JJ Schickel, CEO of Omni Logistics (Omni), was recently nominated for Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Southwest Region Award. Omni Logistics, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a rising force in the logistics industry, with nearly 4,000 employees in over 20 countries. After a rigorous interview and selection process, JJ has been recognized as a finalist for this award, and for his vision for growth and innovation at Omni.
JJ started his career in technology and quickly found a passion for bringing this background to the logistics industry. “I fell in love with the industry, and the people in it, and I truly felt like I could add a lot of value to transportation companies by way of introducing technology,” JJ says. Technology is becoming increasingly critical to allow customers to make data-driven decisions in their supply chain. JJ says, “The future of logistics is very exciting. The data science aspect of logistics is changing how we go about managing the freight industry.” In recent years, the world of Big Data has drastically changed transportation. “Omni was an emerging leader a perfectly positioned to benefit from these tech-driven trends.” And it has benefited. Omni has grown substantially from its founding in 2000 and now operates at over 100 locations in North America, Europe, and Asia.
There are many operational initiatives going on at Omni, but it is clear what people are most excited about is the community they are building. “We not only want Omni to be a place where people enjoy coming to work every day, but also a place that will be around for generations to come.”JJ says. “Our secret sauce is our incredibly talented, fun, and brilliant 4,000 teammates operating in over 100 locations in over 20 countries.”
In addition to its people, Omni is embracing ESG initiatives and organically taking its ESG program to better places and expanding in new directions. “[Our ESG program] has tightened our sense of purpose. Every day we make incredible strides, and I can’t wait to see what see where we are in 2 years, 10 years, and 50 years as a company.” JJ says.
There have also been many challenges along the path of success. Last year was relentless and incredibly scary for many, including the logistics industry.
The global pandemic introduced incredible challenges, but the logistics industry had to keep creating solutions. Almost all aspects of the logistics business temporarily changed. “At the end of every day, I would think to myself as I was going to sleep ‘I can’t believe we got all of that figured out’. The next morning, I would wake up to see a new city was now on lockdown and our team would say to ourselves ‘how are we going to solve this’ and start all over again. It was just relentless. Work became more than just our job. It became our mission.” says JJ.
Even through the toughest times, Omni has been able to adapt and innovate for its customers. “Covid enhanced our teamwork, collaboration, and our empathy across all departments, and because of that, we are simply a better company. It created a permanent bond amongst our people and added real purpose to our mission and values.” JJ says. “The level of reinvention that occurred was inspiring and I am still in awe with the degree of empathy and professionalism I witnessed.”
Entrepreneur Of The Year® is an award that recognizes business leaders who excel in innovation, financial performance, and are committed to their company and community.
“I have so much admiration for all of [the former winners]. To be one of the nominees, among all these innovative entrepreneurs, is a huge honor. That said, to win an award of this caliber would be the greatest thing I could give back to the Omni team who would equally share in this accomplishment.” JJ says. “If I win this award, I will dedicate it to the 4,000 Omni employees. This award is not mine, it’s theirs.”
The winner of Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Southwest region will be announced at a virtual ceremony on August 4, 2021.