“Construction projects may be complex, but your logistics shouldn’t be,” says Scott Cromer of ATS Logistics, a national transportation provider with an established presence in our region. As Southeast Regional Manager, Cromer oversees the South Carolina sales and operations office in Greenville, along with warehouse operations in Charleston, S.C. and Cincinnati, Ohio.
GroundBreak Carolinas recently chatted with Cromer, gaining some insight into ATS and its operations, the customer experience, and the example he wants to set for his team members.
Describe your business from a construction industry perspective.
We are here in the Carolinas, ready to serve the transportation needs of general contractors, commercial contractors, and suppliers – from a truckload to the whole project. ATS is a “tried-and-true” supply chain management/transportation alternative with over 65 years of expertise that was heavily built around the construction industry. I am confident that our Southeast regional operation can help contractors realize significant savings – versus what they are currently doing – while increasing accountability and efficiencies.
What is the main message that you’d like to get across to the regional construction community?
Align with a transportation provider you can trust and someone with the industry reputation, resources and relationships to get the job done the right way no matter the circumstances. “You do what you do best – build the building – and let us do what we do best – handle your freight logistics for no additional cost!”
Describe your ideal client – what type of contractor, what type of project, and what type of materials do you handle?
While ATS is not a perfect fit for small or residential work, we are geared for breakbulk/project cargo and project supply chain management. We handle both domestic and international cargo.
Elaborate on the Southeast operations you oversee.
Greenville is our sales and operation office for the Southeast. From here, we call on and haul freight across the US, Canada, and Mexico. We have the capacity to handle almost anything, with no size or weight limitations. In Charleston and Cincinnati, we do general warehousing, distribution, crating and packaging (ISPM15 certified) trans loads, container load/unload and provide onsite rigging. ATS is broken down into four divisions and my operation runs under the Logistics division. We are busy creating a bigger portfolio of solutions and products to better serve our existing customers and open doors for new opportunities. The more we share our supply chain expertise, the better our ability to take stress and exposure away from our customers. By knowing they can trust ATS to handle the supply chain/transportation for them, it frees them up to do what they do best.
What value does ATS provide to your clients?
Stability; accountability; attention to detail, thus reducing exposure and liability; and industry knowledge.
You’ve been in the transportation business for over 36 years, with the last nine as the Southeast Regional Manager at ATS. How did you get started in this business?
After high school I wanted to become an architect; however, I quickly realized that I needed something that moved more quickly… a career that allowed me to directly serve customers on a regular basis. I had some friends who were in the transportation business, and in talking with them, I realized that trucking checked most of the boxes I was looking for. I began as a driver in the early 1980s for a local company and soon worked my way up into management. From there, “the rest is history,” as they say.
What are the biggest challenges that you face on a day to day basis?
Hiring is a challenge for me. Finding people is not a problem, but finding people with commitment, passion, and a strong worth ethic is difficult.
The coronavirus has certainly disrupted most industries. How has it affected your business? Obviously, trucking plays a huge role in keeping the country going day to day, so our business level has stayed strong and we are very grateful for this. Our biggest issue is keeping our employees safe and helping them through personal issues like childcare and pre-existing medical conditions, etc. Fortunately, employees in certain positions have been able to work remotely, thus allowing them to take care of personal matters while still doing their jobs. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy year. Like so many other companies across the country, ATS has adapted as we have moved forward.
Tell us about the ATS markets (other than construction) that have the most potential for expansion.
In the Southeast, where my responsibilities are focused, the four that stand out are aerospace, automotive, renewables, and recyclables. The other area that is currently strong for my operation is infrastructure growth. That provides trucking and project management opportunities at both the city and the state levels.
ATS is a private family owned business, founded in 1955, based in Minnesota. Tell us about the family values that you and ATS try to instill in your employees.
A settled life brings peace and happiness. We as a company hire a lot of college graduates and we want to invest in them beyond their jobs. Our core values are Integrity, Determination, Responsibility, Innovation, and Excellence. So, we try as a management team to live out these values every day and instill them in our team. When they need guidance, we want to be here for them. Family is important to the Andersons (owners) and they have built our platform on ethical business and family values. As a company, we are committed to giving back to the communities we serve in a number of ways throughout the year.
What is one of your future goals?
To finish the race strong and help make as many of my team members successful in life as I can. I’m starting to think about retirement, and as I turn this corner, I seem to look at things a little differently. I want to make sure that I pay forward the opportunities that were given to me by many people.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy my family time – anything water-related, travel, camping, and riding my Harley.
The ATS Pledge
ATS Logistics has been living by our values every day for more than 65 years – and we’re here for the long haul because we’re committed to providing quality service to our customers. For assistance with your construction logistics needs, contact Jason Likens at 828.226.2239 or by email at email@example.com.
Scott Cromer can be reached at 864.313.1237 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.