Quelle: Darwin, USA
Walking into the headquarters of Schneider National Inc.,the giant trucking company based in football-crazy GreenBay, Wis., is a lot like entering a sports arena: Heavyglass doors open into the lobby; a shop on the left offersSchneider tchotchkes and clothing for sale; plaques on anearby wall honour outstanding associates; people bustleback and forth, getting ready for the start of the day´saction. But what feels most arenalike is the loge-style viewfrom the second level. Spread out below is the company´sversion of the playing floor - in this case, one full acreof space where more than 600 customer servicerepresentatives ply their trade. They are the playmakers,the folks in constant communication with drivers andcustomers, ensuring that load A gets to destination B in themost efficient way possible. A 20-foot wide screen serves asthe Jumbotron, relaying messages ("We need more trucks inthe Southwest!") and keeping the reps updated throughoutthe day.
In short, this ain´t your granny´s trucking company.
Schneider National´s bright orange trucks are a fixture onthe nation´s highways. Legend has it that A.J. "Al"Schneider used the proceeds from the sale of his family carwhen he founded the company in 1935. Today, the company hasgrown to become North America´s largest truckload carrier,servicing two-thirds of the Fortune 500. The privately heldUS$3.1 billion company owns 13,000 tractors (the cabs) and42,100 trailers (the back part of the truck that carries thegoods), making its truckload fleet the largest in NorthAmerica. Its closest competitor is a distant second: WhenSwift Transportation merges with M.S. Carriers, the publiccompany´s combined revenues are expected to be about US$2billion.
And if the trucking industry conjures up images of CBradios, truck-stop pay phones and a bevy of gruffdispatchers barking orders to far-flung drivers, a closerlook at this transportation behemoth reveals an entirelydifferent reality. Schneider National might best be thoughtof as a high-tech company that happens to own a few thousandtrucks. CEO Don Schneider, Al´s son, recognized decades agothat information technology could help the company and itscustomers wring more cost-savings and productivity fromtheir supply chains. Today, Schneider is a leader in onboardtrucking technology, has invested heavily in its e-businessinfrastructure and announced plans last year to spin off itstechnology-intensive logistics subsidiary. In sum, IT is astightly intertwined with the company´s business strategy ascheeseheads are to the fortunes of the beloved hometownPackers.