The Polaris Solutions Team strives to make life easier for the shipping community. This past month, Polaris launched a new initiative to improve processes and procedures in their customer service department. Across the board, customer service is a huge part of offering seamless, stress free transportation services.
Polaris’ goal was to tap into a shared knowledge, industry wide, regarding best practices when it comes to offering top-tier customer service. The survey consisted of seven questions asking participants to share how they have built a successful customer service department. As an added incentive, participants were entered in a random draw to win an iPad!
The survey was a resounding success. The Solutions Team received 137 entries! The survey results were summarized and distributed to all Polaris employees — the Solutions Team wanted to make sure everyone was on board with the survey’s findings and the customer expectations implied. As part of this renewed commitment to customer service, Polaris Transportation Group will be implementing a Customer Care Department.
Charlene Davidson, Training and Development Manager, states "Our Customer Care department will be developed with proactivity being a key priority. We will set customers up with inside care representatives. Our extensive in-house training for Customer Care involves hands–on training with each department in Polaris — the new Customer Care Department will have a complete understanding of all areas, not just operations."
The Solutions Team is thrilled with the results of the survey and thanks all the participants. The feedback was so fantastic, they decided to offer not one, but two iPads as thank-you gifts.
The winners are...
Random Draw winner: Marjorie Green of Milgram & Company
Best Entry/Honorable Mention: Merle Carlton of Mutual Transportation Services Inc.
Congratulations, Marjorie and Merle! Thank you to everyone who participated!
Polaris Transportation Group is focused on deepening their commitment to streamlining internal communications, creating new, effective customer service solutions and finding ways to continue making life easier for the shipping community.
Over the past year, key management staff have been involved in an exciting new project – the formation and implementation of a Polaris Solutions Team: a group within the company designated to act as client liaisons, empowered to make important decisions when it comes to providing flexible, custom transportation solutions.
"The idea has been in the works for some time," says Dave Cox, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "As we grow and develop as a company, we’re working to shift our focus and provide comprehensive service solutions for our customers who often have really specialized needs."
The Polaris Solutions Team will be comprised of senior operations people with a valuable blend of technical and industry knowledge and interpersonal skills. The Team will coordinate with various departments – logistics, operations, etc. – to meet clients’ needs and respond to important feedback and questions as quickly and effectively as possible.
"Each and every person on the team is an excellent communicator, skilled and knowledgeable about every facet of our industry," explained Dave Cox. "It’s important to have key people keeping their ears to the ground and staying on top of all our customers’ needs. Total satisfaction throughout our network of customers is the ultimate goal."
After the team is positioned, each and every customer request will go to the Polaris Solutions Team first – booking and tracing freight, providing information regarding rates and problems that require flexible, custom solutions will be fielded and facilitated through the new Solutions Team. "We came to the decision to put a Solutions Team in place based on feedback from our customers and employees," says Dave Cox. "We knew it was time to take the next step."
Polaris Transportation Group is aiming for June 1st 2014 to deploy the Solutions Team.
Polaris Transport was honored with a SmartWay® Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a true industry leader in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency. Polaris is committed to upholding the highest standards in green operations. They’ve implemented various initiatives to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations, like, an anti-idling policy, side skirt trailer fairings, late model, fuel-efficient tractors, optimized route planning, and driver training relative to fuel saving techniques. Most recently, Polaris has instituted paperless invoicing further their goal of reducing waste and going green, company wide.
"This is the second year in a row we’ve been honoured with a Smartway Award," says Larry Cox, Polaris President. "It’s a huge deal. We’re constantly striving to find new, innovative ways to go green in all our operations. Keeping our planet healthy along with providing excellent service is a top goal throughout our organization."
Polaris was one of 55 companies to receive this distinction, representing the best environmental performers of SmartWay’s 3000-plus Partners. The Excellence Awardees were honored at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals annual conference held in Denver, Colorado.
"EPA is pleased to recognize the 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award recipients. I commend Polaris for its superior environmental performance and leadership in advancing freight sector efficiency", said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. “Their commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future."
Environmental consciousness has never been more important. Polaris places great emphasis on being the best corporate citizens we can! Last year, we won the SmartWay ® award for sustainable trucking. Keeping our planet safe is always top-of-mind.
With this drive toward eco-friendly operations in mind, as of October 1st, all our customer statements and invoices will be paperless! Polaris strives to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly organization. Issuing electronic statements and invoices will help us further the goal of going green and preserving our planet while providing you with top-notch service!
We aim to take the stress out the shipping process and remain eco-friendly from start to finish—thank you for your support on our latest green initiative!
For the second year, Polaris Transportation Group has received the Canadian Transportation & Logistics “Carrier of Choice” award. The title is awarded after a company meets industry-set benchmarks of excellence (Shipper’s Choice Award) for more than five consecutive years.
Canadian Transportation & Logistics magazine polls their readership annually, searching for Canada’s top-tier companies. “The first year we won, the award really knocked us out,” said Polaris President Larry Cox. “The votes come from across the country and the performance measurements by category are very comprehensive.”
According to Cox, it’s all about the team. “This is an award that measures the quality of the company; it’s not something you can nominate yourself for or predict.” He added, “That’s why it feels so fantastic every year we win. We’ve doubled in size since we won our first Shippers Choice award and look forward to continued growth into the future.”
The Carrier of Choice Award isn’t something you can plan for. “It’s not something we can control,” said Cox. “ But, the way we work together and with our customers truly sets us apart. It’s great to be acknowledged with this award from the Canadian shipping community.”
The Carrier of Choice Award is conducted through a partnership between the CITT and the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association (CITA). The process of evaluating major players within the transportation industry is meant as a means for CT&L readership to ascertain who is setting the standard in terms of service area, response time, customer communication and more.
Polaris was one of 40 companies out of the nearly 3000 Smartway partners to receive an excellence award. To date, Smartway partners, including Polaris, have saved 55-million barrels of oil through many initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.
Over the past three years, Polaris has taken the necessary steps to ensure its modern fleet is in top condition. The company employs fuel-saving technology and best practices, placing them in the top 1% of Smartway partner carriers
The award was presented at the latest ATA (American Trucking Association) gala event in Las Vegas. According to Dave Cox, Executive VP and COO, “We consider our ongoing commitment to the Smartway program an excellent investment in the future of the company and the industry.”
Tim Erich has spent his whole life in transportation. "No two days are the same," Tim explains. "That’s what I really enjoy. My favourite part of the job is dealing with all different kinds of people, both internally and with our customers, on a daily basis