3PL Strategy: How to grow and nurture your customers

How to Nurture and Grow Your Customers

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By Valerie Bonebrake, Senior Vice President, Tompkins International

3PL Strategy: How to grow and nurture your customers
Spring has arrived. It is time to cultivate. Use this primer to protect and grow your customer base.

I recently met with the CEO of a mid-sized third party logistics (3PL) company. We discussed the usual topics: industry trends, what is happening in mergers and acquisitions, and of course the conversation led to “how is business?” The CEO was pleased about some new wins but concerned about the portfolio becoming lopsided.

I asked him first about the new wins – new to outsourcing or wins over the incumbent?

In two instances the wins were over an incumbent. I asked him how he was able to win out over the incumbent. I can tell you that it was not a price play.

We then talked about the portfolio. The company’s success in a particular industry was cause for concern, too much revenue in one bucket presents some risk given the volatility of the industry.

Many changes are occurring in the 3PL industry and others right now. This conversation caused me to question whether companies are doing all they can to “protect and grow” their customer base.

As I was perusing one of my favorite magazines I was reminded – Spring is here – it is time to refresh flower beds, plant gardens, feed and water plants, and enjoy the benefits of beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables.

We should all take a lesson from Sunset magazine, Garden section. Use this primer to protect and grow your customers.

How to Protect and Grow Your Customers

  1. Treat a trellis as art – SUPPORT. Is your organization setup to support your customers? Your associates? A strong foundation will help your team and your customers grow and
  2. Pack in the veggies – CREATE and overall PLAN to GROW more than you ever imagined. What can you accomplish in the second half of the year that you might not have thought would be possible? Spring is a great time to revisit your plans and double down. Prune away what is getting in your way and create your plan to maximize results.
  3. Anatomy of a hard working garden – Built for PRODUCTION. Productivity and execution are table stakes. Do not forget the basics of hard work and execution – every day for every customer.
  4. Give herbs instant style – PROVIDE a SOPHISTICATED LOOK. Site visits can make or break a new opportunity. Look at your facilities through a new lens and create a WOW factor that will be memorable to visitors and make your associates proud.
  5. Savor special berries – PRUNE, FERTILIZE, and WATER. Stay the course! Nothing happens Your associates and your customers are special. Regular care and feeding is a must!
  6. Space-saver raspberry – UTILIZE SPACE effectively. Have you assessed your space recently? A proper layout designed with the right amount and type of storage and material handling equipment can drive as much as 30% improvement. Do not forget spring cleaning – shed old obsolete inventory.
  7. Plant a nectar bar – A vibrant garden needs POLLINATORS. Your customers value your cross-industry experience and shared practices. Do not let your teams get in a rut. Cross-location pollination is a must!
  8. Grow a game changing bloom – FULL Sun: FEED and CARE for regularly. Have fun! Change the Game! Enable your team to blossom and reach full potential.
  9. Go big with Foliage – The key to success is the RIGHT BLEND to make each stand out. Be bold and innovative! You need to stand out in today’s crowded field.
  10. Dream up a meadow – Gather Ideas, Make Things Better, INSPIRE.

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