Schluter & Hughes Law with Dawn Schluter and Kristin Hughes feature #79 of Together Talks
Updated: 5 days ago
"Together Talks" feature #79: Schluter & Hughes Law presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Schluter & Hughes Law
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the chance to interview Schluter & Hughes Law Firm, PLLC and Owners, Dawn Schluter and Kristin Hughes. Schluter & Hughes Law Firm, PLLC is committed to answering your questions about Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, Estate & Trust Administration, Care Coordination and Fiduciary Tax & Accounting. They are a multi-faceted probate and estate planning boutique law firm that understands life is a journey that needs a village to support it. Their team of professionals have come together with an intentional and common purpose – helping individuals and families architect planning at every intersection of their lives. Life takes a village. Let Schluter & Hughes Law Firm, PLLC be part of yours.
The Law Firm was established in May of 2021 - towards the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Dawn and Kristin have had long careers as probate and estate planning attorneys. During the Pandemic they both saw the difficulty that clients and families were facing in dealing with the limitations with visits and overall healthcare coordination. Kristin believed a change to the process was imperative and convinced Dawn that a framework to revolutionize the approach to helping clients and their named fiduciaries during these difficult times could be accomplished. Kristin explained that the COVID -19 pandemic and the trends of increasing lifespans was a trigger that underscored the need for more proactive planning especially planning relating to health care advocacy, including a more robust dialogue about the patient advocate role and the need for care coordination.
"The goal of our firm is to flip the practice of law on its head. Instead of transactional work, it is a refocus on the human element. Structuring an estate plan that works in real life," said Kristin. "That is really what we are about. Life changes and those changes come with a lot of stress and anxiety. We are here to help set up a framework to assist people through life's changes", said Dawn.
This belief, coupled with their prior experience as probate and estate planning attorneys, both female owners realized they wanted to curate a new environment for a law firm. Their boutique endeavor was specifically designed to accomplish two goals: (1) Assemble a knowledgeable and experienced team to provide practical solutions and supports for clients, and (2) Provide their team members support and the opportunity to grow as individuals, both personally and professionally.
Dawn explains what separates them from most probate and estate planning law firms. At Schluter & Hughes Law Firm, PLLC they use a custom model called Continuum Life Plan to help families understand the natural progression of aging. They look at how long-term illness impacts a loved one’s health, mobility, housing, and financial resources. They create customized care plans prepared by dedicated care coordinators, who are Registered nurses and a physician assistant. The goal of care coordination is to understand a person's needs and preferences so that it may be communicated at the right time to the right people, to provide safe, appropriate, and effective care.
Dawn who has worked in law for over 30 years simplified it for us, "Where Schluter & Hughes Law excels is our team thinks about the possible issues, plans for them, helps guide clients, and supports them during these transitions. Dawn further explained that the firm also excels in the fact that they can help a client through multiple facets of their lives. While hanging their hat on estate planning, within that they also provide probate litigation, two CPA's for tax preparation, trustee services, and succession planning. Bringing peace of mind that they can support and guide a client from start to finish in such important times.
Partner with KLS
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Redundant team plan
They attested that the foundation of their Firm is that of a positive, supportive “one-team” culture. Being collaborative and supporting each other is paramount. Both owners also understand the importance of work-life balance. Coming from previous firms that did not place an emphasis on that, they had the freedom to create their own set of expectations, including that of a "duplicate role". Dawn broke it down for us, "Our company continues to move if someone can't be at work for whatever reason. We create a duplicate or redundant role, meaning no one person is the sole person who can handle a given task. We want to make sure our firm always has everything covered and people can feel comfortable not working on their days off ." She elaborated that this allows everyone to feel like they are supported and can experience that work-life balance that is so critical to their mission.
Dawn mentioned how strong their growth has been despite being such a new firm, growing to a staff of 19 employees, "You know the saying, 'Good people gravitate towards good people and even more so, good clients gravitate towards good providers. It is evident with us." They credited this by operating different than most law firms. They are a one firm, firm - every client is the firm's client. They are all handling it together with one goal in mind to best service their client - together.
Commitment to preservation
Both mentioned that being a small business owner comes with additional responsibilities and obstacles separate from practicing law. Kristin said while there have been additional responsibilities, she has enjoyed the creativity aspect, the ability to "build and think outside the box". One example being their Care Coordination Team they manifested. They thrive in being able to seek out a situation and how they want to approach it and ultimately provide a solution. Kristin explained, "While it is a challenge, every method can have a spin on it. When we look at it from that perspective, the full purpose of our lives is to build and hopefully make an impact."
With each client that walks through the door, they understand the responsibility to provide guidance and support. Each opportunity is a platform for Schluter & Hughes to bring a sense of order and a process to clients. Kristin continued, "We understand how involved we will be in our clients lives. But the ability we possess to create impact is so fulfilling. We truly believe that the residual effects of our work is so much greater and so much deeper."
Piece of Advice
The conversation with Dawn and Kristin ended with them sharing their piece of advice.
Dawn - The idea of proactive planning. The gift of estate planning is a gift to yourself and a gift to your family. The ability to call the shots and say how you want to do it. And if you don't tell the world how you want – then chaos tend to erupt.
Kristin – The idea of being fearless. I know that's super cliche, but I think that as professionals, we get to a certain point in our career and we just feel like that is it – we have reached “it” and there is no further dreaming or goal planning. But that is not the case, dreaming and the ability to make an impact never ends. You just have to push past the fear and the comfort in the redundant.
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KLS wants to thank Dawn Schluter and Kristin Hughes, Founders, of Schluter & Hughes Law for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with Schluter & Hughes Law by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the Schluter & Hughes Law journey with their social handles below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Schluter & hughes Law feature #79
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.