Careers In Logistics: Q&A with First Call’s Marc Withers
We recently caught up with FCL Account Manager Marc Withers for details on his start in the industry, how to handle product rejections and what it takes for a 3PL to balance both shipper and carrier expectations.
Get to know Marc and the rest of the First Call team by catching our latest Q&As below!
- Tarek Kabbani — Supply Chain Consultant
- Tiffany Soots — Principal Business Architect
- Josh Smith — HR Director
- Shawn Machowiak — Director of Carrier Sales
So Marc, how did you find your way to the logistics industry?
A lifelong friend mentioned it several different times over the course of a few years. She would always plant the seed about the industry and its opportunities. The last time she mentioned a career in logistics to me, I just so happened to be contemplating a change of careers and she encouraged me to apply.
Have you worked in logistics long?
I’ve only been in the field since Aug. 2022. However, I would say that my previous job was very similar to logistics — just in the human services field. I am naturally a solutions-oriented person so problem solving, planning, organizing and implementation of processes are what I really enjoy.
Have you found yourself specializing in any particular area?
My logistics “niche” includes auditing and recovery of outstanding and current charges on accounts, as well as resolving product rejection cases.
On occasion we have anywhere from a few boxes to entire truckloads of product rejected, either due to poor loading (causing freight to shift in transit), potential contamination or other hazards. If products are rejected, we conduct a thorough investigation before ultimately resolving the issue through donation or transport to an environmental disposal location.
Interesting — tell us more about navigating product rejection, how are those situations handled?
Shipments can be rejected for any number of reasons. The other day I had six boxes of carbonized spring water rejected because of a little dent in the side of the box. The receiver may also no longer carry a product being delivered — or not have room for it, even if they do still carry it. Some will say they never ordered the product at all.
That’s when you need to coordinate closely with your customer. Nine times out of ten you know what a customer is going to say, but you always let them make the call and determine how to move forward. Most of the time those situations result in a donation to a non-profit, shelter or food pantry.
What’s something you wish people better understood about supply chain management?
That those in the SCM industry must continue to evolve.
In the 3PL area I feel we are in a dual role where we need to facilitate a happy medium of shipper-carrier relationships. It’s important to remember that we work for both the shippers and the carriers — and that to keep both groups satisfied, we have to value and take care of each carrier while ensuring the shippers’ demands are being met.
What do you consider the most important skill or characteristic to be successful in a role like yours?
Knowing your customer’s wants, needs and requirements, as well as maintaining flexibility. No two days are the same in logistics, so being flexible and able to maneuver around obstacles is key. Being detail oriented is also vital, as it can be easy to miss important details of a shipment that impact OTP and OTD.
What do you value most about your career? Why should someone work at First Call?
The flexibility, relaxed environment and working for a company that recognizes each employee’s skills and encourages personal and professional growth where the sky’s the limit.
When you aren’t working, what passions or hobbies do you spend time on?
Outdoor activities — kayaking, hiking, exploring new places — as well as home improvement projects.
Interested in joining the First Call team? Check out our careers page for more info on available positions, benefits and more!
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