Personal Touch Integral to Winning FormulaFri, 09/01/2017 - 11:36
The personal touch can be the determining factor in winning and retaining clients by instilling confidence that a job will be done well. In the logistics segment, this means ensuring supplies will arrive punctually and intact, regardless of the complexity of the transport means.
“I like to make collaborative relationships with our customers, especially with companies also focused on improving their supply processes not only in terms of cost but also in efficiency,” says Miguel Trejo, Sales Director of integrated logistics provider Agility Mexico. “Many customers are looking to reduce costs. If we do our job well, we create a partnership in which logistics savings are not just a reduction of our prices.”
A third of Agility’s Mexico operations are related to the automotive market. The company’s goal is to treat different types of customer, from SMEs to big multinational companies, in the same way – an approach born from its roots as a small company itself in Kuwait. Agility has grown both organically and through mergers with global brands. Today, a logistics provider like Agility Mexico with a presence in more than 120 countries is an added value for its customers, Trejo says.
Because it was founded in an emerging market, the company has focused on serving businesses in these countries. Typically, big logistics providers are from Europe or the US, which can cause them to lose touch with all the challenges a small business may face. Consulting firm AT Kearney estimates that logistical costs in Mexico represent 12.6 percent of the supply chain’s overhead, so savings are not to be sniffed at. While 40 percent of these logistics costs corresponds to transportation, the remaining 60 percent is related to inventories, order processing, warehousing and planning for transport operations.
Agility provides freight-forwarding products for air, sea and road. It also has logistics, including warehousing, distribution, systems and technology and specialty services for companies worldwide. The company can suggest the best mode of transportation and the most efficient route to cost-sensitive customers.
The company works in a variety of industries but its focus is on the automotive industry. Cooperation with large vehicle manufacturing companies remains largely unexplored because Agility specializes in alleviating the logistics challenges of the suppliers to these manufacturers. “The Agility Connects' suite of advanced IT tools gives customers visibility and control over their supply chains,” says Trejo. The company even provides the possibility of locating a specific piece or article inside a container with just an SKU through its Agility Orders Management tool. Another benefit offered is notification of proactive status. This is how an executive within an automotive plant can track anything through an Electronic Data Interchange application, which also allows access to information in real time.
Unsatisfied with just technological improvement, Agility continues to define areas requiring attention, such as infrastructure. Trejo explains that the advantage of working in automotive is that it affords an understanding that while the government has invested heavily in infrastructure, “we still see some areas of opportunity that need to be addressed including road quality and railroad concessions.” Approximately 75 percent of cars are transported either to the US or to a port for importation or exportation at some point during the production process. Rail infrastructure needs to be improved to provide more options for moving parts and vehicles. Access to sound infrastructure is necessary to guarantee delivery times, reliable execution and safe transfers. Customers work with Agility so they can focus on their core business, Trejo says. “You have to map the customer’s needs for each solution. Simply giving a quote online does not necessarily solve the customer’s genuine needs.”
Another issue for customers is continuity. “We are the best option for transfers of complete production lines, including disassembly, transportation, logistics and reinstallation when companies want to work in another country. Mexico is in eighth position among emerging markets for our operations out of the total 120 countries in which we have a presence. Because Brazil, one of the most important economies in Latin America, is struggling with a complex situation, it is the moment for Mexico to shine,” says Trejo.