A Day in the Life of Billy Bartish
What is your title?
Transportation Logistics Specialist
How do you impact Sunrise Logistics’ day to day operations?
I make sure your stuff gets delivered! I impact it on multiple levels, because in my “main job”, I make sure that everything for the entire company is getting routed for the correct days, or I make sure that we’re able to make a delivery, even if it’s an exception. I’m also a driver, so from the driving perspective, I’m making sure that it physically gets delivered.
What does your work space look like?
When I’m at my desk, it’s pretty basic. I need a clean work space to be able to work, so everything is in its place, and if it’s not then I get stressed out! There are maybe two sticky notes that I work off for things that I have to jot down, but they’re usually next to each other and stuck to my desk. I have very little paperwork in my role, which is kind of nice because I don’t have stuff all over my desk.
How do you balance the challenges of your day?
Deep breaths…That’s the safe answer to give you!
It’s a lot of taking time to process because there are many challenges. For example, when somebody wants to go somewhere that we usually don’t on a certain day, and either they just enter an order, or they’re asking “When can we do this?” It’s frustrating when I understand, and I want to make it work, but I don’t have a truck for it. It’s really just trying to make sure that I have all my facts first so that when I’m going back to whoever is asking for something, I have actual data to support my answer. Those are my challenges…when the load doesn’t fit or if the shop calls, and they relay to us what equipment is out of service for maintenance or another reason. Thursdays are really heavy shipping days for us. Last night (Thursday), there were three or four 32 foot trailers out of service. I don’t have enough equipment as it is! When we route everything for NYC, we can only send in 32 foot trailers. Certain drivers can take a 48 foot, but some can’t, so it’s just a matter of it being a big moving puzzle to make stuff work.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Getting to make something work! Any time that there’s an exception or a weird location, if I can make it work, I want to. And when I get to, I get excited because I found a solution! And that’s what we want to do – we want to provide our customers solutions, so to be able to make that happen is cool.
How does being a driver help you with route planning?
It helps a ton! I love it! There’s a couple different levels I always talk about with that when people mention it to me. For one, I’ve been to a pretty significant amount of locations that we service, so if I see a location , there are some times that I’m able to think through problems relating to that location. For example, there may be something set up in our system for equipment that may be needed to deliver to that location, a lift-gate for example, so we normally wouldn’t use more than a 42 ft trailer. But because of knowing some of our drivers, I know that maybe a certain guy can do it in a 48 ft, and it will still get done safely. It also helps when I’m piecing together a route, because when we’re routing we’re just looking at a map with a bunch of dots. We’re trying to connect them, and make them work. You don’t always want it to be a perfect circle, because that’s not always going to work when you are dealing with delivery windows, etc.. I try to think like, “OK, if I was driving this route, how would I want to run it?” Every driver has their own preference of how they want their route to be run, but trying to think that way helps. It doesn’t make sense to go past one location just to have to circle back again.
What part of your job do you like the best?
Going back to the most rewarding part of my job, I like being able to make stuff work for routing. For driving, I like that, to a degree, when you’re in the truck, you’re kind of your own boss for the day. You get your paperwork, and you know exactly what you have to execute that day. You know that you have this many hours to get it done, and this is how you’re going to do it. I like the balance of working in the office where I’m bombarded with phone calls and e-mails all day long, but then I get in the truck and it’s just like, “OK, I’m going to drive a couple of hours, then I‘m going to take a couple of stops. I’m going to talk to some customers in between, and move on to the next one”. And that’s your day.
Of the four SLI values, which speaks to you the most and why?
Integrity – to tie it in with what I’ve already said – if somebody is asking for something that is out of the norm, I want to make sure that I have all my data and the facts right first. If you come to me and ask, “Can we go here?”, I’m not going to just immediately say no, unless I know for a fact that I literally have no options. I try to show integrity in that. I understand so many aspects of the company because I started out as a customer service rep for SLI. I get that when a customer is asking for something, it means that somebody somewhere really needs something. I understand having to deal with the customer, and I know that it’s tough, especially when you have to tell them that you can’t do something. But if I don’t have an option, then I don’t.
What other roles have you had within SLI?
When I started out, I was a Customer Service Rep. From there, I moved to Transport as a full-time Class A driver for a year and a half, 5-6 days a week. They also pulled me into the office to train me as a back-up. I didn’t like working those shift hours, but now I kind of understand the dispatching side of things as well. After that, I came back to Logistics to work in Route Planning. Route Planning is a great fit for me, because I’m able to combine my experience of being a Customer Service Rep and a driver, and use that to better serve our customers.