Presented by FreightWaves, in partnership with ArcBest, the Shipper of Choice award recognizes the manufacturers, distributors and retailers that do the best job of keeping the American economy moving by fighting driver detention, providing accessible facilities and understanding what it takes to remove inefficiencies from the supply chain.
Coming in ninth among the Top 25 Shippers of Choice for 2021 is The Home Depot.
Commenting on the Shipper of Choice accolade during a webinar last month, Robin Baggs, the company’s director of logistics, explained, “It’s always great to be recognized for the things that we’re doing in logistics and specifically around how we try and take care of our carriers and our drivers.
“One of our core values at The Home Depot is simply taking care of our people. And we certainly consider the folks that we do business with — the drivers that deliver into our distribution centers, stores and customer job sites — as part of our team. We try to extend the same respect as we do to our own associates. Whether it’s access to bathrooms, break rooms or free Wi-Fi, we’re trying to extend the conveniences that help a driver who’s delivering to our network.”
According to Baggs, “One other thing that we focus on in a very major way — and it may be the most important thing to the drivers — is turning them. Getting them into the facility and getting them out and back on the road so that they can continue to drive and continue to earn money. That’s a huge focus of ours and one that we continue to lean into.”
About The Home Depot
|New York Stock Exchange ticker
|2020 net sales
|2020 net income
|Shipper of Choice history
|2019 (fifth place), 2020 (among winners of Best Overall), 2021 (ninth place)
Nomination notes for The Home Depot
According to the nominator of The Home Depot, the shipper is characterized by “endless collaboration in good times and bad.”
The Home Depot is “constantly seeking feedback on their facilities and vendors. Working with their teams on issues such as overcapacity, dwell and peak times has been made easier by the way they manage their carrier base.
“All facets of this shipper’s actions strive to strengthen our partnership. The Home Depot team has demonstrated its dedication to its carrier partners time and time again.”
Grappling with supply chain challenges
Asked during the webinar about how The Home Depot is handling the surge in goods consumption during the COVID era, Baggs responded, “It has certainly been a whirlwind. In some ways our strategy really stayed the same. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t huge challenges — because there definitely have been and still are.
“But one thing that I say to my team is that in all the chaos, you have to step back and think about the fundamentals: We in transportation have to make sure that we’re moving product. We need to make sure we’re moving product on time and we need to make sure that we are optimizing costs so that we can provide the most competitive and compelling price points in the market.
“Certainly, a more challenging part of the equation over the last 15-plus months is that we’ve seen tremendous strains on the supply chain. So, you have to have agility and the ability to adapt to what’s going on in the market that day. What’s happening on that lane that day is really critical — and we leaned heavily on our carrier partners to move record volumes of freight in a network that had tremendous pressure on it.”
Baggs explained, “With technology, we have the ability to identify our problem areas fast and address them immediately. We really dove into existing processes in our transportation management strategy and focused on them even more, to make sure that when we did have issues, we were reacting quickly to get product moving and make sure that we’re in stock.
“One thing that our CEO Craig Menear says a lot is that customer service starts with being in stock. If you don’t have the product, you’ve already failed on your customer service commitment.”
Shipper of Choice related links
- SONAR: Six hallmarks of Shipper of Choice winners
- Complete coverage of FreightWaves Shipper of Choice award
- 2021 Shipper of Choice profile: Campbell Soup Company
- 2021 Shipper of Choice profile: Lowe’s
About Shipper of Choice partner ArcBest
With a relentless focus on meeting customers’ needs and unique access to guaranteed transportation capacity, ArcBest creates solutions to even the most complex supply chain challenges. The company focuses on providing the best customer experience possible with seamless access to a broad suite of logistics capabilities, including truckload, LTL, ocean and air, ground expedite, managed transportation, and warehousing.