Sales, Marketing and Communications Director
Itella Logistics (Russia)
In 2009-11 there were two types of logistics operators: those who lost their customers and closed their business and those who lowered volumes and prices but survived.
Why did the first group materialize? It's no secret that some operators were trying to win over a pool of clients by "unreasonable" dumping. In my opinion such a scheme, even if it works, cannot be affective for long because labor may exceed the announced budget. As a result the operator's expenses may outweigh income. And the client in such situation cannot be satisfied with his partner, who has absolutely no motivation other than a set of famous brands in the warehouse complex.
The lesson has been learned, so now both logistics providers and their customers understand how the business construction attitude should be changed. Now it is important not only to provide good service but to help partners optimize their costs. You can do it easily by trying to answer one very important question: What can our company do to help our customer overcome the crisis or reap additional advantages? I think this will be a basic principle for the next few years for all logistics providers and their customers' decision-makers. One of the right answers for such a question is to help customers to optimize costs like no other provider, e.g. to create such a comprehensive range of services that will be most adapted to the actual situation on the market. And assist clients in execution of their sales plans.
It is also important to note that the decisions of customers, among other things, may also affect the level of motivation of your employees because the fulfillment of KPI and the overall quality of the logistics operator service depends on the accuracy of their work, which impacts the general satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the customer with the quality of the logistics operator service.
And in this context the notion of "client orientation" not only means a comfortable environment for your partner but, above all, means an understanding of the business specificity of each client. And with an understanding of the reasons why in the defined time, the goods shall be formed in the exact way and delivered exactly to the specified address. Without this understanding you can't have a long and profitable relationships.
Summing up the above, I would like to reiterate that the success of any company in the next few years is in good relationships with its partners. If you're able to understand and meet the challenges of your client, if he is satisfied with your work, you will not only make profits but will attract new and additional partners.