Careers In Logistics: Q&A with First Call’s Matt McCord

May 8, 2024

We spent some time catching up with First Call Senior Account Manager Matt McCord on his experience entering the logistics industry mid-pandemic, today’s competitive shipping environment and keys to success for anyone looking to make their name in logistics.

So Matt, how did you find your way to the logistics industry?

You could say I stumbled into logistics. I have a history of working in delivery services, from food to the postal service and even a dry cleaner. At the height of the pandemic, I worked as a route home sales and delivery manager for a city-wide dry cleaning company. When business started to drop, my friend suggested his employer, First Call. After some convincing, I agreed to meet with the CEOs and accepted a position shortly thereafter.

What is your favorite role you’ve worked in so far?

In my 3+ years in the industry, I’ve worked as an operations representative, account manager and senior account manager. Each role had many aspects I enjoyed, but overall my favorite is my current position as a senior account manager — not only am I running my accounts’ day-to-day operations, but I’m also connecting and building relationships within those accounts to expand them or bring on new ones.

Have you found yourself specializing in any particular “niche”?

As an operations representative, I specialized in ‘milk-run’ style routing, utilizing straight trucks to deliver products to several stores on a designated route. It trained me early on to optimize my routing strategy and pallet space to provide the most cost-effective service while still maintaining efficiency.

Frequently this required same-day deadlines, so urgency and accuracy were also key. These qualities have continued to serve me well as I’ve progressed in the logistics industry.

What are some specific challenges you’ve assisted customers/carriers with?

Just recently I assisted a customer with an urgent shipment of fudge traveling from eastern Pennsylvania to Utah for freeze drying and packaging, then to Indianapolis for a trade show and competition. We were able to meet some very tight deadlines while still saving this customer money so they could reinvest in their growing business. Knowing that I’m aiding someone’s small business brings me a significant amount of satisfaction.

Have you noticed any key changes to the supply chain industry in recent years? What changes do you expect to see in the future?

I started in this industry at a time when customers knew their products had to ship despite pandemic-inflated rates. The market has changed significantly since then; capacity is readily available, rates are low and shipping costs carry more weight for businesses looking for shipping partners than they used to.

Part of this is the market’s natural ebb and flow, but we’re still seeing extreme lows in some areas as customers capitalize on the current environment.

What’s one thing you wish people better understood about supply chain management?

The industry is so much more complex than anyone could imagine. We all see semis on the road and generally pay them no mind, but the number of steps required from start to finish on just one shipment is amazing. To me, it’s mind-blowing how much cargo moves daily.

What do you consider the most important skill or characteristic to be successful in a role like yours?

You have to be engaged to succeed in this industry. For an account manager, attention to detail is the most important skill hands down. it comes into play for everything we do. From determining customer needs to ensuring loads are built properly, to communicating the proper information for pickup and delivery, to the carrier team…if you lack attention to detail, this role will be extremely difficult.

What do you value most about your career? Why should someone work at First Call?

I value the skills that this career has given me. I’ve always had an eye for detail, but this role has taught me how to narrow that view to determine a customer’s needs or priorities. Being forced to work on tight deadlines has increased my focus and productivity. The success of completing challenging shipments and ‘making the impossible’ happen has grown my confidence professionally.

I also appreciate how no two days are ever the same. Adapting to constantly shifting variables is an exciting challenge for me.

Outside of work, what passions or hobbies do you spend time on?

I am a huge hockey fan (Detroit Red Wings specifically) and play goalie for my beer league (recreational) team. I use my vacation time to travel to tournaments all over the world. Thus far my favorite destinations have been Reykjavik, Iceland and Anchorage, Alaska. Next spring I’m heading to Sweden, Norway and Denmark to play local teams.

I’ve also been known to dive headfirst into holidays — specifically the fashion side of things. I have several “themed” outfits such as a ‘stars and stripes’ suit for the Fourth of July or Christmas blazers decorated with snowflakes and reindeer.

Are there any professional or charitable organizations you’re passionate about/involved in?

I am a two-time survivor of childhood cancer, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how important Riley Hospital for Children is in Indianapolis, IN. Without them, I would not be here today. They are a fantastic facility with the most amazing staff working miracles every day for families in need. I don’t get to support them as often as I’d like, but I am eternally grateful for what they do.

Be sure to check out Riley Children’s Health for full details on providing much-needed support for pediatric care. For more on FCL services or careers, contact our team today.

Join The First Call Crew

Want to build a career somewhere you can make a real impact? Consider joining the team at First Call Logistics. As a fast-growing 3PL, we’re expanding our footprint and hiring for multiple roles.

To learn more about our open opportunities, visit our careers page and apply today!

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