BVM - Nov, 2014 - page 78

78 Business View - November 2014
closer to “razor thin,” a decision was made to recon-
figure the company’s image of an ideal client and only
pursue business with entities that fit that model. It’s
based less on how much that entity may ship over the
course of a day or a year, he said, and more on the sort
of service experience that said entity is seeking from a
provider – essentially eschewing those simply looking
for a lowest bidder.
As a result, the best relationships are those that have
been struck with factories, construction companies,
military entities, chemical companies and others for
whom timing and service is a priority.
“That’s kind of our bread and butter,” he said. “We
don’t try to act as a vendor. We try to work alongside
our clients and really emulate the idea of being their
own logistics department. We have specific depart-
ments to just handle one client. It changes from client
to client, but the philosophy that we have is to find the
client that wants that level of service, that wants more
of a custom-made service provider, and then format
the service around them.”
Not surprisingly, it’s the ideal client blueprint that sep-
arates Compass from its competition.
As another means of distancing itself, the company re-
cently went entirely paperless – thanks in large part to
the desire of self-professed tech-savvy guy to fit better
into a traditionally non-tech industry.
“Digitizing every file gave us a lot of ability to automate
certain things,” Shelala said.
“A lot of our processes have become completely auto-
mated, and with all the data and medidata that now
surrounds every file, we can produce just about any
report and just about any notification, automatically,
that any client could possibly want. That all sort of fig-
ures around the customer service. Instead of having
80 people in this place punching in numbers and copy-
ing and pasting data, I’d rather have 80 people in this
place who can perform phenomenal customer service.
“Our clients see that. Our clients send a request and
they’re responded to within moments. We took a lot
of the sort of knucklehead stuff off of people’s desks
through the automation.”
Going forward, the five-year priorities for Shelala in-
clude a hope that the Compass approach will create
a third industry niche – aside from basement-level op-
erators seeking to function on an at-cost basis, and
large-scale multinationals whose size, scale and over-
head far exceed his company’s.
“In most cases, things go fine,” he said. “What’s dif-
ficult, though, is when things go wrong. Some clients
have been in the industry long enough to know that,
and some have not – they’ve just been lucky and things
have been going well. We want to be the guys you can
depend on. If you care about the cargo, if you want to
make sure that it gets there on time, if you want to mit-
igate the risk you’re taking by shipping things around
the world, you go with a company like ours.
“We treat every shipment as though it were our own.
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