Mind-set Over Matter

How IT leader Shelly Moore jumped into a different industry to apply her domain expertise and help YRC Worldwide continue to grow

New perspectives help fuel the next era of innovation at YRC Worldwide, thanks to the example set by Shelly Moore. She spent decades in retail shaping up the IT functions at household names, such as Safeway, Albertsons, and Payless ShoeSource, before joining the transportation service provider in 2017. Equipped with cost-effective strategies, she’s reinventing her own career while transforming her department in the Fortune 500 company into a learning organization primed for growth.

Shelly Moore, YRC Worldwide
Shelly Moore, YRC Worldwide

“You have to be introspective before you move into a new industry,” says Moore, vice president of IT infrastructure at YRCW. “It can’t be about the title. There has to be a particular reason you’re passionate about the opportunity—then take the risk. What energizes me at YRCW is the complex, nationally known, multibrand structure, and opportunities to drive innovative cost savings while improving service for our customers.”

Founded in 1924 and based in Overland Park, Kansas, YRC Worldwide has evolved into one of the largest transportation service providers in the world. Today, the American holding company’s portfolio of freight shipping brands—Holland, New Penn, Reddaway, YRC Freight, and YRC Reimer—spans North America, and its award-winning fleet delivers 22 million shipments of industrial, commercial, and retail goods to more than 200,000 customers each year.

With almost a century spent cultivating expertise in heavyweight shipments and supply chains, today the multibillion-dollar enterprise comprises 32,000 employees providing innovative door-to-door service to customers across the continent. In recent years, organizations such as Walmart, Inbound Logistics, and Security Magazine have awarded the YRCW network for its effective solutions that deliver a top-notch customer experience.

The values behind growth

That cultural mind-set is anchored by the company’s six core values: “Work safely,” “Exceed customer expectations,” “Value our people,” “Demonstrate good citizenship,” “Act with integrity,” and “Embrace teamwork.” Growing up in a rural setting in Wisconsin, Moore says she learned a lot of those tenets at an early age while helping her family raise row crops and livestock. Based on those shared early roots and passion, in 2010, she and her husband started an Angus beef cattle and show swine livestock operation in Kansas.

“I was raised around what many would consider more traditional blue-collar roots,” Moore says. “From that perspective, my IT career path has been focused in relevant industries that serve our basic human needs.”

Investing in an IT roadmap

Moore arrived at YRCW in 2017 with the goal of applying her strong work ethic to optimize its IT investments. It’s an approach she knows well from working in the low-margin retail industry. Prior to YRCW, she spent over a decade optimizing processes and improving service and support for applications and infrastructure at Payless ShoeSource.

From rotational assignment exposure to process design and requirements management, application delivery, software quality assurance, PMO, enterprise application support, ITIL service desk, global IT inventory optimization, field services, 24/7 operations, disaster recovery, and automation, Moore has streamlined IT operations through team alignment, process optimization, tighter vendor contracts, and strategic road maps—an effective tool she is recreating at YRCW.

The road map outlines program investments that will help YRCW leverage more reliable, higher-grade services and solutions at lower costs, according to Moore. One example would be the legacy MPLS T1 lines YRCW uses to connect many of its terminals to the internet; as business needs evolve, and the company adds more systems and increases work process automation, it’s driving the need for a network with higher bandwidth and more resiliency.

“One exciting change is the transformation of our terminal IT network strategy to one that is more scalable, robust, and supportable going forward,” Moore says. “And, the potential to do so at a significant cost savings.”

While the IT leader has efficiently helped incorporate innovation across the company, she’s also developed relationships with vendors to ensure the upgrades are seamless. “Shelly is adept at leveraging internal and external expertise,” says Jeff Waters, chief sales officer at Serviam Communications, a telecom and IT vendor management firm. “Her exceptional ability to roadmap her goals and requirements enabled my team to negotiate significant enhancements to the YRCW network across multiple telecom providers.”

