Great Plains Communications Business Blog

Custom Solutions for Businesses of Every Size

Tag: B2B

Business Highlight – Werner Enterprises, Inc.

Great Plains Communications is excited to highlight one of our business customers, Werner Enterprises, Inc.:

Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WERN) is a premier transportation and logistics company with coverage throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and Australia. Executive Chairman Clarence L. Werner started his business in 1956 with one Ford truck in Omaha. Today, the Werner Enterprises Global Headquarters are still in Omaha, and that one-truck operation has grown to be a $2 billion company with more than 7,300 trucks, nearly 24,000 trailers and more than 11,500 associates and independent contractors.

Werner is among the five largest truckload carriers in the U.S. and received the 2017 Top 100 Trucker Award by Inbound Logistics. Its diversified portfolio of transportation services includes one-way van, dedicated, cross border Mexico and Canada, expedited, temperature controlled, freight management, brokerage, intermodal, flatbed, ocean and air, global freight forwarding, final mile and home delivery.

A Broad Range of Job Opportunities

Collectively, Werner drivers travel approximately 3 million miles each business day. However, these drivers aren’t the only members of the Werner team to keep things moving.

Stefanie Christensen, VP of Human Resources, notes, “Werner goes to career fairs across the nation, and we often hear attendees say, ‘But I don’t drive a truck.’ This is a common misconception. We want to spread the word that in addition to our driving opportunities, Werner hires people to fill a wide variety of jobs in the areas of IT, accounting, management, human resources, recruitment, sales and fleet management. We’re looking for people with all different talents, experiences and backgrounds to help us keep Werner moving forward. This is an important industry to work within since practically everything comes to you by truck.”

We Have Each Other’s Backs

Besides competitive salaries and benefits, what else makes Werner attractive to prospective associates and helps retain current ones?

Christensen replies, “While we’re a large organization, I think Werner feels like family. We rally around each other and are there for one another, despite the fact that transportation and logistics are ‘go, go, go’ businesses with demanding schedules. There’s a real sense of connectedness at Werner. We have each other’s backs. What’s more, Werner has an Employee Relief Fund, designed specifically to help our associates in times of unforeseen hardships.”

Military talent will want to take note of this: Werner was named a 2017 Military Friendly® Company by G.I. Jobs® magazine. To be selected for this honor, organizations must have a total commitment to tapping into military talent — whether as associates, students, suppliers, consumers or like-minded people in the community with like-minded missions. Werner is widely acknowledged as an industry leader in military hiring initiatives since starting the industry’s first Professional Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program in 2006. With military veterans and veteran spouses comprising approximately 20 percent of its workforce, Werner has hired more than 25,000 veterans and veteran spouses since its apprenticeship program began.

Giving Back to Communities

On a philanthropic level, Werner also cares about and is invested in the needs of communities throughout the country. For example, Werner’s Blue Brigade works with numerous organizations each year, volunteering to help lend a hand with community projects and fundraising events. Hundreds of Werner associates are active Blue Brigade members.

Natural disasters can create an urgent need for transportation and logistics services. When Hurricane Irma struck in September 2017, Werner partnered with The Home Depot and dispatched a convoy with a Florida State Patrol escort to deliver essential relief aid and supplies from Lake Park, Georgia, to southern Florida. Werner Enterprises coordinated convoy efforts with The Home Depot’s Hurricane Command Center and Florida Attorney General, Pamela Bondi. In total, Werner sent more than 100 trucks to support the hurricane relief efforts.

“I’m proud to work for a company that treats its associates, customers and communities so well,” notes Christensen.

Telehealth Solutions in Rural Healthcare

The adoption of telehealth solutions and the technology that drives them has had a highly positive impact on healthcare for the citizens and medical professionals of Rural America. Improved quality of care and quality of life, significant cost savings, and increased economic opportunities can all be achieved through the adoption of telehealth solutions powered by a reliable, high speed, fiber optic network.

The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”

 

Improving Quality of Care and Decreasing Costs

When seconds are critical, telehealth solutions allow medical professionals to share records, diagnose, devise treatment plans, educate, and even consult during critical surgical procedures in real-time across the nation.  In addition to the strides made in healthcare quality, reliable high-speed Internet access that powers telehealth solutions has the potential to significantly decrease costs for patients and medical facilities nationwide through streamlined efficiencies and the elimination of unnecessary patient transfers.

Bringing Reliability, Scalability, and Opportunity to Rural Nebraska

Great Plains Communications is proud to bring Rural Nebraska hospitals and medical facilities the dedicated Internet access and managed Ethernet services that allow the implementation of reliable, scalable, telehealth solutions powered by our statewide, 9,500-mile fiber optic network.

What Are SIP Trunks?

There can be some confusion on the topic of SIP or SIP trunks.  If you ask four people what a SIP trunk is you may get four different answers.

 “It’s an internet line”, “A call that runs over VoIP”, “It’s a replacement for PRI”, or “It allows for free calling.”

These are all some of the typical responses. According to SSCA® Sip Training, a basic description of SIP trunking is, “Voice communications using IP based connectivity to supplement or replace traditional telephony service circuits (DS0, DS1, PRI), allowing an organizations telephone system to connect to the PSTN.”

SIP trunks are not trunks in the old telephony sense in that they are not hard wired circuits.  Instead, they use IP connections to originate or terminate telephone calls to and from the Public Switched Telephone Network.  Businesses and companies have been connecting their PBX’s to the PSTN by TDM based trunks for decades.  This is usually a traditional T1 or PRI connection containing 23 or more voice trunks.  SIP trunking is a virtual connection alternative to a service provider who then can pass calls onto the PSTN.  SIP enabled PBX’s connect to an IP based link, such as a DSL line.

 

A couple of the main benefits of SIP trunks are:

  • Lower cost – Typically 30% to 50% cheaper per trunk when utilizing a converged broadband service.  
  • Greater functionality – with no hard direct connection to deal with, the trunks can be moved easily to other locations / systems.  For example, in a disaster recovery situation.

There can be a few challenges with SIP including Quality of Service (QoS) and security. It is important to employ QoS techniques, or configurations in routers and switches that prioritize voice traffic over data traffic.  Including separating the DATA and Voice traffic on the local customer network. It is also important that the broadband line is symmetric, meaning the connection has the same upload and download speeds as both are equally utilized for voice traffic.

The popularity of SIP trunking is increasing as enterprises look for the flexibility, cost savings, and scalability that comes with the service. According to a recent Infonetics report, over ¾ of enterprises surveyed plan on using SIP trunks in the next year.