bright mood, I said, Okay. And we started our business. And she started the business. And you know,honestly, Blythe, we were in a position where, you know, we had just come through a really tough economic time. And money was not flowing, and the steel company paid me just enough to stay hungry. And she started the business. And the goal was $200,a week, $200 a week was life altering for us. And here we are, you know, some 14 years later, you know, we're in the top three of the company that you know, SBI, and we've only been with SBI, for going on three years. It's our third year. And it has been a magnificent career, a magnificent business, and even more. So, now that we're with SBI. So,

Blythe Brumleve: 6:08

so you started the freight brokerage business?When did you get to the point when you knew that you could probably be doing more and so you started searching for maybe freight agent partnerships? Or did you know about being a freight agent before you started your brokerage we

Steve Burroughs: 6:23

did, but we thought, you know, we needed to own trucks, we didn't trust brokers. And, you know, I mean,brokerage, the brokerage business was like the Wild West,and you couldn't trust them.And, and, you know, they were,we had this, we had the same, we thought the same stereotypical things that that some truckers do now, you know, freight brokers are just gonna snap to screw you and take the majority of the money. And we knew that when we started the business in2009. And, you know, three, four years later, I left the steel company and came home to join the freight brokerage, because it had grown to a significant enough place where it was time where we had to build someone else's dream by keeping the job,our build our own dream, by quitting and coming to the freight brokerage. But when we,when we started our business, we knew that we were going to do so with integrity. And we were never going to lie, never ever,ever going to lie to our customer or to a carrier. And,and I always tell the customer,I will tell you the truth. Even if it hurts me, I will tell you the truth, but I never go to my customers with a with a problem that I don't have at least what I think might be an answer. And I never screwdriver, never,ever, ever, I never lie to a driver, if if the pickup time is at one o'clock, and four o'clock is the only appointment I can get. I'll tell him, you're gonna wait. You know, and there's not and there may or may not be detention. So I've got some customers that won't pay attention at all. And I'm very honest and upfront, but also pay my drivers very well. You know,there are companies out there that they take big time advantage of the of the driver and and they get caught keeping a huge amount of margin. And,and I just don't believe in that. Because those are the guys that are out there spending the night in the truck and buying fuel and, you know, buying tires and doing all those things. And we run a lot of loads. And our margins might not be as big as other other agents. But we have guys that will. I can just give them a pickup number. They don't even need a rate con because they know that once I get back to the office, I'll send a rate con, and the load may already be delivered before they even get there. Right. Oh, wow. Yeah. So we've just made that our practice, we do everything with integrity. I talked to my family a lot about character and honor.And that's just how we just have chosen to run our business.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:40

And it sounds like with your experience on all different levels of within the freight industry or moving freight, that it almost is a selling advantage to the drivers to the carriers to the customers that keep coming back. Because you know, and you empathize with what they're going through.

Steve Burroughs: 8:56

Well, I do and then I'll have drivers that are maybe new ish to us, and they'll try to lie. And I'll be you know, that's not true. I got I've been out there, if you know it, and I know it's let's just skip this little lie here and let's go on to the real truth.And so, that's that's what we do.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:14

How do they react when you say something like that, too, they immediately start telling

Steve Burroughs: 9:18

us they'll start trying to backpedal at first and especially when it comes to repairs, be like oh,you know, I blew an airbag and,and it's gonna be you know, a two day repair and I'm like, oh,no, it's not gonna be a two day repair. It's a two hour repair.I used to run for repair shops that were open 24 hours a day. I know what the repair takes. And if I don't know what the repair takes, My son loves a diesel mechanic and I'll call him and say hey, what is this repair take? And he'll tell me, he'll say Well, do you want what it actually takes? Or do you want what The Book says it takes?

