Jordan Kidd

Interview by
Published on
January 18, 2022

In this episode...

Jordan Kidd is the Director of Business Intelligence, Marketing & IT for FreightWorks having been there the first day the company was incubated and has been in the middle of most key developments along the way. We refer to a Swiss Army Knife as a tool having many functions. So it is for the day-to-day realities of a director assessing trends, managing data, crafting logistics solutions, and framing efforts to market our story and recruit drivers. This multitasking however is driven by practical questions we ask every day. How can we create a superior driving experience? What are the ways our transportation company can take safety to its highest standard? And, how can we craft a day-to-day path to meet and exceed customer expectations? This fast-paced episode will help you learn a little more about the “FreightWorks way of doing business” and the dedicated professionals like Jordan who help us keep our promises. Enjoy!

Jordan Kidd

Jordan Kidd is the Director of Business Intelligence, Marketing & IT for FreightWorks having been there the first day the company was incubated and has been in the middle of most key developments along the way.


well and let me I'm going to make a parenthetical comment here real quickly you know we're obviously from disparate generational cohorts to put it that way and uh Jordan will often be inquiring whether he's saying it or not do we really need paper do we need like we had a podcast here recently and I just wanted something sketched out on a piece of paper and william and Jordan are both a byproduct of a very important generation and critical to freight works but the old guy wanted something sketched out

