How cargo and logistics organizations can offset falling freight volumes
When freight volumes drop, some logistics organizations will always fall into a defensive strategy to absorb declining top line growth.
When freight volumes drop, some logistics organizations will always fall into a defensive strategy to absorb declining top line growth. But many companies are using this period to invest in eliminating operational barriers through projects that can deliver the cost relief they need now, while adding new capabilities that will position their organization for success in the future.
There is still tremendous untapped potential throughout the industry with opportunities to leverage advances in digitization, enhance management visibility and controls, and standardize a target operating model across worldwide facilities. Recent success stories from our logistics excellence program show that even top cargo operations have low hanging fruit and can raise productivity by 18%.
But to get the full benefits of any improvement initiative it’s crucial to engage your people not only to embrace logistics excellence, but to feel so invested they help lead the change themselves. This is why the world’s premier logistics, freight, supply chain processing and cargo organizations choose Proudfoot as their partner. Not only do we achieve their performance and cost savings targets, but the way we engage their workforce lifts morale and drives meaningful change in behavior, which ensures their hard-won results will be sustained. View Testimonials
What are Proudfoot's cargo and logistics clients saying about our work?
“This project yielded total operational transformation through total engagement. Our (logistics excellence) processes improved and everyone was engaged – from the General Manager to the front-line operators, every level. Everyone feels like they have a part and they’re excited about being involved in the progress. It is amazing to see over 600 employees that energized. We are getting stuff done.”
– Director, Global Cargo Operations
“Our entire import process is so much better, faster, easier for our teams to work with. Our floor inventory moves so much better. Our weekend operations are so much smoother and faster and that translates to a better overall customer experience.”
– Imports Cargo Service Manager
“We see the difference the new system makes every day – NO BOTTLENECKS! But, we especially see the difference on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, our absolutely busiest times. We have been trying to do this for years, and we finally made it happen.”
– Export Cargo Service Manager
“This new system [Import breakdown, storage and retrieval] is fantastic! I admit I didn’t think we could make it happen. But now, driving a forklift to retrieve cargo from the bulk areas, I have not had to search for anything. The loads are exactly where they are supposed to be. This makes staging the pick-ups faster and easier. The proof is the truckers wait time for the load assembly has been reduced tremendously. They get back on the road so much faster. They’re happy; we’re happy!” – Import Pick-up Lead
“The biggest impact we see in the Call Center is a clearer workflow, consistency in the process, and in faster operational support to customer issues received by our agents. Putting the escalation process in a visual format is so much more effective than a narrative format. The process is now far easier to understand and follow. This increases the buy-in and continuity by the team. It provides such a better, integrated process overall. – Manager, Customer Service
“The new Missing Items Escalation process is great. The integration of the Hub Operations Control Center in the earliest stages of the process is really effective and will really help our agents to be able to respond to customer issues faster and more accurately. Working with the Proudfoot team was very beneficial and effective. The attention to process improvement was excellent, and working directly with our agents, keeping them informed on the project progress is greatly appreciated.”
– Manager, Customer Contact Centers
“The new Front Dock Acceptance process are really effective for the customers and better for our team. Here, on one of our busiest days, it is running smoothly and efficiently. I like the way the Proudfoot team worked with our Front Dock team. The Proudfoot team made sure our points of view, our issues, and our suggestions were all a part of the new processes and procedures. We really feel good about how we are better able to serve the customer.” – Front Dock Acceptance Station Attendant
“The Proudfoot Team’s approach was very good. They were very, very open to listening to our ideas and we had very productive discussions about integrating new processes. Also, with their help, we were not only able to improve our current processes, but they helped us understand and build in continuous process improvement, so that we will regularly look at our process and integrate new ideas, new technologies, and new methods – continuously and routinely. In the past, I wasn’t sure we would be able to do such things. Now, I believe.” – Export Process Coach
“I never thought I would see this level of effective engagement and interaction between management and employees. The management teams are far more involved with the daily operations on the floor than ever before, and the employees are commenting on that. We are seeing better teamwork between the Cargo Service Managers and the Leads. Leads are taking a far more active role in directing the performance and productivity of their teams each shift. The communication is so much better, with the daily Leads meetings, the shift handover meetings, and the improved morning operational meetings. Everyone feels more involved and energized. We are making massive gains in our overall performance. It is truly exceptional.”
