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Steve Lewey | President | Beltmann Integrated Logistics

Steve Lewey: A Significant Example of Adaptive Leadership

A young boy from the rural town of DeRidder, Louisana, was introduced to the moving and storage industry at the age of 14; today, he leads as the President at Beltmann Integrated Logistics. Meet Steve Lewey, who had an unconventional professional journey and has worked his way up with sheer determination and business acumen.

Steve started his first job as the mover/helper at Allied Van Lines; he also worked as the lumper assisting in the loading and unloading of shipments. He kept learning various skills, and soon he was helping with packing items and inventorying shipments. By the time he had graduated high school, Steve was one of the most requested helpers from drivers conducting moving-packing work within 50 miles of his hometown. Steve caught the bug of working in the logistics arena in the 1980s, making $80 a day, which was significant for his age.

The Path Walked On

After graduating high school, Steve attended Miami of Ohio University and leveraged his Allied Van Line experience to land a job with Lincoln Storage. He managed a six-story warehouse records facility as well as  their Commercial and Household Goods business.. He notes, “At the time, we had over 100 clients that kept archives at our facilities, interconnected with our commercial moving services.”

Steve always had a learning edge and looked to grow his experience and compensation. One of the primary ways to accomplish his goals was to diversify his experience bygetting a class A CDL to drive tractor-trailers and own the jobs he was assigned.. He shares, “The license allowed me to lead commercial relocation jobs and even handle some household goods shipments. By the time I was 24, I had been exposed to all the operational aspects of the moving and storage business.”

Later, Steve’s father asked to help him start a Paper Industry Business Vertical within a Chemical Company out of Texas. They worked together to launch the initiative and witnessed an immediate success with his knowledge  of logistics  and his father’s knowledge of papermaking.  Getting product from a toll blender to a tanker truck to a storage facility at site to an application on the paper machine was a logistical challenge that fell into Steve’s responsibility. It was moving chemicals instead of materials.  It had a bit more challenge with regulatory compliance, but the process was similar.

At 30, Steve went back to Lincoln Storage to work side by side with ownership as the Vice President of the Company, implementing technology and process to all logistical aspects of the business. Five years later, Steve was recruited to work with Plane Companies, leaping his career to the next level. He mentions, “Planes’ TEAM culture allowed me the opportunity to innovate and build products and concepts to change marketplaces. The situation was different from typical logistical work with trucks and warehousing; it required a more strategic approach focusing on risk assessment and management.. “My focus turned towards planning and getting the right people with expertise to build out logistical models with a consultative flare.”

Steve continues, “The projects ranged from developing workflows for research facilities that had primates on a campus setting to managing opening night schedules at a venue to be married with a construction schedule at an casino-hotel-entertainment venue. My career took on a new life that was not just about logistics but started reshaping focus as I realized it was changing those involved with the project’s lives.”

After 15 years of a leading variety of integrated service delivery platform projects and pioneering technology changes, Steve was approached with an opportunity to lead the Beltmann Integrated Logistics Team.

Steve had the opportunity to bea part of the roast that was given to his predecessor. It brought every positive emotional experience to light, from laughter to sadness and joy, with tears reflecting genuine good times. Steve shares, “At the end of the meeting, the Battina Family offered a parting gift that spoke specifically to the passion of the former President. It was generous and thoughtful and was the perfect way to respect the efforts of someone who gave to the Beltmann Company for so many years of their life. I knew at that juncture that I had stepped into something special. I got to see the company from the inside versus what I had assessed from the outside. I knew the Mission would be attainable, and our vision’s aligned with how we would get there through our exceptional people.”

Denting the Universe

Steve has been extremely fortunate to have been associated with several ground-breaking projects in the industry. He worked with various experts in their field of study, leading to several technological advancements, unique team deployment scenarios, and process innovations in multiple sectors across the logistics space. Below are a few projects where Steve and his Teams have made a significant impact in the industry:

Lead logistics architect for the largest school consolidations and decommissioning in U.S. History

  • Project span of less than a year from logistical planning to implementation
  • Over 4 million square feet of decommissioned space with 90 plus locations
  • Over 25,000 IT assets repurposed
  • Local community engagement with charitable groups and training of labor
  • Over $20,000.00 of subway sandwiches distributed for lunch – a full-time project manager required to oversee the process of distribution
  • Private and public security coordination for safety
  • Over 700 Laborers and 50 project managers coordinated with trucking and warehousing for the final week of the closing project out
  • Reverse logistics incorporated for 90 locations, consolidated to one location for redeployment to over 500 locations – disposition modeling at its best!