Blythe Brumleve: 9:48

This episode is brought to you by SPI logistics the premier freight agent and logistics network in North America. Are you currently building your freight brokerages book a business and feel that your capabilities are being limited due to lack of support and access to adequate technology. At SPI logistics, we have the technology, the systems, and the back office support to help you succeed. If you're looking to take control of your financial future and build your own business, with the backing of one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, visit SPI three pl.com. To learn more. Why do Why do you think that? You know,in a situation like that, for example, why would a driver lie about something like that?

Steve Burroughs: 10:30

They wanted to go home or they wanted to stop and see a girlfriend. They wanted to stop at the casino.And so they'll you know, they'll tell you the stories and and maybe they overslept.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:41

Gotcha, okay.Okay. So it's almost like they're trying to cover their tracks or trying

Steve Burroughs: 10:44

to catch something that they've that they've done, and then does it and sometimes, you know, things happen. And I know that, but when you try to lie your way out of it, I would much rather you say, Hey, man, I overslept. Or,hey, drove by casino, and just had to stop.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:00

So it's almost like you're having this internal culture of just trust and authenticity. I mean, we throw a lot of those words around, I think in every day in business,but it sounds like you guys are really, that's your pride and joy. And that's where you operate from

Steve Burroughs: 11:14

it is it is our pride and joy. And then we're honest, we're always honest and upfront with it with each other.So that, and I think, I think having the fact that we're all family, we're all related, that that, you know, helps with that,too.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:27

So when you were exploring, you know,different freight agent possibilities, did you go out and explore these opportunities?Did you try to test the waters with a, you know, a few other freight agent programs, or

Steve Burroughs: 11:38

I didn't, I was with a company, and I had chosen this company, because I had actually leased towards the end of the trucking, you know, when when Oh, eight, no nine came along, and things were just bad.There was a company that that I knew, and I'm not gonna say their name, but it was a good company at the time. And I had leased my trucks on one of them just words, that last ditch effort trying to save some dollars and keep my guys driving. And, and, and I remember them. So I had called,I called them and got my wife set up Mary, with them to be a broker for them. And, you know,there was a real good guy that taught us a lot, I taught her a lot about brokerage and kind of helped her through that. And we were with them for a long time,but we kind of became big agents with them. We had invested a lot of our own money in our own technology. And that made our jobs a lot easier and a lot faster. And they, they got sold by another to another company.And at first, they were all about it. And they turned out to be kind of bad actors. And everything we would ask, they would say no. And it was kind of interesting how I ran into Mike Miculek, at a conference for one of my big shippers, and just kind of run into him, and I'm with the vice president of the company I was with and ran into Mike and, you know, we met and I had left because I had some work to do. And the Vice President looked at Mike and says, I know why you're here. You won't get him. And so Mike said, oh, yeah,I'm just here to make people okay. And but but I just really liked Mike. And I stayed in touch with Mike Mike stayed in touch with me. And then come to find out the president of SPI was the president at the company that I was with, or had been the president, that company I was with, and I remembered, you know, that the business was was ran a lot better than it was. It was run with integrity and honor and dignity and, and then Mike told Joe that he had met me and then they both kind of started calling, you know, no pressure.And Mike even said, Hey, there's no pressure if I'm in, I'm in Florida, you want to go play golf? I said, Yeah, let's go play golf. And, and we never did get to play golf. But I finally came to a point with my, my company where because saying no.Got too easy for them. And you know, we already had some of our children working for us at the time. And, and we were stagnant.We couldn't grow because they wouldn't they wouldn't allow us to grow. They wouldn't. They wouldn't work with our technology. They would tell us Oh, this won't work. I'm like,Well, I've had it for seven years it works. And finally I called Mike up and I said, You know what, I'm ready to talk.And they start we started the switch process, the onboarding.And, and my other company, they were very angry with us. And,you know, Joe never wavered. And they threatened they threatened to sue us and they threatened to do all these things. And, and SP as attorneys said, they have no leg to stand on. And so Joe actually flew to Florida, he and his wife and they spent three and a half weeks in Florida helping us on board. Wow. And I mean, walked us through and helped us in and it's just you and I've never looked at another company. So so the answer the long answer to your short question is no, I never looked at another company. You know,we're we're a very successful agency. And we do get a lot of phone calls. And a lot of people reach out to us on LinkedIn and they say, Hey, would you be interested in talking? And you know, and I always say, Hey,thank you for, you know, for calling thanks for thinking about us, but we're very happy where we're at, you know, I'm not nasty to them because they're just doing their job.And so, but No, we never, we never explored other opportunities we came to SPI and looked at. And so, you know,like what we saw, and, and we we actually onboard it in a very odd time because it was COVID.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:31

