Currently we are having some work done on the house and I’ve been very impressed with how it’s all come together. The building contractor is managing the project and has all the sub-contracted suppliers coming in to do their individual jobs at the appointed time. Not one person could do the project themselves to the same quality, time and budget. The builder has known the electrician, plumber & bathroom fitter for years. There’s no shouting, no cock ups and everybody is exactly where they need to be at the correct time (with the correct spanner). The trust they have in each other’s work is obvious as is the end goal of keeping Mrs Neon happy at the end of the day.
It’s a great example of something that is probably taken for granted in any industry really without giving it too much thought. They all share the same Core Values.
Business consultants can talk about these values quite regularly & often we find that we work with very similar companies. So, as the builder knows all his suppliers personally, they are a lot more likely to come in early, do a great job and be readily available if there are any problems down the line. They clearly go the extra mile for each other if required and potentially even put the kettle on too!
I’m clearly making a comparison with a building project and what we do in the forwarding industry. Two things that on the face of it are completely different. As a small independent freight forwarder, we must rely on the suppliers we use for all aspects of the job. They are carefully sourced over several years and must meet our high standards. It takes more than one person to expedite a shipment around the world, and we ensure that all the links in the chain work together.
We share the same Core Values with our suppliers. We get on with them, share good communication, have a laugh, wind them up, call them if stuck with something, pay them a FAIR PRICE, pay them on time and view the relationship as a partnership.
If there are any major issues, they are certainly not dealt with by calling them up and saying that we have a very particular set of skills and we will find them (on LinkedIn)
We regularly vet and check our software providers, customs brokers, hauliers, export packers to shipping lines, airlines and even stationery companies. (thanks for the sweets Scott!). Good grief, we don’t even get bacon sandwiches or coffee for the office unless we know that they will be 100%. We all work “with” each other but very often it’s not actually “work”. Just doing your mate a favour, and who doesn’t want to be part of that?
We use amazing agents around the world that we know personally and trust to do a good job. If anything needs doing out of the ordinary, I’ll be that my guys pull out the stops for me. Not because I’m one of the biggest freight forwarders in Holmes Chapel, but just because they want to.
So, the core values of ourselves are fairly similar to the values of our builder. Which I guess is probably why it’s working so well. I could (and will) also add that we share many core values with our customers also – I guess that’s why they are our customers and are awesome!