Regional Distribution for annual Girls Scout Cookie Pick-up & Delivery

  • Touching over 1.200,000 boxes of cookies annually
  • Managing transition from the Bakery to multiple warehouses to delivery sites to Troops to happy recipients

National Harbor Casino Project

  • Warehousing FFE for a 23-story hotel with 135,000 sq ft of gaming space, retail space, spa, seven full-service restaurants, a 3,000-seat theater, 27,000 square feet of meeting space
  • Procurement – logistics coordination for room package with European manufacturer
  • Gaming Commission coordination for on-site requirements and compliance
  • Construction – FFE Installation schedule coordination with multiple shifts of on-site work
  • Expediting solutions for supply chain challenges considering fully wrapped rooms with field modifications
  • JIT delivery with tight dock management schedules of activating a casino

Primate Research Facility Project

  • Workflow design planning
  • Inventory control planning
  • Logistical planning for inbound and outbound products

 European Hospitality Concept coming to the US

  • European Manufacturer coordination on best labeling/packaging practices for translation
  • Consolidating, brokering, customs, and international freight via air and sea
  • Receiving in the US to local warehousing
  • Coordinating with GC, Design, and Ownership for JIT delivery to site for installation
  • Final mile installation of new modular concept of rooms

US Military Base Facility Improvement Projects around the World

  • Manage logistics of FFE to site
  • Warehousing at strategic locations to best facilitate JIT deliveries
  • Manage Labor security clearances to facilitate best installation practices
  • Coordinate GC schedules and installation of minor medical equipment

Major Medical Manufacturer Recall

  • Manage logistics of thousands of units from Manufacturer to end use at clinical engineering departments within hospitals for North American facilities
  • Sourcing local technicians to manage electrical components of recall with coordination of timing of delivery to placement and maintenance
  • Reverse logistics for all recalled equipment
  • Documentation of ID – serial numbers and CE numbers for compliance

H1N1 Vaccine and PPE Logistics

  • Manage logistics from State warehouse to Healthcare facilities
  • Coordination with State Troopers for escorts
  • Maintenance of security and confidentiality of program rollout

Multiple Children/University Hospital Transitions

  • Equipment Planning of Medical Equipment
  • Activation Planning of all logistical aspects required to get equipment from the manufacturer to the hospital
  • Transportation of New and Used Medical Equipment to integrate with Patient Move Day scheduling
  • Warehousing of OFCI and OFOI product
  • Risk assessment and planning of the physical relocation of the existing hospital to a future hospital to maintain the integrity of patient care
  • Manage the logistical elements of equipment redundancies to ensure continuity of care

Steve states that the most significant impact he has made in his career is within the Healthcare transition space. The logistics of activating a new hospital, relocating a working hospital, and transferring patients to a new patient care environment requires expertise. The tasks involved coordinating hundreds of vendors and products consolidating into one end-user facility, which requires risk assessment, scope gap analysis, and a proven process to make it most effective.

Steve mentions that the industry was asked to reduce between 18 and 22% of the cost out of the healthcare model during Obamacare’s initial assessments. There were limited ways to achieve this goal; thus, consolidating and integrating multiple services of the delivery model like what happened with IPD in the Construction Space allowed significant cost savings.

Steve notes, “The most dynamic impact in our logistics niche is taking multiple complex logistical challenges within the programming of a project and integrating them all into one single source of accountability. This consolidation reduces risk, expedites scheduling, alleviates layers of costs, leverages the Client’s spend, enhances communication through fewer technology touchpoints, and maximizes the density of freight labor in a specific sector of programming. This integration is the change agent to traditional procurement modeling of logistics that I believe can help achieve optimal value within logistics structures for our clients.”

Committed Customer Satisfaction

Beltmann Integrated Logistics is an integrated logistics solution provider that touches many markets, serving the Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Asset Recovery, Coin-Op Gaming, and Transportation Management marketplaces. Its mission is to deliver nationwide logistics management solutions on time and on target; whether it is driven through patient-centric solutions in Healthcare or guest experiences in Hospitality, or buying experiences in retail, it is a customized approach that differs for all applications.

Beltmann Integrated Logistics provides a Boutique type Logistics  solution that focuses on complex challenges beyond transportation, delivery, and logistics. The team works with the most difficult logistical challenges to the most basic logistical process  of moving items from a manufacturer to a destination point. It brings value-added services to each part of the supply chain through project planning, risk assessment, and on-site project leadership.

Steve expresses that by evaluating each independent transfer of knowledge or product and the stakeholders associated with it in the supply chain, Beltmann was able to strip an average of 18% out of the costs of the logistics supply chain. This was accomplished by leveraging multiple aspects of the Beltmann logistical process and team working together, including implementing its white-glove service on-site.