And wow, yeah,it was three years ago. So

Steve Burroughs: 15:33

and so the, you know, the first time I had saw Joe, he came to see us and he had his mask on. And, you know,we're South Florida. You know,trying

Blythe Brumleve: 15:43

a different breed, breed, South Florida

Steve Burroughs: 15:45

trying cowboys,you know, and I said, Yeah, you know, you wear that mask for you, you don't wear it for me.We don't do the masks here. And,and, you know, he has stuck with us through it all. And, and, you know, we we went to the first rendezvous, our first rendezvous last year, which, you know,which was in Orlando, which, you know, usually want to travel and see stuff when you live in South Florida. No offense against Orlando, but been there and a million times. But you know,it's just, it's been a great move for us. And I think that we found everything that we were looking for in a lot of things we didn't know we were looking for, in SPI

Blythe Brumleve: 16:22

what were some of those things, because you mentioned you, you have you had your own tech stack. And so you begin the onboarding process.Did you get to keep your tech or did you, you know, that it was beneficial,

Steve Burroughs: 16:31

we have kept our technology and But Joe and Mitch and as they they kind of get together and they dovetailed our technology into SPS technology, and then they helped us tweak it and make ours better and faster. And and so it has dovetailed in real nice. And with the new things that are coming out, you know, we our business has been at a place where we can't grow anymore. And because of our because there are some some areas of lack. And we have just learned this weekend that, you know, there are some things available to us that are gonna allow us to grow again.And so we're very excited about what they're doing. And they just they gave us these technologies, they didn't say no, they said, let's let's figure it out,

Blythe Brumleve: 17:20

I was about to say that it sounds like they're they they want to work with you so much so that they're willing to make some custom software they within your processes that you're in.

Steve Burroughs: 17:30

And you know,when we we brought a big book of business that we have exploded since we came came to SPI. But our business model is different than I know that in one of your previous podcast, you talk with Warren from Kansas City, a good friend of mine, his business model is different than mine.And I don't know how his business model works. But you know, SPI has tailored our needs into the program. So and we'll ask for something and I'll say,hey, this will make our lives better, this will make our business faster. Okay. Well,we'll we'll make it happen. And they do. And so that has made all the difference in our business.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:08

So we've talked a little bit about the technology side of things, you know, just from the the the integrity part of the business.What about the sales part of the business? You mentioned, you're growing like crazy. And you want to grow even more? Yes. How are you? Are you cold calling cold emailing? Or is it just based on referrals?

