While many companies try to be everything to everyone, Pegasus Logistics maintains a firm commitment to securely and efficiently moving what we call “Shipments of Consequence.” These are shipments in which “the impact of failure to our client, or our client’s client, are severe,” says Heath Shoemaker, Pegasus’ EVP of Solutions.
One example of a “shipment of consequence” is handling products that are considered expensive, such as high-value electronics or medical devices. Another example is shipments that include items that may have a lower intrinsic value but are needed to meet a production schedule or to launch a new product on time. “They are products in which the consequence of non-delivery is greater than the value of the product being moved,” says Dennis Stanley, Vice President of Business Development. “It has serious implications for their company.”
“We know what we do best and that’s what we do,” Stanley adds. Maintaining this focus can mean turning down orders that fall outside Pegasus’ core competencies. Even though it’s difficult to walk away from business, it’s imperative for us to be selective, as it allows us to provide the quality service our customers expect and deserve, while ensuring that we are positioned to have continued growth and success.
Over the last 25 years, we have worked tirelessly to fine-tune the formula that best supports this type of business. We believe it comes down to committing to these three very important aspects of the business: intimately understanding our clients’ vision, investing in developing both our partners and people and committing to never shortcutting the high touch aspect of our service model.
Understanding Our Common Vision
To execute this strategy, our employees understand not just our clients’ logistics functions, but their business operations, products, and challenges. Our team members often work with representatives from across many departments within our clients’ organizations, including transportation, shipping, planning, procurement, customer service, and sales. We strive to hire individuals with expertise in different industry verticals for this reason.
These steps enable our team members to prioritize our customers’ needs, whether that is ensuring on-time delivery of materials to keep an assembly line running or treating an expensive piece of equipment with care. Our team attends industry events to stay on top of the latest trends and ensure alignment with our customers’ needs and goals. “We work to intimately understand the consequence of failure. We invest heavily in making sure we are aligned with our clients, understand their competition, their industries, and what truly makes them successful. This knowledge allows us to tailor the best possible solution and support structure to ensure service excellence,” mentions Shoemaker.
Some other logistics firms claim to take a similar approach. However, their efforts often are dispersed across many areas of logistics, which dilutes their ability to provide the insight and high-touch service needed to effectively handle shipments of consequence.
We take “creating solutions that best fit the customer’s needs” beyond just transportation and carry that mentality into other aspects of our supply chain solutions. For one of our clients, we act as an extension of their own shipping, warehousing, and receiving departments. We tailored our services to the clients’ needs, dedicated resources and space, and performed numerous functions not available in a generic warehouse model. “We operate as part of their high-tech manufacturing operation,” Stanley says, adding that the program has been going strong for almost ten years.
In addition, some companies are handcuffed by their networks of trucks, planes, and other assets. Some clients will be best served by using specialized trucking equipment to ship their products. A logistics firm that owns standard trucks may opt to use those, even if it’s not best for the client. In contrast, we can turn to our broad, deep, and battle-tested network of transportation providers to identify and secure the optimal transportation asset. “We lead with the customer and then design the solution,” Stanley adds.
Investing in the Development of Our Partners and People
The partners within our network undergo a thorough vetting process. We evaluate their facilities and security capabilities and assess their experience in moving different types of products. Once a company is part of our network, we continue to develop the relationship. While we conduct monthly and quarterly reviews with all our partners, we understand relationships need to go farther than just reviewing metrics. Rewards programs for top performing partners and invitations to our annual partner round table event are just a couple of the ways we strive to develop alignment and encourage service excellence. “We consider them true partners and while we always expect above and beyond service, we understand the value in being our partner’s favorite customer,” Stanley adds. While timely and competitive paying is important, collaboration with our partners is what takes our relationships to the next level. Our clients win when our expectations and communication are in true alignment.
We understand that shipments of consequence require a support team of “A” players. Stanley explains that “it’s about hiring to very specific attributes and characteristics that we feel are at the core of what we call an “A” player. From there, we invest heavily in development, both internally and externally. Internally, we’ve dedicated an entire team to cultivating talent who run our Next Level Leadership groups, lunch and learns, and our desk level training program. Externally, we invest heavily in sending individuals to outside leadership development academies to help not just technical skill set learning, but effective communication skills, attention management practices, and problem-solving strategies, along with many others. From there, it’s about giving them autonomy to manage the relationships with our customers and putting their skills and talents to use for the betterment of our clients.”
At Pegasus, we empower every employee to make real-time decisions to save service for our customers in critical situations. “If it costs a couple thousand dollars but saves the shipment and relationship, we’re okay with it. Sometimes those business decisions need to be made, and last thing we want is to put our client’s business at risk as a result of a bottleneck in an internal approval system. We invest heavily in hiring the best and continuing to develop their skills, and in return we entrust those decisions to be made appropriately, in the moment, with our client’s best interest always at the forefront,” Shoemaker says.
Commitment to the High Touch Model
In both our transportation and warehouse solutions, we remain committed to quality service. “It’s the extra phone calls, the extra attention to detail,” Stanley says.
Maintaining our commitment to quality in an efficient network requires moving only those shipments of impact. Shipments of lower-consequence can slow down a high-touch network and fall below our high-level service requirements.
While we incorporate automation and technology where appropriate, we remain committed to our high-touch model and allowing our employees to do all they can to meet customers’ needs. “We’re still hands on; we still hand out cell phone numbers to our clients,” Shoemaker highlights.
Many other companies would like to focus on shipments of impact; however, few are willing to dedicate the resources needed to effectively implement this strategy. We discovered long ago that there is tremendous value to be found in intangibles like responsiveness, flexibility and exceptional service. The cost of failure is significant, and these are areas that require a logistics partner who is going to micromanage every single shipment, touching it many times from beginning to end to ensure it delivers to the right place, at the right time and damage free.