life by the mile delivered by freightworks is your 30-minute weekly podcast adventure you'll hear the hearts soul and passions of those who keep america moving join us we're ready to roll in this episode of wipe of the mile delivered by freightworks we have jordan kidd he's the director of business intelligent marketing and i.t it's going to be an exciting episode you learn more about how he came to the company what he does every day and why our commitment to drivers is unshakable life of the mile delivered by freight works you'll enjoy this it's another exciting episode of life of the mile delivered by freight works listen folks if you've not subscribed make sure that you do that become a digital ambassador get these great stories out to the marketplace we're here and committed to you what an exciting opportunity today we have jordan kidd he's the director of business intelligence he also is a point person on marketing and i.t i've referred to him as freightworks swiss army knife he's going to cover a lot of different exciting things jordan it's great to have you glad to be here now you know because you were there at ground zero when there was the conceptualization of the podcast you know about the details and typically what we ask and we often start out with the question who are you and how did you get to freight work so why don't you start there so i've i've worked for josh farmer in various capacities since 2007. the president and president and founder of freight works and so to cut a long story short um worked for him in various companies that he had prior to freight works the latest of which was fuel works the biodiesel company where we took restaurant grease and and turned it into biodiesel which was somewhat the impetus for founding freight works uh so you needed a truck right right so on the on the day when we bid on the truck that was um i was there with with josh working at the fuel plant and um did anyone say what did we just do uh yes i i don't know if um if that was the immediate reaction but eventually we realized that we we had we have a truck yes absolutely we were we were in and ready to learn about trucking uh so uh yeah fuel works was quite an interesting experience and then the you know gradually i grad i shifted the majority of my time from the fuel operation to the trucking operation and um yeah there was there was so much to learn and it was get a lot to do yeah a lot to do um josh first basically josh did everything and and you know to get the trucking launched and then i started to help him with that and um there was a lot of learn as you go um we were learning fast and and and it's been that way ever since now what's so interesting to me is that the dna of freight works it just appears to me is decisions can be made very quickly you turn on a dime and of course a lot of the logistics work requires all of that where did you finally have like your first slotted assignment have you ever had that or has it always been wearing lots of different hats i'm not sure that i've reached that point yet uh is still still juggling a number of things at any given time right and it's just the nature of of the work and of course in in the position that you're in you're really part of the nerve center of what's going on there so let let's talk a little bit i know your days are never predictable because you never know what the next incident is going to be but talk a little bit about what a day might include for you well through the years i've i've basically um filled quite a number of different roles within the trucking company to some degree i've done a little bit of everything thankfully as as we've grown we've added people and i've i've shed a lot of those um responsibilities or tasks to other people and we have an amazing team now that that that uh allows me to focus in in other areas so um yeah i i each day i i think it's um it's a new challenge every day but also you can build on what you've learned uh from from every previous challenge so kind of like the same song second verse right you gotta you gotta take the same things that you've learned from from each of the the prior challenges and and uh tackle each problem as it comes up now let's talk let's talk about the term business intelligence what does that mean practically for a company like freightworks because it's a term that's in vogue you hear it but what does it mean for freight work specifically and how would that inspire confidence and drivers and customers that we actually have somebody that has that as part of their moniker business intelligence yeah so basically business intelligence is taking the data that we we have as a company and uh translating it into meaningful actionable uh metrics you know things that we can make decisions off of and observing trends and data and give an example like get for the uninformed or people that aren't in the weeds day to day on analytics give a practical example of what might be a grid or a coefficient or something you're looking at yeah so a real simple one would be like a rate per mile in in different lanes so monitoring the market rates in different lanes uh observing you know what the market's doing because trucking markets are always volatile they're volatile it's it's a free enterprise uh open market and and uh you've got the the full forces of you know your basic economic supply and demand and and everything else playing into that so uh observing those things and making uh obser making observations from the data and then uh offering you know business or data driven business decisions well you know we had a practical example this recently folks and again a quick reminder please subscribe to the youtube channel if you've not done that yet it's the way that you can ensure you'll get notifications about these episodes as they come jordan we had the opportunity recently for me to see firsthand how that works in the trenches because you were trying to determine the value of certain marketing dollars that were being applied to various channels and so to be able to say the cost per inquiry is this and the cost per completed application is this and the cost to get somebody actually here all of those things are critical isn't it in making decisions to keep the company sound and solvent yeah i i really enjoy it it's it's uh it's it's good to know that it's good to see the results of things that you're doing and make sure that that they're moving in the right direction now tell me a little bit about uh what you're seeing in the marketplace in this whole area of driver recruitment you know when i come in and we have uh ad hoc meetings little quick meetings with william and you uh so often i really appreciate the opportunity to pick up some nuggets about what you're seeing in the whole driver recruitment area what what are you what are you seeing out there in the marketplace we know it's competitive we know there's a lot of turnover but what are some of the things that are perhaps informed by data that you're seeing or things that you've read or yeah so i think there's there's a couple of things i look at and and one is obviously you know you see what rate per or you know what cents per mile people are paying the