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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Understanding the Supply Chain as a Local Business

Running a business – any business – means relying on suppliers and other external parties to ensure you have what you need, when you need it and so the service you deliver to your customers can be maintained to a quality level that keeps you in business.

For many businesses, the daily or weekly inflow of goods is essential to the operation of the business.  All these inwards goods must be transported into store, sometimes from multiple suppliers. And so the transport company carrying these inwards goods becomes a vital and indispensable partner in the supply chain.

At State Transport, we have built a business entirely based on this partnering philosophy with our customers. We recognise that without a regular and totally reliable partner delivering inwards freight to our customers, they simply could not exist as a viable business.  So when we say, we place customer service as our number one priority we mean exactly that.supply chain

We know what our customers need and want when it comes to local transport. They want a transport supplier with partnering capability in warehousing, a range of trucks suited to the type and quantity of freight being carried, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the type of goods being warehoused, packed, loaded and freighted.

For example, if a business is in the engineering products field, they want to know that their freight partner knows and understands the nature of their particular products, such as its value, its degree of fragility, its need for certain packaging and the extent to which on-time delivery of routine supplies is essential to the running of its business.

At State Transport, we have spent over twenty years perfecting our understanding of our customers’ needs and we take great pride in the close partnering relationships we have built up over this time.

To us, local transport means a local understanding of each and every one of our customer’s particular business needs and a genuine commitment to meeting those needs as if their business was our business – which in a way, it is.

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Taxi Trucks – quiet efficiency does it every time

In the business of customer service, nothing is more important than delivering a promise made to a customer on-time, with the right goods, delivered securely and with an attitude of courteous friendly assistance.

When it comes to adaptability, local fast service relies on having the right delivery vehicle ready 24/7 and a driver who knows exactly what he is doing. At State Transport, we have a fleet of over 100 vehicles of every size and configuration, guaranteeing customer order fulfilment on-time, every time.

Taxi trucks make up the bulk of our fleet and are available at short notice for regular or urgent deliveries anywhere in Melbourne or Victoria.

If fact, with the vehicles and facilities we have available, State Transport is able to offer a “Victorian Country Same Day Service”.  That is, we can guarantee to deliver any consignment from small parcels up to 24 tonnes to any address in any Victorian country town within 4 to 8 hours of receiving a customer’s call.State Transport Fleet

This focus on local transport services has given State Transport an important competitive edge in what is a very competitive market.  Customers don’t want to know the technical details of the trucks or the parcel tracking services. They just want to know that when they book a taxi truck, the transport company is fully equipped and capable to deliver exactly to their needs. These needs nearly always involve the customer’s own obligation to deliver its own promise to one of its customers – and that’s all they care about.

So by presenting our business with an attitude of quiet efficiency and demonstrating competency, we directly address the needs and concerns of our customers, without any show of technical irrelevance or “chest beating”.  Just good old-fashioned quality customer service.

The evidence of our taxi truck service efficiency is shown in how we do things. Our taxi trucks are always clean and neat; our drivers are in uniform and courteous; our paperwork is already ready and accurate and our customer’s delivery is always made on-time and without any hassle. Quiet efficiency – it’s all the customer wants.

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Maintenance and Safety must remain a top priority

The recent grounding of all Cootes’ fuel tankers for major defects should be a wake-up call to all fleet operators. It appears that despite previous fleet groundings last October, Cootes still have not addressed the need to put in place proper and adequate maintenance programs and schedules.

To have 25 fuel tankers out of 32 inspected, fail a vehicle safety check is clear evidence that this company is either totally incompetent or is playing with dice that it will get away with short cuts in order to save costs.

The trouble is this is a high-risk strategy that puts peoples’ lives at risk. Proof of this is that two people have already died when a Cootes tanker exploded in flames in Sydney last year.  In order to save a few dollars, Cootes are risking the lives of their own drivers, other road users and the general public.

It is a perfect example of false economics to say that if we cut corners on fleet maintenance, we will save money for the company and no-one will know.  This attitude ignores the reality that dollars save through shoddy or poor maintenance will be lost many times over when a major accident again occurs, or when the inspectors ground entire fleets for extended periods of time, or when Cootes faces hefty fines and possibly even a loss of accreditation for flaunting not just the rules but also common sense and sound business practice too.

We at State Transport have a strong corporate ethical view on the subject of fleet maintenance and place a high priority on regular, professional and proper maintenance of every one of our trucks. Even though we do not transport fuel and LPG, we consider it vital that, even for ordinary low-risk freight, each and every one of our trucks should at all times be safe on the road. We owe it to our drivers, our customers and the general public to ensure that something as basic as a road-worthy truck is as fundamental to our business as is the need to guarantee a prompt and efficient delivery of our customers’ freight.  How can we guarantee this if we cannot guarantee the safety of our trucks? We cannot and we don’t.

Transport safety, starting with vehicle maintenance, is fundamental to our business and an essential part of the promise we give to our customers – now and in the future.

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HACCP and AQIS Certified Warehouses

When handling the logistics of food warehousing and transport, it is essential that every aspect of the process is known, predictable and measurable. To fail to have control systems in place means that food service and food processing businesses risk contamination of the products they supply to their customers.

The HACCP accreditation system was originally developed for NASA to keep astronauts’ food safe when they had no access to alternative supplies and had to be 100% confident that their food was safe to consume.

Basically, without HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety procedures were reactive.  That is, standards and solutions were developed after a problem was identified. But of course, this meant that there could never be any certainty that each new batch of food was OK for human consumption – hardly a satisfactory situation for any food producer or restaurant.Logistics

By adopting the proactive HACCP procedures, food handlers have a standard set of procedures that involve measuring and recording each step in the food handling process, and then taking active action to correct (or discard) sub-standard products.

In terms of how this impacts of all participants in a food products supply chain, it means that every point of contact or handling of a food item is subject to standardised and measurable testing and action to correct any short-comings.

At State Transport, we operate our warehouses as an integral part of our customers’ supply chain and so we have in place active HACCP procedures so that we can guarantee that all food lines handled by us are a known quantity that our customers can always rely on.

The same applies to food lines that are transported from interstate or overseas. There are certain quarantine requirements that are in place to ensure that there is no contamination to local food producers from introduced pest and diseases. These form the standards and procedures of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and are also an integral part of the operations of State Transport warehouses and the company’s logistics standards and procedures.

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