Continuing to learn

To advance her industry learning pace, Moore structured her own onboarding plan at YRCW. She met with the executive from each business area to better understand their function and key metrics; visited a customer service center location in Des Moines, Iowa, to see how it handled thousands of calls each day; and traveled to a billing center in Topeka, Kansas, to see how the function works in real life. “It was eye-opening,” Moore says. “You have to get outside the four walls of the office. Get comfortable not being the expert.”

The IT leader also toured terminals to see how operations run first-hand and accompanied a city pickup and delivery driver—a forty-year veteran—on his route. “He did an amazing job showing me how they use the technology,” she says. “I’m still in the process of digging in, asking questions, and reaching outside the boundaries of my role to make those industry and process connections.”

Identifying the business need and practical application for new technology solutions drives the prioritization, design, and implementation of their IT initiatives, according to Moore. For example, an industry-wide federal mandate last December required the company to transition from paper logging to electronic logging devices, and Moore witnessed how the drivers have adapted their processes firsthand during her ride-along, in addition to how they efficiently handle pickup requests and optimize mileage.

“It’s easy to optimize processes and systems within a group, but it can break down at the borders as processes move cross-functionally,” Moore says. “Bringing people along in the journey of process and solution development is critical to successful and long-term adoption.”

A history of collaboration

Her background in consulting and the retail industry formed the collaborative mind-set that Moore now applies to the world of transportation at YRCW. She launched her career as a consultant at IT services giant Ernst & Young/Capgemini after earning bachelor’s degrees in accounting and management information systems at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

She pursued an opportunity at one of her key clients, Albertsons, in 2003. There, she stepped through multiple responsibility additions, and was promoted to senior director of business process and project services, which further shaped her expertise in process design and improvement.

“Every company I’ve worked for has gone through at least one merger, acquisition and/or divestiture,” Moore says. “Those experiences definitely provided an opportunity for me to see the work and planning that goes into organizational integration. Navigating the complex human dynamics that often play out in those situations provided me with some great perspective.”

By translating her retail and customer-focused experiences, Moore offers YRCW a crucial perspective to further differentiate the company. And even though the industry may have been new on Moore’s résumé, she claims a personal connection to the trucking world: her husband’s father worked as a truck driver for thirty-five years, and his grandfather managed a distribution center for Yellow Freight System (a precursor of YRCW) in the ’70s.

A year of forward momentum

Looking back at her first year with the company, Moore is most proud of several of her team’s accomplishments. For example, last July, her team relocated a data center from an aging facility to new premises without incident. “The team did a phenomenal job with preparation, identifying incremental steps to de-risk the transition, and flawless move-day execution,” she says. “I want to help them build their own competency profile and make sure the team feels they have a path to drive their career forward here.”

She has spent this time getting to know the people and how to best bring together IT services for four independent operating companies. Process alignment was front of mind as Moore consolidated and cross-trained teams. She split the engineering and support functions into focus groups to better service customer needs for client technologies, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

“We’re improving our service quality and our connection with the customer by having our engineers focus on engineering and moving our support team members closer to the help desk to drive customer service and turnaround,” Moore says. “In addition, we’ve implemented a series of voice-of-the-customer roundtables to gain a deeper understanding of the real challenges in the field and structure approaches to resolve service issues.”

Now she’s gearing up for year two with a more strategic approach that continues to emphasize teamwork and professional development.

While Moore believes in engagement and empowerment, she wouldn’t describe herself as a hands-off leader. “You have to know your people’s strengths, give them growth opportunities, then coach and guide,” says Moore, who also cites honesty, integrity, and accountability as important facets of her servant leadership style and expectations. And while her own arrival at YRCW meant a crash course in new vernacular and processes, Moore’s proactive approach helped her gain foundational knowledge quickly.

“You have to be willing to ask lots of curious questions and leverage the talent around you,” Moore says. “Being open-minded to new and unfamiliar challenges has allowed me to move from area to area and opportunity to opportunity.”

Photo by Jack and June Photography

Privileged to support YRC Worldwide through the years to solve workforce challenges, Genesis10 recognizes Shelly’s contributions to the technology community promoting professional growth and job retention in Kansas City. Genesis10 congratulates Shelly and her team. We look forward to building on our relationship and wish Shelly continued success.

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