As you all know, our team places a high value on growing and fostering relationships. That’s not just because we like spending time together, it’s also because the way we interact with people has a huge impact on our daily lives.
We embrace that idea when it comes to our partners and customers around the globe. The stronger relationships we can form, the better the outcome is for everyone involved. Whether that’s a smile from a birthday card or a shipment squeezing in when capacity is tight, we place a high priority on our relationships.
We wrote about the importance of relationships in supply chains back in 2018, but the world has changed quite a bit since then. In our COVID-informed days, we figured it was high time to give the topic an update.
This is key to any successful relationship, whether it’s between individuals or organizations. The TOC Logistics team keeps in regular communication with our points of contact at various ports and borders. In doing so, we trade information about the situation on the ground in those areas and what our customers can expect.
That info gets passed along to our customers whenever possible. It informs our recommendations and solutions. When we see a pattern forming or get wind of a large change, we’re sure to publish it in a Market Advisory and reach out individually to ensure our customers know how they could be impacted. Open communication is what creates trust.
We spend so much time getting to know our customers and our vendors because it can make a huge difference (and because we like you). When we reach out, we make a point to be honest and forthright. If data shows a trend our customers should be aware of, even if it’s negative, it’s our job to let them know and to come up with a solution.
Like we said above, we aren’t the type to push falling metrics under the rug. If there’s an area for improvement, we want to identify it, discuss it, and come up with a solution for your organization. After all, optimizing supply chains is what we do.
We even keep a Savings Initiative Log, which each customer shares with their account manager and supply chain engineer. This tracks areas with potential savings, and it’s a great way for our team to discuss strategies with each customer based on their individual metrics.
To identify areas for improvement, we need to know our customers’ goals. Our team gets to know each organization, because it helps inform exactly what their goals are and—arguably even more importantly—why those are their goals in the first place. Then we can discuss with our customers about how we can help them reach those numbers. To do that, though, we need to focus on…
Bet you didn’t see that coming. Yes, the most important part of relationships in the supply chain industry is that they enable collaboration. We don’t show up and tell other organizations how to function. No, we work alongside them to offer suggestions and support to help them raise KPIs.
While we do that, we’re constantly on the phone with our vendor partners around the world. In fact, a lot of our services are based on this idea of collaboration. It’s why we encourage some customers to forego LCLs and instead consider utilizing our shared consolidation programs. These reduce risk and lower costs. We’re happy to offer this service as a result of—that’s right—our industry relationships.
Solid industry relationships form the backbone for transparency, optimization, and collaboration…which we prefer to call TOC. These three elements are what help customers find real savings and benefit from intentional changes to their supply chains. If you need a little TOC in your life, reach out to us today. We’re just the people you need.