By Daniel Abrego
I’ve always believed in doing things better. Intercontinental Logistics Corp. is not the first company in Panama to offer logistics and supply chain management services. Neither are we pioneers in research and innovation in the field. But, as an entrepreneur I believe being the first is not necessarily a winning strategy. Major lessons can be learned from being the second or third guy to offer a service. This knowledge from hindsight is what gives ILC the advantage and value to our customers. Here are four ways we create value that keeps our customers choosing us.
We are passionate about logistics
With nearly two decades of international logistics and supply chain management experience under my belt, I know this field is where I want to continue to contribute and create. Passion is what drives us forward and I think it is a key ingredient to success. An incidental benefit – it is also a fact that businesses with a purpose beyond money tend to make more profit. Good companies foster happier customers and communities, while losing focus of purpose can derail a company’s future. Overexpansion is a classic cause where a company pushing growth gets ahead of itself.
Don’t only sell on price
While there’s nothing wrong with getting into a price war with competitors, it is not a strategy I follow. Don’t get me wrong – I always negotiate and as a third party logistics provider (3PL), we have the luxury to choose among forwarders who offer the best rates. But to be a price leader requires working up to it by offering value. You simply cannot choose an arbitrary price or the lowest possible price and hope all your customers are on board.
Go above and beyond with customer service
It can be as simple as offering free same day delivery or taking a little extra time to come up with a better package. And these ideas begin with our employees. Instead of giving them a to-do list of suggestions, they have access to a budget specifically for any ways we can make the experience better for our customers. We give them free reign and in turn, they come up with creative ways that impresses our customers with their personal touch.
Technology is a major value add
Technology has become more than a tool. You yourself can probably attest to the fact that any company which uses technology to make a process easier is reason enough to convert you to becoming their customer. At ILC, our work is tech-centric. From the warehouse floor equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID), to our logistics control towers, real-time traceability technology and automation in our white rooms, we believe in leveraging available technology (in the most secure process that protects data and client information) to benefit all parties.
Mr. Daniel Abrego is CEO of Intercontinental Logistics Corp.