Sophie McCarthy has been a solutions analyst at TOC since March 2015. Originally from France, she studied marketing and management at L’IMMD – Institut du Management et du Marketing de la Distribution” and received her master’s degree in 2013. After graduation, Sophie was a category manager in a bed-linen company for a year. In 2014, she moved to the United States with her husband and soon after, found her place with TOC.
What is your role and responsibilities at TOC?
I am part of the Solutions team and am in charge of quoting our customers on all modes, import, export, foreign-to-foreign on air/ocean FCL – LCL – consolidation/domestic/courier. This involves rate negotiations, rate maintenance and negotiation of ocean and air contract with our carriers overseas. I also work on couple projects as creation of tariffs, autorating, creation of training documents and standard tools. Finally, I also work on some international bids.
What is your favorite part about working at TOC?
The industry is very intense and challenging. As a Solutions Analyst, I work with a lot of countries. You have to be a multitasker, fast learner, proactive and think outside the box for all customers, all modes, all countries. One minute, you are quoting an air import from China and then have to jump on an ocean request to Brazil and minutes later, take care of a hot-air charter request. The fact that we are diversified allows us to advise and guide the customer for the best options. (For example, we realize that FCL would be a better and cheaper option than LCL.) Every request, every quote and every customer is important.
You also learn a lot about logistics supply chain and have to be aware of what is happening in the world, as an event can impact our industry. I also like working with my team, as we are all inter-dependent and learn a lot from each other. Everybody at TOC is really knowledgeable and is here to help each other. There is a real symbiosis and this is what I truly appreciate.
How do you see the future of logistics and supply chain changing?
Transportation is of one those industries that will never die. It’s a factor that every customer will always try to improve either on the price, the transit time, data tracking and integration. I also believe that the freight volumes are going to increase, especially with overall growth and developing countries. As countries grow and develop, it brings more challenges to all freight forwarders, which have to adapt and find new and economical solutions. This puts more stress on price negotiation, transportation innovation and computing/integrated systems. They also have to deal a lot with space issues, price increases and more and more competition. The industry will always face the challenge of stricter security regulations, which pushes us to be really competent and have the necessary resources to deal with those changes.
How do you see TOC continuing to change and evolve as the industry changes?
TOC will adapt and evolve as it has always done. Since I started at TOC, we’ve gone from about 30 employees to more than 40. TOC has also opened offices in Mexico and Germany, which gives TOC more control of the freight and movement and more negotiation power. Technologically speaking, they also invest in the best logistics software and online tools to optimize and increase the customer’s experience, but also TOC’s work and efficiency. They are always improving our actual Cargo wise system with more and more tools, options and updates. And finally, they keep expending their services to have a “full package” by hiring a customs broker and by getting more people on board and new licenses.
What do you think the most important thing is for your clients to know about yourself or TOC?
Beyond quoting and moving freight, TOC wants to develop a strong relation with the customer. We quote, but we also provide them with logistics solutions. We go beyond moving their freight. We analyze, propose and implement new programs that optimize their supply chain. We do our best to be clear and transparent so clients can exactly know where their freight is, what to expect and what they pay for. We provide them with all data and reports which help them to track better their supply chain and make better decisions and develop strategies inside their own companies. I really feel every TOC employee is extremely knowledgeable and are dedicated to every account.
What sets TOC apart from other logistics companies in your opinion?
To me, TOC is really unique in the way we treat our customers by providing them with transportation services and supply-chain services. We work really hard at TOC to develop and maintain a strong and durable relation with each customer. We don’t just quote, but we also try to find clients the best logistics solutions to improve/optimize their supply chain. It involves research, data analyses, rate negotiation, implementation, tracking, reporting, maintenance and more.