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.
Whether it is creating, improving existing or simply running an operation, communication is at the center. Communication with employees; communication with customers; communication with vendors; the way that the brain sends signals to your big toe while walking, your operation may stumble without information sharing throughout all aspects of an operation. With an employee, the exchange of ideas that comes from open communications can save significant time from painful trial and error process when a new account is on boarded or deficiency is realized. Sometimes a solution makes more sense on paper than when it is actualized in a live setting, be it in implementation or as the profile changes.
Communication with a customer may have multiple benefits and usually results in mutually beneficial results. “The devil is in the details” is an easy cliché, but it is never truer than upon account implementation. When involved in quoting service or building a profile for a new or potential client, vital information is not always freely given; you must ask. Not asking the one important question may lead to extra billings down the road and what the client can view as hidden costs and, ultimately, a strained relationship. Likewise, with the handling of their account; I have found that the occasional call or email to the customer to ask a question, that I may “think” I already know the answer to, goes a long way to showing my client that I value their relationship as well as the product that they are entrusting to my service.
In dealing with vendors, communication has to do with saving me money. Much in the same way that communication is valuable with clients, the role is reversed when dealing with vendors. By taking the time to properly communicate the details of the job that needs to be completed or service that is being solicited; it is ensured that the job is completed within the scope that desired, which goes a ways to controlling cost. There are most certainly exceptions, and while not everyone is on the level, but it is not for lack of trying or communication on an end and avenues for remediation are usually readily available.
While communication is not the only key, I have found it to be one of extreme importance in my career. Some may say that I just like to talk. True, but it typically serves a purpose and even if it is some irreverent story or piece of history about me, it may just help to inform you how to communicate with me in the future.
Distribution Center Manager - Stockton I & II