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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Managing Client Relationships

Jan 13, 2017 / by Arlene Slivka posted in 3PL, Solution, Management

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3PL partnerships work best when both parties are engaged and understand each other.  Like any relationship, it takes some work to get to the ideal level of partnership.  The 2017 Annual Study on the State of Logistics Outsourcing published by Dr. C. John Langley stated:  91% of 3PL users and 97% of 3PL providers reported that their relationships are successful and that their work is yielding positive results.  Following are three keys to establishing an effective successful relationship and avoid a costly breakup and transition.

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Different Generations, One Goal

Nov 23, 2016 / by Josue Gonzalez posted in Management, Leadership

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As a company grows, so does its need for new talent, and in today’s workforce there are several generations to choose from. One can select from the well-seasoned Baby Boomer to the green bushytailed Millennials, each with their own strengths. Figuring out the correct balance for a company can be a challenge and takes some understanding of where the company stands in its development. All customers, regardless of their respective generations, are looking for the same things from a 3PL: timely communication, meeting delivery times, and avoiding additional cost. 

Keep in mind the following when dealing with different generations.  

  • Be aware of preferred work styles: Boomers tend to prefer detailed instruction and guidance while Gen X and Millennials work better on teams.
  • Adopting effective communication: This is key for effective and timely communication. Understanding the preferred method of communicating that a customer wants can alleviate communication barriers. For Veterans and Boomers a fixed hour work week can mean they are not reachable after a certain time as they typically prefer a phone call or personal conversation. Millennials, on the other hand, have communicated via technology all their lives, and are continuously connected and readily available as such -- a text message later in the evening many not be intruding.  
  • -Identifying the most successful feedback techniques: Understanding how the generations view feedback can help avoid pestering clients with hourly updates, or on the flip side, worrying them with minimal updates. Developing a relationship with customers can lead to a clearer and tailored feedback channel. A “No news is good news,” approach may suit a Boomer client, but the same approach would not be suitable for a connected Millennials utilizing live feed software.
  • Recognize the different reactions to conflict: Avoiding conflict should be a primary goal in every customer relationship. However, when problems occur, understanding what approach a customer will take can expedite solutions. Whether the customer expresses their concerns via a corporate hierarchy as a sign of respect as is frequent with Boomers, or take an immediate and direct approach as is seen in Gen Y, they are both looking for relief. With this understanding one can present solutions to the right parties or teams both timely and directly, making best use of everyone’s time.
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Driving Dissent

Nov 10, 2016 / by Steve Buckman posted in Management, Communication, Team Building

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We all face the drive to “get it done” and usually it means “get it done right now!”  But sometimes in the rush to mark the next item off our “to do” lists, we stop listening. We stop engaging our partners – and we stop listening to constructive dissent which is often the last best defense we have against really getting it wrong!

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5 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Customers

Sep 22, 2016 / by Thelma Leon posted in Management, Productivity, Communication

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Communication is vital to any business operations but in supply chain it is critical for everyday success. A slip in communication can cause major problems and huge losses down the road. These are the 5 ways to effectively communicate:

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The Key to Upholding Quality in an Operation: Internal Audit Programs

Aug 23, 2016 / by Mimi Ma posted in 3PL, Management, Warehouse operations, Onboarding, Productivity, Distribution Center, Logistics Management

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Does your warehouse or 3PL provider have an internal audit program in place?  It is critical for all operations follow standard operating procedures (SOP’s) – that’s how you get to the quality we need to deliver on our promises. 

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Centered around Communication

Aug 11, 2016 / by Bryan McWilliams posted in 3PL, Communication, Warehouse operations, Management, Distribution, Distribution Center

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As the Distribution Center Manager for Weber Logistics’ Stockton facilities, and throughout my career in Warehousing, Logistics and Supply Chain, it has become apparent that one of, if not the, most important factors to success in the field is communication.

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