The whole idea of partnership has been out there for a long time. The role of the third party logistics provider has moved from “vendor” to “partner” where both organizations are working together to accomplish shared goals by sharing information and learnings. But that just doesn’t happen. As with a Team, both organizations must build a collaborative environment that has defined a common purpose and goal and ultimately produces results. If you’ve ever contributed to a team environment, you know this isn’t always an easy process.
At PCWC, we understand this and are driven to make our collaborative relationships with our customers successful. Here are the steps we take to accomplish that:
CLARITY: We ensure we understand the common purpose and the expected outcome that our customers require. When we know what our goals are we can prioritize our actions and express our commitment. If both organizations are going in different directions and are not on the same page, we’ve opened the relationship to be full of conflict and adversity.
TRUST: Trust takes a long time to establish but immediately, we at PCWC, encourage honesty in our discussions. But words can be useless without the actions to substantiate it. In other words, we want to “walk the talk” where we are performing actions that we claim. Over time, this approach will establish a trust in the relationship between both organizations.
COMMUNICATION: So many mishaps occur over communication . . . usually a lack thereof. We want to err on the side of over communicating. Our approach is to discuss verbally either in person or by phone and recap in writing. We believe this is a more successful approach than relying on long and involved emails. We take responsibility for listening AND being heard. This direction allows us to clear up any misunderstandings and reinforces an authentic relationship with our customers.
DIVERSITY: What is great about working with many customers is we learn different approaches by different individuals. We have learned to appreciate the diversity of ideas and perspectives. These differences are embraced with an open mind. At PCWC, we are in a position to take advantage of these differences to embark on new approaches and ideas within the business. This keeps us abreast of industry changes.
CHANGE: As we always say, Change is the only constant in our business. We embrace change and are nimble in the way we do business. We know we must adapt and try to anticipate what will be needed in the business to accommodate a competitive advantage for our customer. While we have tried and true approaches that we use, we still are able to recognize and reinforce new ideas.
FOCUS: It is easy to get caught up in the daily challenges and lose focus on where we need to be. With regular business reviews with our customers, we are able to ensure vigilant focus on their objectives. We reinforce these objectives with internal team meetings, celebrations of “wins” and praise for both results and teamwork. On the other side of that coin, when service doesn’t go exactly as planned, we use these situations as teaching and learning moments to help the PCWC team grow.
These key 6 points are the foundation of building strong relationships and a collaborative environment that fosters a successful partnership.