Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Learning form honest feedback -- both good and bad

I recently sponsored a membership meeting luncheon for the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association. It gave me an opportunity to introduce or re-introduce my services to an important group of industry leaders.  Scheduling conflicts resulted in my being unable to attend and I had my marketing firm, BSYA, present on my behalf.

I prepared the presentation knowing the audience, and my favorite slide was based on years of research with long-standing clients.  It shows the allocation of the freight forwarders or NVOCC’s resources before Info-X, and after Info-X.  Which looks better—a day bogged down with admin or day spent closing deals?

Before Info-X outsourcing services:

  • 15% of day spent on rate management  
  • 15% of day spent on sale
  •  5% of day spent on following up on sales calls
  • 40% of day spent on documentation track and trace 
  • 25% of day spent on auditing accounts

  •  5% of day spent on rate management
  • 30% of day spent on sales
  • 45% of day spent on following up on sales calls 
  • 10% of day spent on documentation track and trace 
  • 10% of day spent on auditing accounts 

Although I wish I could have presented myself, there was a benefit to my absence:  Complete honesty by the attendees.  My team got some important feedback for me that may not have been shared if I were in the room.

Let’s start with the positive feedback: my long-standing client Anura Rupasinghe of Ruky International, sang my praises like I had never heard before. Yes, we go back almost 10 years and I knew we have a strong relationship that we both value, but his passion for what I provide him blew me away.

When given the opportunity to discuss my services to a room made up of his peers, here is what he said:

“I have been with Info-X since 2005 and I am very happy with their services. I am not only using their software but I use their back-office services too. It has increased efficiency and reduced costs BIG TIME.” He continued to tout the convenience of the mobile applications and illustrate the cost savings by indicating at one point he had 16 employees working on the admin piece of the business, and now, with the help of Info-X he is down to 4.

Again, I know Anura has benefited from my services, but I never heard it put quite this way before, and I was thrilled to learn about the passion and excitement he has about my business, which reinforces we are on the right track.  That said, we also got some feedback that indicates we have some roadblocks to overcome specifically when it comes to U.S-based freight forwarders and NVOCC’s getting over some pre-conceived notions of outsourcing due to other companies letting them down.

During conversations with NVOCCs and Freight Forwarders at the luncheon, my team uncovered some apprehension with outsourcing rate management in particular because of some bad experiences in the past with other companies.  Rate management , of course, is our specialty and yes, in all likelihood, other companies may not understand the nuances and subtleties of dealing with rate management in the U.S. 

Clearly, Info-X should not be lumped in with other companies. Info-X has spent the last 15 years focusing on the understanding the nuances of European and U.S. rate management.  Some outsourcing companies spread their talent pretty thin and are involved in many different industries.  That is the complete opposite approach to how we want to build our business.  Info-X focuses solely on logistics management—we do not spend any time learning about another industry. 

I am fond of reminding nay-sayers that according to the Harvard Business Review, outsourcing is one of the most important management ideas and practices of the past 75 years.  But of course outsourcing would not have become so prolific if companies failed to deliver on their promises of increased efficiency and reduced costs.

Clearly, as with all business decisions, it matters which company you choose to handle your outsourcing, and our commitment to deliver on our promises further distinguishes us from the competition. We have testimonials going back more than 10 years and have a proven track record of delivering a 40% reduction in costs, without sacrificing quality or efficiency.
We understand not all outsourcing companies have the goods to deliver on their promises, but, please consider learning more about what Info-X can do for you. We think you will be pleased, and at a minimum your interest will be piqued. We stand behind our promises and have the customer feedback to prove it. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you. Please visit us at https://infox.com/