Steve Burroughs: 18:28

We do most of our growth on referrals, we have found that to work better for us. And you know, Mike, we're going to a conference here in a couple of weeks. And I'm bringing everyone because the my big shipper has multiple locations, and each location handles their own business. And so myself and Mary and Mike and Joe and Mark funk from the company, their procurement carrier procurement director,they're all going to meet us at this conference. And we're going to, you know, talk to all the players. And, you know, a lot of these people I've known for a long, long time. And they will,they will refer us they'll give us leads, they'll tell us I go talk to that guy, because his his business will meet will fit your model. And so we don't waste a lot of time. And as far as cold calling, we don't really cold call. And I just mentioned I just came out of the sales meeting here at the breakout session. And one of the things that I shared with the group is the best way in my mind to to procure new businesses, I will call the receiver. And I'll just say, you know, I'll talk to the person, maybe the shipping manager on the floor, and I'll say, Hey, I got a guy coming in,and I'm desperately needing a reload. Can you help me? Can you reload this guy? And you'll say,Well, I'm not really in charge of that. But you can call Bob and tell Bob that I sent you.And I'll say well, what's Bob's extension and can you transfer me smart and then I'll and then he'll transfer me in and this Bob's speaking you know, Hey,Bob, you know, mark on the floor, told me to give you a call Got a guy coming in? And he needs to reload? Well, I don't really have anything but I might have something tomorrow, well,hey, I got a guy coming in tomorrow, even if I don't, I've got my leg in now with Bob. And so that way I kind of get around the gatekeeper. And, and, you know, that's where we've been.And we're very fortunate because we've been very successful in our business. And I haven't had to, we haven't, you know, we've been so busy that we honestly, I could have business that I don't go after, because I would not fairly represent that business,because we are so busy. And we're such we've had, so we're so much at our capacity. So I don't take business just because I can get it. If I can't service it correctly and properly, then I'm not going to take

Blythe Brumleve: 20:41

it it's a good motto to have now, with you mentioned a little bit about the technology that's coming down the pipeline, how do you think that technology is going to help you almost, I guess, give extra hands to the people you already have? Well,

Steve Burroughs: 20:54

I think what it's going to do is it's going to weed out the bad actors and the double brokers and the triple brokers. And I'm not going to have to work as hard to do that. And so, so that's going to be a time saver. You know,we've got situations where I've got some carriers that that haul, load after load after load after load for me to the point that we become friends. And now they can just go to the board.And I can have an internal board and send it to him. And they can just book themselves on it and get the information. And then I can finish it up, you know,tomorrow later in an hour. And you know, are sent a message say, Hey, Sally took this load,I'll get to you. And so it just it's taken some of the some of the tedious work off of our process. And it will allow us to go get more customers our pickup just get more load for the customers that I've got. Because we do leave loads on the table,we just as a as a group, we'd like hey, we can't take any more for a minute, let's just wait.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:52

Do you wish there was a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit employees, and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business? Well, all of this should already be on your website. But too often, we hand that responsibility of building our online home off to a cousin,a neighbor's kid down the street, or a stranger across the world. Digital dispatch believes in building a better website at a fraction of the costs that those big time marketing agencies would charge. Because we've spent years on those digital front lines, our experienced team focuses on the modern web technologies to bring in all of the places you're already active online, show off those customer success stories,and measure the ROI of it all in one place. With managed website plans starting at $90 a month,head on over to digital dispatch.io to see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. We've got explainer videos right on the website and the ability to book a demo immediately find it all over at Digital dispatch.io.What does I guess the evolution of your business look like outside of technology? It sounds like you have everything pretty much worked out? Like what does growth look like to you? Except for more loads? Maybe

Steve Burroughs: 23:12

we'll have more kids?

Blythe Brumleve: 23:15

I don't know if we mentioned this during the recording of a conversation but you or you said you had nine out of nine children children and five,

Steve Burroughs: 23:22

five grandchildren? grandchild we are we are what what does growth look like for us? I mean, we realize there's a point where you know, we're not going to grow anymore. We're not there,

Blythe Brumleve: 23:31

no more family,no, you probably have more grandkids.

Steve Burroughs: 23:35

Our intention and our hope is that we continue to grow this business and, and we we have something to hand to our children and to our grandchildren and to let them continue to grow there to grow the business. And that it will provide, you know, a wonderful lifestyle opportunity for generations to come along as they want it. You know, and we got some that may not want it but but right now, you know, we do have? I mean, I have people a lot of times call me and ask me for jobs. And and I I'm really honest, I'm like, well, you're married already, if you're not willing to marry my daughter of mine, you know that I'm sorry.To help you out there. And so that's, that's just kind of Yeah, we just we just don't go outside of the family. And it's an interesting model. It doesn't work for a lot of people. But it just it works for us.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:29

I imagine there's an almost an extra, like you already have a crazy amount of trust established. It sounds like but now there's an extra layer of trust that maybe is your competitive advantage.

