Bob Elkins, senior vice president and general manager of Dedicated Services for Schneider — and a former truck driver — was recently named a recipient of the 2016 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain award.
This annual award recognizes influential individuals in our industry whose achievements, hard work and vision have shaped and attained milestones in safety, efficiency, productivity and innovation throughout the global food supply chain. The magazine’s editorial staff reviewed the nominations and selected Champions based on their qualifications for this award.
Creating efficiency for customers — and drivers
Food Logistics values Elkins for his contributions to the industry. In his 19 years at Schneider, Elkins has served a major role in helping Schneider customers deliver goods more quickly, efficiently and safely. He currently leads a division with 800 trucks and a robust team responsible for servicing some of the largest grocery suppliers across the country, playing an integral part in running large supply chains. Additionally, Elkins has led the growth of Schneider’s Dedicated Services business by 16.5 percent over the last two years.
Elkins and his team are committed to delivering best-in-class customer service and ensuring a seamless overall transportation solution for grocers.
“Food shippers’ customer relationships are changing quickly and that will drive significant changes in their supply chains. As omnichannel continues its growth, shippers will need providers who bring more than a broad portfolio of services to the table. They will need logistics engineers with the strategic ability to create effective, safe distribution options for every channel from the manufacturer to the Distribution Center to the store or directly to the end user.” – Bob Elkins
From the onset of a customer relationship, Elkins and his team of engineers are able to spec and engineer different equipment types based on a customer’s need. As is standard protocol for Schneider, the team complies with U.S. Food and Drug Administration temperature regulations and reports data back to the customer. Schneider continues to invest in software to report gained efficiencies.
This creation of cost efficiencies on the front and back end of the delivery has helped customers view Schneider as not just a transportation provider but also a team player. In fact, with many customers, Elkins’ team of engineers, operations managers and designers will work with the customer’s internal teams to develop a holistic solution. This has included international travel to global markets to identify and strategize solutions to bring the product to market overseas.
With e-commerce and final-mile delivery, Elkins deploys Schneider’s Final Mile+ Delivery Service, complete with geofencing capabilities, scanning technology and signed bill of receipt upon delivery. Schneider co-brands with the customer to provide door-to-door white-glove delivery service. Elkins ensures Schneider’s Dedicated drivers undergo thorough training to understand both temperature maintenance and customer service for home deliveries.
Elkins and his team are continuing to evolve by working with customers to expand services within Dedicated Services and share equipment with customers on similar routes or backhauls to realize time and cost efficiencies.
A testament to Schneider’s career path opportunities
Elkins joined Schneider in 1997 and has held many operations and commercial roles during his career with the company. Prior to assuming his current role in 2014, he was the general manager of Dedicated Operations. Before that, he served as the general manager of Schneider’s global accounts and was responsible for the enterprise’s relationships with several of its top customers. Earlier, he managed one of the company’s regional operating centers and was also heavily involved in the operations for a major customer’s grocery distribution center.
Prior to joining Schneider, Elkins drove for his family’s trucking company and then started his own company, driving for and operating his own small fleet.
Watch his full career path story, including advice for drivers looking to work up to management:
Have you explored Schneider’s career path opportunities? Maybe you’ll be a future “Rock Star.”