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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

A Partnership Approach to 3PL Logistics

Aug 2, 2016 / by David Hooper posted in 3PL, Logistics Management, Warehouse operations, Organizational Dynamics, Fulfillment B2C

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What is the key to a successful business? We all have a common goal and that is to grow our businesses. The key is to bring in new partners and not just customers. You want to form new partnerships and not categorize them as customers. Here are the principals to the partnership approach - 

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Leading High Performance Teams

Jul 12, 2016 / by Steve Buckman posted in Team Building, Productivity, Labor issues, Organizational Dynamics

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Management practices have evolved over the last 40 years or so. There has been a slow but unmistakable move towards a more inclusive and more open leadership style. That style supports a level of informality and dissent that is sometimes difficult for some of us old timers!  Still, there is a lot to be said for the honest communication this style engenders.

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Why Grading a Potential 3PL Partner is Like Grading a Restaurant

Aug 20, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in Third Party Logistics, Organizational Dynamics, Logistics Customer Service

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Do you ever feel like breaking out of the everyday routine and trying a new dinner spot? Well before hopping in the car and driving aimlessly, try turning to the internet to find suggestions and reviews of a few places. Now what are the key things most people look for in a restaurant? Perhaps… parking availability, the ambiance of the venue, hi-tech ordering gadgets, cleanliness of the restrooms, or price on the menu? Those are all good characteristics to review, however, don’t forget the most important of all… SERVICE!

A lack of service can ruin an entire dinnercheckbox-_service experience and detour you from ever returning regardless of how tasty the food was. Just as you evaluate and value the service at a restaurant, you should evaluate and value the service of a potential third party logistics warehouse. By service we are referring to “associate engagement” within the 3PL. For many companies in the market for a new 3PL, there will be an intense focus on the economics, contract provisions, possibly IT capabilities, however, we know that when associates are engaged in our business and more importantly, in our client’s business, we win and our clients win. If you can refuse to go back to the restaurant, why should your product keep going back to a warehouse with poor service?

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Lower Costs by Boosting Employee Morale

Apr 9, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in West Coast Distribution, weber logistics news, Logistics Turnover, Labor issues, Organizational Dynamics

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Do you have disengaged employees?

Well, if you said yes you are not alone. About 70% of U.S. workers are disengaged.

Why should you care about employee engagement?

These disengaged employees are costing your company money. Did you know disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy up to $350 billion per year due to lost productivity. A study by Gallup found companies who increased employee engagement experienced the following:

 

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Is Your Company a “Healthy” Company

Sep 24, 2013 / by Dennis McDonough posted in Logistics Management, weber logistics news, Organizational Dynamics

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The logistics industry is transforming before our eyes.  Yesterday’s approaches won’t satisfy the incessant and urgent demand for faster, better, cheaper.   According to Patrick Lencioni, a keynote speaker at the recent Material Handling and Logistics Conference in Park City, UT, only healthy companies will have the ingredients to succeed in this fast-paced sector.

Borrowing thoughts from his book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” he talked about the five key behaviors that firms must demonstrate to build a “healthy company:” Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results.

Trust: The toughest part of Trust is being vulnerable.  Leaders must acknowledge when mistakes are made.  Being vulnerable is to be human. Everyone on the leadership team must have the humility and security to voice their true opinions and feeling without fear.

Conflict:  “Great teams have conflict.”  Conflict becomes “the pursuit of the truth.”  It is not healthy to have a leadership team that is insecure and always agrees with the top dog.  It takes courage to disagree and create conflict.  If the team has trust, conflict will be a true differentiator and decisions will be more thoroughly vetted and correct.

Commitment: If people don’t weigh in, they won’t buy in. It is important to gain active consensus from all company leaders in order for the organization’s strategy to be successful. 

Accountability:  Half the boat doesn’t sink.  Because organizations are inter-dependent, people need to hold one another accountable.  Big challenges may require help from others to achieve the goal, and that’s okay, but the accountable person must seek that help and own the outcome.  Accountability keeps everyone on track and working together.

Results:  Within a healthy organization, communication from the top down about progress and results is critical.  Leaders must over-communicate the company’s strategy, goals and challenges.  Team members want to know where the company is going and where it is on that journey.  

Healthy behavior is required, but Lencioni reminded us that the foundation for a successful company is a strategy that delivers relevant value to the customer in a way that no one else or few others can emulate. 

Mr. Lencioni confessed that none of his ideas were new or groundbreaking.  But he added that these critical behavior traits are routinely ignored in businesses, large and small.

Is your company a “healthy company?"

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