Steve Burroughs: 24:40

It is our competitive advantage. Now I'll tell you why we do it like this because there is a backstory to that. About 10 years ago we were talking with a lady and she was what I call a kitchen table broker. And she literally built her business sitting at the kitchen table and she was by herself for 20 years. And she built up a nice little income,you know, right out six figure income. And but but she had never been on a vacation 20years this woman had never been on a vacation. So she hired her nephew, brought her nephew into the kitchen table, sat him down,taught him the business, from top to bottom. You know, he was her extension, he was everything. And she taught him everything. And then she went on vacation. Two weeks later, two weeks in Europe, fabulous time came home, Matthew was gone.Business was gone. Customer was gone, computers were gone. And she started over. And I mean,she was probably in her late50s, early 60s. And it's just a I know that there are people even in this conference are very good friends of mine at this conference that have very successful businesses, and they have outsiders that work for him. We just don't, we just don't. So

Blythe Brumleve: 25:57

how do you I don't even know like, how would you say to yourself, like after?

Steve Burroughs: 26:03

So that's the question. How do you start over?And how do you protect yourself?And how do you? Yeah, and I don't know how you avoid that. I mean, you know, could we could we grow if we hired someone outside? Maybe? I don't know.But it's just something that,that it just doesn't interest us. So we just we enjoy doing this together too much.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:23

It's I mean,honestly, it sounds like out of all of the I've done a lot of these interviews, but it sounds like you really have it all figured out. Like you've worked all aspects of the industry. Now you have a really great internal business structure. It's growing like crazy, if a great partner with SBI. Fabulous. What What else do you want out of life like

Steve Burroughs: 26:44

Harley Davidson

Blythe Brumleve: 26:47

custom boots on the video right now, but he has some very great looking boots in there came in and they were custom made custom made. Yes.Very nice. Thank you. Thank you from Florida. So

Steve Burroughs: 27:01

extra bonus,we, you know, we just we just want to make sure that our family has a good lifestyle, and that they enjoy when we want them to want to come to work. We don't all work in the same office. But one of the things that I've been very adamant about is that I want our customers and our carriers to feel like they're talking to a big corporation. And I never want to be thought of as a kitchen table broker. Again,nothing wrong with being a kitchen table broker. But I think that when you talk to a carrier, and you hear the screen door slamming and you hear the dogs ripping in the background,and the kids crying and the television going to me that's not somebody that is a major player, and they don't want to be a major player. And that's fine, but it doesn't work for us. We do have a a designated office in our home. Our carrier or carriers don't know it.Customers don't know it. We and when we leave our office, we can close that it's a big office. We can we can close the door. But you know, I have my son that works for us. He lives in Fort Lauderdale. We live in Venice,Florida. My son lives in Fort Lauderdale, one of my daughters lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, and she works for us, my daughter in law lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina, she works for us. And so we are on and then my mother to work my daughter and son.They work in our office for now.But we are on zoom all day long.So we in the main office, Mark funk came and spent about a week with us learning our business when he first came to the company and what an amazing addition to our company. But the biggest problem that we had at that time was how do we communicate with each other. So he came up with the idea because of his background. And we have a big speaker microphone speaker that literally sits in the middle of our office and hooks up to one of the computers. So all of our computers are muted except for one. And we can see each other and we can talk to each other and hear each other all day long. And so we all work on every load together,everybody has got their own little you know, one one person is working on pricing loads and one person is working on tracking loads and you know,delivering loads and not picked up loads. And so we all kind of have our own little area of knowledge and expertise that we but we all work on the same loads together. And it's just worked out wonderfully.

Blythe Brumleve: 29:21

I have not heard of that yet. It's almost like it putting the speaker in the middle so everybody it's still you're mimicking the in office of like a brokerage floor right but at home at home.That's right. I mean honestly,it sounds like you have everything figured Is there is there something that you want to learn more about this industry that you haven't already?

