Building Products and Services around Customer’s Business

A study of organizations that are the leaders in their particular sphere of business helps business management students learn and identify those strategies that work well for the Organizations and make them stars. Understanding practically how these leader organizations have crafted their success helps the students marry the theory to the practice and get an insight into building strategies.

In the fast paced, complex and highly sophisticated environment, achieving a leadership position and retaining the same is a huge challenge. There is no single proven recipe that can give them fail proof results. However, from the success stories across various fields we can identify certain common ideologies and characteristics exhibited and followed by these hugely successful Organizations.

Leadership Organizations are first and foremost tuned into their markets and are customer driven. They are always listening to the customers, scanning the future trends in the environment, as well as spending a lot of time and making investments in building superior products leveraging on technology.

A look at service industry gives us the real picture of what it means for an organization to be glued into Customer’s business, to build intimacy and partnership with the customer and deliver value to the customer in his business.

Hotel industry goes out of the way to pay attention to every individual customer, to get to know him and anticipate his requirements and needs before he can spell them. Logistics companies have reinvented the meaning of logistics.

Organizations who were mainly dealing with transportation, courier and hard freight services have rechristened themselves to being Integrated Logistics Service Providers with global presence. DHL, Panalpina, Fedex, Ceva, Shankers etc are some of the Organisaitons that have gone on buying spree across the globe to establish themselves as integrated logistics providers across the world. These logistics providers offer variety of general as well as customer specific and industry specific solutions to their clients.

China being one of the hotbeds for manufacturing, companies like Ceva and DHL have established significant footprint across the country and are able to offer international freight, customs clearance as well as local warehousing and transportation to their clients across the globe.

Going one step further, these companies have acquired product expertise and have set up teams that can act as buying agents for the clients overseas. They help the overseas clients source their ware, handle procurement, shipment schedules as well as handle quality inspection on behalf of the client at the source.

Study of logistics service providers and their growth in the past twenty years makes for very valuable study for the students. Eagle Global Logistics was one of the service providers associated in the early years when Dell started manufacturing activities.

From being transporters of finished goods from Dell factory, EGL invested time and effort in extending its services to Dell. Within a few years, EGL began to manage the entire inbound transportation, inventory management at the plant, kitting and Just In Time supply to the shop floor as well as managing the shipping, outbound documentation, transportation and delivery to the end customer. This was just the beginning of Dell and EGL partnership. Over the next decade, EGL followed Dell across the globe to partner with Dell and manage most of their manufacturing facilities In Plant logistics.

EGL was a transportation company, but following its strategy of building customer intimacy and offering value to customer, it acquired expertise in the fields of in plant management, inventory management, warehousing, kitting and bundling or semi manufacturing operations as well as raw material and finished goods management.

EGL built a team of industry experts in each of the specific areas and more importantly committed investments into the solution. Delivering plant logistics solution called for significant investments in the areas of technology, application, resources, infrastructure, operations management and maintenance etc. Managing a solution of this stature called for establishing an independent management structure under a Director of Logistics in charge of the project.

It took quite a number of years for the company to stabilize operations and to freeze on best practices. Integrated logistics thus became an independent product offered by the Organization. The initiative not only ensured a successful and fruitful partnership with Dell, EGL gained significantly in terms of being the preferred partner for internal freight as well.

International logistics industry is full of case studies which involves the growth of the leaders in logistics field and how they achieved leadership through their strategy of partnering with their customer’s in their business and building integrated and customized solutions for the customers.

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