Insights on the road

Over my career, I have learned the importance of connecting a company and its team members to the outside world. And now, keeping close tabs on our dynamic marketplace is more important than ever. I recently had the opportunity to participate in a few events in the U.S., which provided some valuable insights into our major clients, competitors, trends, threats and opportunities.

As part of Purolator International’s annual meeting and sales recognition event in New York, we had the opportunity to hear from Kunal Thakkar, SVP of Global Operations from Newegg Inc. – a large strategic customer for Purolator International.

Newegg, a leading e-tailer of consumer electronics products, is committed to becoming the most loved and trusted marketplace online by offering a superior shopping experience, rapid delivery and stellar customer service.
Listening to Kunal talk about his company’s relationship with Purolator really wowed me. As he spoke about recognizing Purolator with one of their Golden Egg “Eggie” awards, he stated that Purolator ‘has one of the best brands and salesforces, and that we are a lean and mean organization.’ And, coming from a guy who has been with UPS, on FedEx’s advisory board, and heads up the operations of a leading high-tech e-commerce company, this is a really amazing thing to hear.

Kunal also highlighted the importance of customer experience at Newegg. In today’s e-commerce world, customer service expectations are higher than ever, and continue to accelerate. I get the sense that at Newegg, even one customer issue is too many and their level of customer service is incredible. He made an interesting comment about how the company measures their partners’ performance through their customers’ satisfaction. If their customers are happy with Purolator, than Newegg is happy. My take away: Expect significant change in customer service expectations. There is a lot we can learn from our clients on achieving customer service excellence.

My next event was an annual meeting of many of the key leaders from the transportation and logistics industry. This year the major theme shifted from how to leverage the high-growth ecommerce market to the “impact” of e-commerce, and in turn, what many refer to as the “Amazon Effect.” Many of the service providers in attendance are very concerned about what Amazon entering the transportation and logistics space means for their business – will they be a client, competitor or both? My feeling is that Amazon and many of the major ecommerce players will continue to shape our strategy in the future – we will be better from the experience. Additionally, there will be a need to adapt and change at a fast pace to continue in this market long term, and Purolator is well positioned to win.

My visits with Purolator International and the logistics conference not only reaffirmed some core principles that I hold strong to – namely lean continuous improvement and delighting the customer – but they also highlighted the need for us to be innovative, critical thinkers so that we can be prepared for what the market will demand going forward.

How do you think the Purolator team should prepare for “the Amazon Effect?” How will we be successful in today’s market?

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