Trinity Logistics top workplace fueled by a Culture of Appreciation

December 1, 2014
 
 
The name Trinity Transport — now Trinity Logistics — always brings to mind tractor trailers, but there’s never a big rig parked at the company’s national headquarters at 50 Fallon Avenue in Seaford. That’s because Trinity doesn’t own trucks or convey cargo itself, it facilitates transportation of materials — something called logistics. According to Merriam-Webster, logistics means “the things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people” or “the handling of the details of an operation.” Think of it as playing matchmaker between manufacturers, warehouse operators, shippers and haulers. Moving materials from here to there, in and out, across the state or across the country, on a concise schedule to meet your needs takes a lot of planning. Trinity does that for you, and does it well, being named to the Top 25 list of the industry and moving in excess of 1000 shipments a day, which originate from all states within the U.S.
Trinity is a one-stop shop, meaning you only have to make a single call to your one trusted advisor on Trinity’s team for guidance on just about anything. Team members are called “logistics solutions providers” because they can truly arrange for your every need.
Pompeian Inc, maker of America’s largest national brand of olive oil, has relied on Trinity to meet its truckload transportation needs for 15 years. After arranging thousands of truckload shipments, including just-in-time expedited shipments, Trinity has been selected by Pompeian as the single source logistics provider for its main distribution center in Baltimore, Md. As part of that deal, Trinity has placed a member of its Design Solutions team on-site in Baltimore and has integrated Pompeian’s order management system with Trinity’s transportation management software, allowing for more effective load planning and complete shipment visibility.
Trinity is relationship-driven and focused on serving its customers and carriers 100 percent of the time. “We will make sacrifices to help you succeed,” they say. “This is the Trinity difference – we will remove any obstacle to provide you with the service your business deserves. When you rely on us, we take that seriously. We will do whatever it takes to serve you.”
While the trucks that deliver goods may be guided by GPS, Trinity Logistics is guided by a compass, a quick reference guide to the values that the company was founded upon. With “integrity” marking “true North,” eight values are the core of the company culture and the service Trinity provides:
• Integrity: We do the right thing!
• Determination: We are persistent and unshakable in overcoming obstacles.
• Continuous Improvement: We aspire to reach our (untapped, full, greatest) potential.
• Teamwork: We listen. We collaborate. We solve.
• Leaders: We are leaders committed to serving and empowering others.
• Fun: Fun lives here!
• Excellence: We challenge the status quo.
• Legacy: Our journey has purpose.
Brandy McMullen, former Director of Marketing, is now Vice President of Administrative Services at Trinity. In conversing with her, it quickly becomes obvious that she loves her job.
“What makes Trinity a great place to work is the company culture,” she said, citing the compass which is posted on the company website. “Those guiding principles set the tone of the company and business interactions with customers and truckers. It impacts all decisions of the company.
It’s inspiring to be a part of a team whose daily conversations are about doing the right thing and creating a positive experience in the lives of the people we interact with,” McMullen added. 
Last year, Trinity Logistics was named the No. 1 Top Workplace in Delaware by the (Wilmington) News Journal, a list they’ve ranked within for several years running. It also won a special award for new ideas, given to the company where employees feel most encouraged and heard when sharing their ideas. 
Team members are recognized for the hard work they put in every day. There’s a bulletin board at the front of the office where team members post notes recognizing each other for going above and beyond. Everyone is encouraged to let others know when someone has done something truly awesome. The CFO, Doug Potvin, sometimes wanders around the office with a couple of gift cards in his pocket to hand out when he’s learned that a team member did something remarkable. 
There are often team building events and celebratory meals at the office to recognize and appreciate the hard work that everyone has put in. CEO Jeff Banning, a barbecue aficionado, held a huge barbecue with all the trimmings one day for the entire company, doing the barbecuing himself, McMullen said.
Their workplace is potentially stressful, so the workplace is infused with fun activities to help alleviate that stressful day and go home feeling like a million bucks. Relay races, contests, nerf wars, and filming recruiting videos are all examples of activities the teams organize to make each day enjoyable. 
McMullen has been involved in the hiring process and is often asked what she likes best about working at Trinity. “In addition to fun, we feel appreciated and involved. Trinity goes above and beyond to make us part of the strategy and vision process. We’re not referred to as employees but as team members. Part of our leadership philosophy includes providing opportunities for growth. There are leadership, self-development and coaching exercises where we are encouraged to set professional and personal goals. Being committed to growth in all areas of their life can make an incredible difference in the lives of each individual.”
According to a recent company blog entry by Kellie Morgan, 
“(Trinity’s) CEO (Jeff Banning) knows everyone here by name, and he holds quarterly meetings, open to all, to review company performance and our progress towards our company goals and vision. The fact that everyone who works here is intimately connected and has the ability to make an impact on the entire company really encourages the feeling of involvement and importance that is vital to our culture.”
The blog compares Trinity’s corporate structure to the traditional pyramid model with the “workers” at the base and the chain of command headed to the tip of the pyramid. “At our company, we’ve inverted that traditional model to embrace a servant mentality. Our leaders are the base, serving their team members.” In this ‘upside-down triangle’ model of servant leadership, leaders have the goal of removing obstacles for their team. Thus empowered, team members “take this culture and run with it. With their leaders available as a resource for coaching, accountability, and assistance, anything is possible.
“We’re constantly brainstorming about ways to save money, ways to automate tasks without losing the human touch, ways to improve our office relationships, and ways to improve processes that don’t even have anything to do with us! This is what allows our culture to keep growing and growing.”
Trinity has grown tremendously since its founding by J. Edward Banning and his wife, Deana, in 1979, and it is still a family-owned business. Trinity has five regional service centers in addition to the corporate office in Delaware (in Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri and Iowa) to include 300 team members with an additional 90 sales offices nationwide. Trinity Logistics is always on the lookout for potential candidates with a desire to grow and succeed. Examples of positions routinely posted include logistics specialists, business development, or account management. For information on becoming part of the team, visit www.trinitylogistics.com.
 
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