drivers and that sort of thing but then there's also another side of it which is how are they taking care of their people and the culture that that different companies offer and so i i really enjoy the challenge of of blending you know competitive numbers and competitive data and and and looking closely at that but also making sure that our our our softer you know side of things the the the uh care and respect and the empathy that we embody as a company make sure that that is also translated through our marketing to the drivers right because as we've talked many times before so many companies say the same thing we're committed to home time we're going to give you good money you're going to get good rates you're not going to sit there you're going to get good trucks so we're really having part of your challenge from a marketing standpoint our challenge is to present the value proposition for freight works and you've been here since the beginning when you talk about freight works to people that are uninformed how do you describe the company well um because you've been in the middle of the fishbowl if you will and as we're inviting other fish this is a great place for you to come uh it may be hard but describe freight works i think one thing that we do really well um if i may say is taking a a custom approach to things and not just treating uh everyone with a a broad brush um everyone's life is different and everyone has different needs and i can't say we're perfect um but we do try to listen to what your needs are and see in what ways we can you know alter what we're doing to match your needs and i think that's what drivers uh don't experience in in a lot of companies and that's why you know there's a lot of turnover in the industry i i think that you know uh whoever can can best evaluate the needs of the driver and best uh alter the operation to you know within bounds to alter the operation to match the driver's needs that's that's the ultimate match now jordan talk a little bit about just the multiplicity the number of different tools that we're increasingly using i mean uh we're really birthing a communications function for works uh that includes uh going to mats you know for the first time i believe so talk a little bit because i think it reflects some of your god-given abilities and actually some of your motivated abilities to pull all that together talk a little bit about what we're going to do at mats and what you see happening there and why we're going and why it matters for drivers sure so we have done a number of we've had a number of different strategies over the years for recruiting drivers some your more traditional job boards and and you know traditional craigslist and and those type of things um but we're seeing diminishing returns on on some of those efforts and so we've in the past year or so we've pivoted and focused more on a content-based marketing strategy so um putting out more content that gives people the insight of the inside of the company uh which previously you couldn't have experienced unless you had either worked here or talked to someone who had worked here so i think that's a a key pivot that we've made in the past year or so and uh and we're continuing to you know uh try out new channels and new new distribution and social media in different areas and things like that and so the the match show mid-america trucking show uh later this year is is is a part of that um bringing the podcast to mats uh so we'll be doing some live streaming from from the show we'll also do some special pre-recorded interviews with uh some industry leaders and thought leaders who are there um and and multiple other opportunities that we'll have to talk to drivers and people from all the other parts of the industry who are key vendors and partners and and grow our network that way you know we we've got a number of incredibly exciting things that are happening really in the current season that we're in uh being involved in a an entity like mats is one the podcast is another we also have a peterbilt acquisition a fleet upgrade from your vantage point uh you know there's a lot that that will do and not do but talk a little bit about that i mean we've got a strategic alliance with peterbilt talk about what that's going to do for freightworks and why it's going to matter to drivers well i believe that's just another example of of where we are aiming to provide uh the ultimate driver experience so um peter builds a brand that has you know that they pride themselves in in class and and that's what we want to offer to our drivers in in the truck uh because people often forget uh driving a truck it's not like driving a car that you you go ten minutes to work and then you're in your office all day when you drive a truck that is your office it's your it's your commuting vehicle it's also your home um and so whatever whatever upgrades we can offer to drivers uh to what's basically their home uh for the majority of their life um we're happy to do that you know the truck industry and truck drivers specifically have really had to develop an adaptiveness to technology uh talk a little bit just in the time that you've been here at freightworks about some of the technology applications the different companies mcleod i'd like you to paint a picture i'd like jordan to paint a picture for just a couple of minutes about what technology really means up against the stated commitment the convictions and values of freight works to care about people a lot of times people say it's either you care about people or you're focused on technology just talk a little bit about some of the tools that we have and and how it matters for drivers yeah so we we try to be high-tech and high-touch at the same time and and that's something that i personally have had to work on um i i came from more of a computer science background and so i was basically abhorred when i saw the fax machines and clipboards when i got into trucking i was like what is this well let me i'm gonna make a parenthetical comment here real quickly you know we're obviously from disparate generational cohorts to put it that way and uh jordan will often be inquiring whether he's saying it or not do we really need paper do we need like we had a podcast here recently and i just wanted something sketched out on a piece of paper and william and jordan are both a byproduct of a very important generation and critical to freightworks but the old guy wanted something sketched out so in any event technology applied well really matters for drivers right yeah so uh i believe technology should either be elegant or invisible um so if it is something that you have to learn and you to use it should be elegant and it should be easy to use or it should be that technology uh removes a you know a friction point from the driver's job and so i'm working on a number of efforts right now to to do that and one example is our eld solution you know all drivers have to use an eld but not all elds are created the same and and and just removing a little bit of friction from that process it's a daily thing uh because that was hard for a number of drivers right yes and and oftentimes uh it was made worse or made more difficult