Name: Fred Virga, VP, Business Development
Education: St. Bonaventure University Olean, NY
Industry Experience: 16 years in dedicated transportation, specializing in design, modeling and sales
Number of Years with Cardinal Logistics Management: Four years
From the Nest to Transportation and Logistics
In 1991, I graduated with a degree in accounting and moved to Arizona to begin work towards becoming a CPA. After a year working as a staff accountant for a rental car company, I decided that working behind a desk in a suit and tie was not for me. An opportunity came up with a recycling company in Phoenix which encompassed managing a private fleet of 18 drivers running specialty equipment. I accepted the opportunity and hit the ground running.
For 11 years, I was employed by Scully Distribution Services in Fontana, CA. It was there where I worked my way up from operations management to design and strategic planning.
I joined the Cardinal team nearly 4 years ago moving from operations to sales. My customers will tell you that my success (and theirs) comes from living and breathing operations for nearly 20 years.
Fred’s Solutions > Any Logistical Problem
I am constantly working towards solving some of the toughest logistical nightmares. Over the course of my career, I have seen my fair share. Recently, I had a customer in the moving and storage business that delivers empty containers to households and then picks them up when the containers are full. This customer was talked into specialty equipment with a leasing company that was extremely expensive, not fully effective, and locked in for 5 years regardless of utilization.
Cardinal helped this customer identify the right equipment for the job that was less costly, but could handle 30% more containers per load. The change resulted in a customer friendly contract for equipment, less tractors and drivers needed with more capacity per load, and a reduced delivery cost. Cardinal also added technology at the stop level to provide our customer visibility of every route and container moving each day.
Did you know…
- During the summers, while in college, I worked as an automotive mechanic. I had no idea that my knowledge of automotives would help me down the road in my career. Knowing the workings of engines and mechanical systems helps when discussing equipment sourcing.
- I love to put my customers in contact with one another to see if there are synergies to reduce cost. My customers appreciate me bringing them together, and this type of modeling is usually hard to beat.
Potential challenges for this industry include the rising equipment cost, upcoming driver shortage and uncertainty of fuel costs. Here are a few things that Cardinal and I are doing to combat these issues:
Running current equipment for a longer term is a solid strategy, but making sure it is maintained from day one is key. Running equipment longer may save money, but not if the equipment is constantly in for repairs.
Combating the driver shortage is a function of being able to retain and recruit the best drivers for the job. A best in class pay package is important, but designing the right model to delivery your customer’s products is just as important to the customer as it is to the drivers who run the routes. Underutilized drivers and poorly designed modeling will not retain your superstars. If you are paying hourly, it is time to rethink your strategy. Cardinal continues to prove shifting from hourly to performance based, incentivized pay is both healthy for the drivers and customers (to the tune of 15% increase in productivity).
Although we cannot control the price of fuel, we can set up controls to make sure fuel is not being wasted. Re-working routes from time-to-time may pinch a few miles here and there. However, more times than not, when visiting a potential client, I see a truck idling in the client’s yard. If the truck is idling in the yard, you can bet it is idling in the field. Set up controls to cut the amount of idle time and measure the results by driver. Drivers are very competitive so set up a simple competition around MPG. For our sleeper tractors, Cardinal is investing in auxiliary power units to further cut down on idle time.
Straight From the Bird’s Mouth
“Deciding to outsource your fleet doesn’t mean you have lost your company’s identity…it means you have strengthened your company’s service network.” – Fred