Get to know Corporate Traffic Logistics’ Director of Information & Technical Strategy, Ben McDonald, whose 25+ years of technology expertise and leadership are pivotal in ensuring the seamless operation of our technology offerings in the logistics space. Ben joined CT in 2022 and has already made an impact building upon the solid technological foundation that Corporate Traffic has established over its 30-year history.
In this exclusive Q&A session, we sit down with Ben to gain a glimpse into the exciting technological prospects that lie ahead for CT.
Why is the use of technology so important in our industry?
Technology is a force amplifier in most industries, that can help us provide better service. Our customers expect exceptional customer service, timely updates, and a fair price. Technology underpins all of that. From our Transportation Management System to our home-grown, Customer Relationship Management solution, we are committed to innovation that creates efficiency and convenience for our employees and customers.
What is the biggest accomplishment that you have had in this position?
A manager’s greatest accomplishments are always related to people. I am proud to have hired an additional six experienced members to our team. I am also extremely excited about what we have accomplished but not released yet. We are making great strides on the fourth version of our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as well as additional tools that we will be offering to our customers soon. More on that to come!
What is the most impactful piece of technology here at CT and why?
We are currently undergoing evaluations of two major components of our IT infrastructure. We need to replace our accounting system and we are looking at ways to better utilize our TMS (Transportation Management Systems), which is the heartbeat of any logistics company.
How does CT’s technology make us different from other 3PLs?
We have our own proprietary CRM that is custom-made for the freight brokerage industry and fits us like a glove. This is a huge benefit over an off-the-shelf CRM that is designed to satisfy the generic needs of every industry versus the specific needs of CT’s customers.
What strategies are most used with your team when developing innovative technology or ideas?
We work in things called sprints that require us to deliver value frequently. Every two weeks, we prioritize work and assign it out to our development team to deliver by the end of the sprint. We also have some sprints that are dedicated just to innovation. During the Innovation Sprints, we are less prescriptive about what features and tools we want the developers to create. They have autonomy in how they deliver the high-level concept, which is where many of our new ideas, deep research, and planning accuracy come from. At the end of the two weeks, they present their ideas and are evaluated.
What are your goals for future technology here at CT?
One of our goals is to increase self-service capabilities for our customers, such as allowing them to see more information about the status of their shipments and receive quotes directly from our website. In addition, we are creating better tools and automation for our logistics sales professionals so they can more efficiently onboard new customers.
How has the industry changed over the past decade? How has Corporate Traffic adapted to those changes?
The move to the cloud is clearly the largest change in the past decade. It is now incredibly fast to spin up new versions of almost anything thanks to the cloud. We conduct various integrations and upgrades with our transportation management system, our accounting system, and our CRM, and the speed and accuracy of these actions are much more reliable now.
What is CT’s biggest strength when it comes to our technological features?
We have a very technically-minded CEO. Working with somebody who understands me when I get into “geek speak” allows us to move at a very efficient speed. Decisions take less time, and he can provide a healthy challenge when we are making more expensive evaluations. Chris loves technology and it has been a big differentiator throughout CT’s history.