Steve Burroughs: 29:38

Yeah, how I can take more time off you know, I mean, I mean I'm 53 years old and you know, we're we're at a place where we are hoping to grow enough to where we are wanting to you know back away from the business just a little bit and let our children and our in our in laws and our say in laws better I mean, she's our kid too, and let them course sort of step up and sort of, you know, assume assume a little more, you know, responsibility and things like that. And, and just, you know, kind of see where they can take it, because they're the they're the young generation. I mean, I'm the I'm the Burt Reynolds smoking, the bandit generation, you know,and, and so I'm really looking forward. And I know you, you spoke at our conference about,about branding and things. And that's something we have not really done a good job. And I saw, you know, we were sitting in your meeting, and I picked up my phone, and I'm texting, and I'm sorry, that was texting, I hope you didn't see me. I was texting everybody. I'm like, do we need to hire someone to take care of our LinkedIn page. And so, you know, that's just something that we, we have really not gone down that road yet. But I do know that, you know, and I'm not the older generation, I'm not the younger generation, I'm sort of that middle generation where, you know, for me, the LinkedIn and the social media, and I still think you pick up a phone call,and you go talk to people, but the people that are now becoming the button pushers and the gatekeepers, they're all younger, and they're all They're part of this social media generation. And I recognize that, and I recognize that, that our role is changing, you know.And so I think that we're we're upping our technology with SPI.And I think we're going to look into our branding and our social media presence, to move forward to the future. And that's the beautiful thing about SPI is they're always kind of try to stay on the front end of technology and the trend. And we have done that as well, with our with our technology now. Like I say, the social media presence,who would have thought that it was going to be what it is now,I never would have I figured Facebook will never last. You know, here it is. And it's part of our daily lives. And so, of course, now I'll probably pick up my phone later to say, why you question Facebook on Google?You know, I'm not Whoa, that's okay. That's scary. But yeah, I think that we're just trying to prepare into the future, because we want to make sure that our kids, they have something to call their own and years to come. And we talk about this quite often, you know, things are changing. And the strength of of our business has always been that we have, we have sat on every side of the fence, and we have the knowledge, we don't get excited about little ripples in the economy and little ripples in the business, we just we are very equipped to pivot with the business. And we do that quite well. And it's something that we have always done quite well. And and I know that SPI has got you know, right now, you know, the markets a little depressed and a little you know, the they throw that recession word around a lot and,and yet, SPI is outperforming a lot of much, much, much bigger carriers. And I also know that we're preparing for the future.And so that forethought that the company has has in mind is so similar to what we have in mind.And so yeah, that's that's how we are. That's how we're we are looking into the future of our business.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:05

I think that's a perfect place to end the conversation very well said very well spoken, I think you have a great story. If I were to offer any kind of piece of advice, I would say post from your personal LinkedIn or your wife's personal LinkedIn, because you guys have a very powerful story to tell working on all different sides of the business. And I think that that could go so far in a digital space where people are craving, folks just like you and the perspective from folks just like you who are honest and trustworthy and authentic. And you know, all the buzzwords that you hear from a business perspective, you guys are living and breathing it well. I'll

Steve Burroughs: 33:39

just I'll just put your this podcast on my, my LinkedIn page and it'll explode.

Unknown: 33:45

Well, that's a good thing. Thank you.

Steve Burroughs: 33:47

And then, you know, I was I've always people say, What do you want? I'm like,Well, you know, we're kind of at a place in our lives where I would love it for my wife to look up at me on a Thursday morning and say, You know what,let's not work today. Let's go to Key West and be like, Haley.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:00

That's the dream. I think that's everybody's working towards that dream.

Steve Burroughs: 34:03

That's right.That's right. Thank you so much.Thank you so much, Blythe.

Blythe Brumleve: 34:08

Brumleve Lovely to meet you as well. This is awesome. I hope you enjoy 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. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking,oh God, another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials and Last episode over at everything is logistics.com. And until next time I'm Blythe 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.

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