Beltmann strives to be a leader in each of the industries it serves. Its vision is to provide a simplified state of any complex logistical challenge. The most important way to accomplish this is by retaining and acquiring exceptional talent within these spaces. Steve says, ” Ultimately, we believe our customers win through our people, process, and technology.”

Simplicity at the Core

Beltmann believes the core of Complex Moves made Simple™ is essential to solving today’s logistical challenges.  This can be accomplished with the lean approach of problem minimizing waste and reducing handoffs.  There are some simple principals at the core of this that drives our culture:

  • Striving to share lessons learned to make itself better every day. It is a blameless work environment.
  • Empowering Leaders to make decisions for speed of action
  • Fostering accountability to achieve the Mission
  • Focusing on the positive energy and calling out the negative energy
  • Leading with Integrity and Honesty
  • Sharing the good news and the bad news without bias or missed conversations
  • Communicating, which requires listening
  • Providing a vehicle for Fierce Dialogue

Steve states that Complex Moves Made Simple™ may read as a simple statement. However, the call to action within it is difficult to accomplish without T.E.A.M. Beltmann Integrated Logistics believes in T.E.A.M. and incorporates it in everything the company does.

The T.E.A.M. concept is the framework that allows its values and works culture to thrive but without focus and a lessons-learned culture, vs. a blame culture that falls short of achieving success. The T is for Trust, the E is for Enthusiasm, the A is for Actions, and M is for Motivation.

The company’s T.E.A.M. values allow it to align with its Client’s goals and foster positive energy within any equation. It talks about its T.E.A.M. in every morning huddle or meeting. Steve explains, “We express T.E.A.M. in our communication internally and externally. We live T.E.A.M. within our everyday workflows. By adding T.E.A.M. to any formula for success, we have found that what comes after the equals sign has more positive results.”

Adaptive Technology

Beltmann Integrated Logistics is constantly working to innovate by making enhancements to its technological offering. It works in its proprietary technology solution of TotalTrak to capture all chain of custody hand-offs and report these back in real-time as the transactions are happening.

Beltmann focuses on integrating every aspect of the product lifecycle into its technology platform. It is an ongoing endeavor with significant investment from Beltmann to lead our niche in the industry. Here are some high-level areas we continue to place our focus to optimize current applications:

  • Multiple WMS systems connectivity
  • Industry-specific platforms interconnectivity (Attainia, Autodesk, etc.)
  • Visibility mechanism to all points of the supply chain through dashboards
  • Field service connectivity to upstream supply chain interface
  • Vendor management portal enhancement to enable better communication
  • ROI cycling for asset management
  • Procurement interconnectivity
  • Reverse Logistics interconnectivity to future project design
  • Consolidated freight management modules to maximize space utilization

Beltmann is looking at all tracking technology advancements in its space. This includes tracking people and expressions that may drive fixture set up in retail space to advancements in tracking items in dead zones shipping internationally. Beltmann is committed to understanding new technology and working with its internal IT developers to customize its technology to the market continually.

Over the Horizon

Beltmann is already known for its innovation and expertise in the spaces it currently serves. Steve’s goal is to continue to strengthen its existing Verticals with exceptional talent and build upon its current technology platform with TotalTak.

Steve mentions, “In the next five years, my goal is for Beltmann Integrated Logistics to be a leader in our existing Verticals while introducing new Verticals with similar challenges in Corporate, Life Sciences, Education, and Manufacturing.”

Beltmann is looking to lead with technology and bring asset-based solutions alongside its planning expertise as an integrated delivery platform, striving to be in early as a planner and implement the plan once complete.

Steve mentions, “We will be building our strategic network and our asset-based footprint more aggressively as capacity challenges continue to cause havoc within the quality of services available and cost modeling. We feel that by engaging and facilitating the planning process, we will be able to lead in the logistical service delivery more effectively. This will enable us to stabilize our growth pattern and strategically align with our customer base upfront on integrated business planning for future collective initiatives.

My long-term vision is to be a part of the Beltmann Integrated Logistics Team to lead our vision of an integrated logistics delivery solution to all industries we serve.”

Bequeathing Brilliance

Steve took an entrepreneurial path that may differ from what he would propose for someone starting their journey in today’s environment. There is so much more information about a particular industry, whereas he lived the industry or the project.

The Top 5 things he would recommend:

  • Do your research.
  • Identify your Passion so you can love what you do.
  • Align with a Leader, Mentor, or Company that will support your career path.
  • Interview those in the field you are pursuing.
  • Be a subject matter expert. Engage in the weeds early to learn the details.

“Whether you chase your dream early and find your path in the Freight Forwarding space or work to innovate from within a larger Team, dream big, press hard as the industry needs you,” Steve concludes.