by poor technology so um always looking for for better technologies to to streamline the driver experience um make things run smoother better faster easier um so that we can have time to talk about things that matter not broken technology right right and talk a little bit about the cloud we've been in the cloud user for a while right yeah so we've we uh first explained the uninformed what the cloud is so mcleod is our our core tms uh transportation management system it's it's the the kind of central repository for all the uh everything that happens in the trucking company and and and you know from customers to drivers uh you know and and so forth so um i've been part of of the effort of implementing that i think i've um i think through the years we sourced two or three other tms's before mcleod mcleod being one of the industry leaders and so um as early as we could we signed up with mcleod and and have been working on you know implementing their technology um and it's been a good experience now when you look jordan at because i know that you you read and and you study what's happening in the industry when you look up ahead what are some of the things that you you're seeing that might be market changers from a technology standpoint i mean are we going to see a day where ai has an influence on load planning and driver dispatching and i mean just talk a little bit about what you see up around the corner yeah so there's a lot of individual technologies that i believe can play together to really improve the driver experience that's what i'm always looking for is not to get caught up in the flashy buzzwords of technology which is a you know it's the temptation sometimes but you've got to look at specifically how it addresses a problem that is that is happening today and ai you know it's one of those things that can definitely improve operations streamline things um there's a lot of things that that happen within within the operational side of a trucking company that are uh repetitive and and and tedious if you will for for for people to do and those are easily replaced by you know a well-written software that that can you know do the same thing just quicker and easier and you know again the result is that you can get back you can get an answer back to your drivers quicker um or you know they can see their their payroll in you know closer to real time rather than you know a week in the hole um you know just all those different things uh it we like to focus on the driver experience and and then you know work from the problem back to the technology rather than pushing technology um first and then seeing where you can you know use it if you work from the problem back to the technology it's always much better that's an excellent way to say it and you know one of the things that i found through the years with a lot of business consulting is one of the more disruptive seasons for any company is when they had a software change most certainly right yes i mean it it hits the culture it hits the practice it can create a lot of vegetation so it's not just great technology i mean i've known it teams and companies that have the next best something but appreciating the impact on the culture on business process bottom line people that are resistant knowing who they call them sometimes the lead buffaloes who are the drivers that if you get them behind it they're going to say yeah this is a good thing is all of that true absolutely um implementation is a big part of it and and there's a difference on the you know sometimes the tendency is you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology versus the cutting edge and i we we we try to stay on the cutting edge where we can keep up with it and we can implement it well rather than being out a little bit you know there's a tendency to to to get the absolute latest thing that sometimes uh if the bugs aren't worked out yet it could be a lot more catastrophic well and this is where i've seen in business enterprises through the years when ego gets in the way because you want to be the first and you don't realize you can benefit from somebody else's investment for the mistakes that will result in modifications that you will be the beneficiary of that could be extremely important now let's talk real quickly about mirai as an example like some people might say why in the world would you consider that can you give an example of the calculus the methodology of you know this is why freightworks would even consider that in practical terms yeah so uh the mirror i demo which is a a system that basically replaces the wing mirrors on a truck with cameras and monitors inside the cab um they came out here and did a demo and i was i was actually um along for the first demo ride with one of the drivers and the driver the first test driver was skeptical right so he's kind of an old school guy he's like you know you're not giving me computers instead of a mirror are you and and you know so i was along for the ride uh no one was trying to sell him on anything it was just try this out and see how you like it we took a 10 minute ride and after about five minutes he's like hey i didn't have to swing forward in my seat to see the rear of the trailer when i was turning right which is a driver comforter yeah exactly and more than comfort i mean and safety i mean he knew what was at the tail of his trailer without having to you know swing where he couldn't really control the truck well and long story short after a 10-minute test ride he's like rip the mirrors off give me the cameras so that's great that's that's an example of of you know uh a technology that can improve drivers experience and safety at the same time that's really good and it really reflects the conviction and the culture of freight works we want to do things that help the driver right that's right yeah you know what let's let's go ahead and uh take an exchange here in a different direction i want to talk about the most important thing we're going to talk about that's your family uh jordan one of the things it's happened a number of times that i appreciate so much and i know it grows out of a heart that you have a personal faith in jesus and conviction and the way you organize your life is i love the way you interact with your boys so tell us about your children your family yeah so i've i've got three boys three wonderful boys um three under five so a four-year-old a two and a half year old and a ten month old right now and uh yeah when i get home my day starts over again um which is great uh it it's an excellent experience of learning to teach them the things that i've learned um and and just learn along with them uh i i'm it's an experience that's hard to describe but it's it's one that i prize dearly you know jordan i have to tell you this and and folks one of the things that we have is a fundamental value at freight works and it's been said in programs before and josh farmer the founder and the president very much consistently reinforces this along with joyce the vp of operations we call them paparae everyone in a leadership position we're very committed to families and it's not uh get all the work done and then if you have anything left go be