– Manager of Operations
“It has been amazing being a part of such a significant transformation. Our culture has changed. One aspect that I notice that has improved so much is our communication. Ideas are being actively solicited, actioned, and then being discussed and communicated to the entire team. There is a very concentrated effort to communicate back to people making suggestions. Our meetings are better and we’re having new production meetings. This has really helped change our behaviors to make our teams work together better and more effectively. This general improvement in support across all levels of leadership has greatly increased ownership of the process by our teams on the floor and in the support functions. Really incredible.” – Export Cargo Service Manager
“The Proudfoot team really made the whole experience more relatable to managers and employees alike. The communication among the functional teams is better. The engagement by managers with the operational teams is better. We have been able to reduce the bureaucracy throughout the whole process to get things done. We have moved from just saying it to actually doing it. One of the most amazing things, to me, was that the Proudfoot Team more potential is us than we thought we had – and you pushed us to be better. I can honestly say I am a better leader today, in a major way, because of this project. Very concentrated activities to push me to see things differently and to engage with my teams better have been the key to my development.”
– Manager of Hub Operations
“Proudfoot helped us change things we didn’t think we could. They gave us tools to help us move forward and they helped us develop new behaviors to lead our teams better. Improving communications among the teams and among the managers was the key. We have learned how to really get stuff done!” – Planning and Truck Cargo Service Manager
“To me, the biggest things contributing to the great success of this project were really seeking employee feedback on process issues, implementing their ideas into the process improvements, and putting words into action. The Proudfoot team took time to determine who the true influencers were and used that to move attitudes by the entire team from “what’s in it for me” to “what’s in it for us.” Another key was highlighting quick wins – really bringing about noticeable change early on so everyone could actually see that change could happen and buy in. This has really been amazing and fun to be a part of.” – Cargo Service Manager
“I am very impressed with what both the Proudfoot team and the cargo teams have accomplished in a matter of months. Alone, we could not have done this in 30 years. We are now so much better equipped to address our issues. We have substantive, effective, and efficient new processes and management systems. We also have enhanced leadership skills and behaviors to continue the transformation. [Proudfoot] did way more than we ever could to inspire confidence in the journey.” – VP, Cargo
“Proudfoot has provided our teams with the tools needed to effect transformation for the future. The work instructions, the skills matrices, and the other tools need to be rolled into all our future onboarding and recurring training efforts. I found the leadership workshops, the follow-on coaching, and the overall engagement with our employees to be Proudfoot’s secret delight. Very impressive!” – Director, Cargo Transformation
“We’ve had a number of challenges during this project; but, we worked together, and we addressed them all honestly, fairly, and effectively. That is a testament of the solid working relationship between both teams and of their tenacity to achieve our goals. The Hub team still has a lot of work to do. We must continue to move forward on the foundation of what this Operational Excellence project has established. Proudfoot has equipped us with better tools in place to do that. Now it’s up to us.”
– General Manager, Hub Operations – Cargo
“Proudfoot helped us accelerate our capabilities to improve so many of processes and process control systems. There are so many moving parts to what we do, and this Operational Excellence project helped us work on and improve a large number of them. This is key to prepare for future demands on our people and all of our other resources. We have created new work instructions for all of our functional areas. We have developed solid Key Performance Indicators to measure our performance and success throughout each shift and day. And so many other things. We have established a solid foundation for teambuilding. All of this was done in a great collaboration with Proudfoot.” – Operational Excellence – Cargo
Proudfoot's U.S. Industrials Leadership
Managing Director, Industrials & MRO, Americas
As Managing Director of Industrials and MRO, Dennis brings over twenty years of experience in operational excellence, maintenance leadership, and asset support to the practice. He has served as a military aircraft operator and maintenance officer and spent nearly a decade leading sales and strategy teams as an executive for top-tier MRO companies. Dennis has an MBA from The Wharton School and has worked in Australia, ASEAN, Japan, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.