a dad go be a mom it's not that way at all and i have to tell you i've been so thrilled when i get videos from when you're playing with your boys and you know what i have to tell you you got a son and i'm sure it's going gonna be true with all of them it's got a lot of you in them because folks i want to tell you this it's not just a game it's games are great it's like construction projects so give me give me one or two examples because it's just so precious of the kinds of projects that you got going on oh like lego projects yeah there are many examples lego's a good one because that's something that i learned and and it feels like a big part of what i do every day is still a a big lego a big yeah a big version of legos dump out all the where's that piece yes where is that piece most of the time there's not instructions um so it's it's learn as you go that's been my my life story more or less and um and doing that with them is is really really fun and rewarding uh also you got to learn to follow the instructions too so there's a balance between following the instructions building it as it's as it's supposed to be and then there's other thing times that you don't have instructions you've got to build it from scratch well you know the one video that that you sent where the identification was made we're on step number 152 or whatever yeah yeah simeon yeah so he's four years old and he's doing eight-year-old legos but but it's it's fun for him it was just i have to tell you this i just saw so much of you in in that moment and of course one time your family graciously took me to the airport and then they made pictures of airplanes and all the like it just it's wonderful to see and when freightworks says that it's committed to family you see it in the lives of the people that are in leadership here is the company and when we say we care about a driver's family we really mean it we know that there's going to be a moment where the truck pulls home if they go home or the car pulls up and there are little eyes looking out through the window there's dad or there's mom that's come home and we never ever want to lose sight of that jordan as you look ahead with the podcast specifically what what are some of the things that you're seeing can you give the the people that are watching on youtube and listening on the audio platforms a sense of what this might be looking like a year from now well time frames are hard to commit to a little bit when when there's a lot of competing priorities building the wagon while we're driving yes yes but um i i believe one of the things that that we want to do is is uh offer you know compelling conversations of of of what drivers lives are like you know the front line of trucking and and i think we've we've just got started on that and i think it's we've got a lot of good conversations coming and then to bring in industry experts from different areas and and talk about the other parts of the trucking industry that's not behind the steering wheel and i think uh between those two we've got a lot of exciting engaging conversations ahead well you know we've talked about even some additional content that's not related necessarily to life by the mile you know it might be something like tool time or it might be other examples of what's going on there in the marketplace and really for a smaller company and how would you describe the company just in the marketplace i mean terms of size were how many trucks these days yeah we're about 125 trucks uh up from one truck 10 years ago so fairly rapid growth and uh and still growing and so we're we're a small to medium-sized family-owned trucking company right here in western north carolina which we've come to understand is really a strategic place i mean when you look at the map uh where we are in rutherfordton north carolina puts us just describe that real quickly i mean the reason it's strategic is what yeah so we're um i mean semi-locally we're we're kind of an hour away from four or five key cities or you know areas like that and then uh on the east coast we we we've got a lot of runs that that run you know from the gulf coast all the way up to the northeast and and they go right through where we are and we're able to you know leverage our location and and split things up and in ways that make make it easier for drivers to stay closer to their home areas sometimes and um and then heading west we're right off of i-40 so we we do a lot of runs you know out west and back and and so uh north carolina is a great place uh it's it's been a great place to go trucking and it's a real business friendly state as well talk real quickly before we end about uh where our drop yards are and burnley and just the map of where we've got our footprint yeah so our main our main locations are are western north carolina we've got a gulfport mississippi terminal and a firmly nevada terminal near reno nevada um so those are those are our main hubs and then we've got drop yards in multiple places in north carolina tennessee virginia pennsylvania um yeah so we've we've got a bit of a network going on and um key key places that that allow us to meet those drivers needs again you know uh jordan you know this already just looking at the clock we're almost uh it's at the end i i've been with jordan kidd today he's the director of business intelligent the point person on marketing on i.t he has a closet metaphorically speaking with many hats and he's not sure any given day which one he has to pull out of the haberdashery but what we do know is this it's not just what we do here at freightworks it's why we do what we do and it's without apology that i'll remind you that while we have a diverse team of drivers and even staff we are a company that is firmly predicated on biblical values we do things because it's the right thing to do and not just because it's our heart to do it that way it's because we believe that's the guiding north star of our life and uh jordan it's been great to have you here i was going to offer you a yeti mug or a cap but what i know is that you're the keeper of the yeti mugs and the caps and you're able to get one of those if you need one and i also know that you're a good steward and probably in your heart you would say let's save those for another guest but listen when you're a guest unlocked by the mile delivered by freight works a yeti magari cap is in store for you in the days ahead it's been great to have you here jordan it's been great to be here this is life but the mile delivered by freightworks make sure you hit that subscriber button push this out on your social media we're here to tell the exciting stories of drivers trucking and logistics it's an incredibly important industry learn more in the days ahead we look forward to seeing you on our twice a week broadcast schedule on youtube and on podcast platforms everywhere thank you thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by a trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

Get emails about design, user experience, user interface & productivity each week. We'll keep them short & to the point.

Thank you! Be on a lookout for an email from us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.