Interview with Jakub Kępka – Key Account Manager at Transad.
Logistic of the future – how has the logistics market changed over the recent years? What has become the priority in the services of this segment?
The logistics market is one of the most actively developing sectors of the economy. One can easily see new warehouses sprouting around the largest agglomerations. In view of opening up to new product searches, the demand for innovative logistics and transport solutions has increased. Currently, of great importance is flexibility in relation to customers – services provided on the highest level, as well as consulting in the area of proper storage, warehousing, and transportation. A major role is played here by partnership in relations between partners – highlighting potential problems which might be encountered, as well as presenting ways to solve them. Appropriate personnel, numerous training, experience amassed over the years, all become an invaluable source to overcome difficulties posed by the requirements of a market expecting professional and reliable service.
Innovativeness is a key area of operation on many markets, in logistics as well. What technologies and innovative solutions do you use?
We are able to find a solution for virtually every customer. It is not a problem for us to carry both frozen and fresh goods at the same time; whether it is 2 pallets of frozen fish or a whole truckload of fruit, we can deliver on time. Each time, we approach every order individually, adapting to the needs required by the contractor. An extensive fleet, storage facilities – it is mainly due to this that we can store, repackage and reload goods as well, while preserving the cold chain all the time. Our employees take care to satisfy the customer to the full extent and also to make proper use of our fleet and capabilities, such as double-chamber refrigerators enabling simultaneous transportation of fresh and frozen goods, or double-floored refrigerators for transportation of increased batches of goods, e.g. 66 pallets. The only limit is our imagination.
What kind of services are your specialty? What makes your offer stand out?
The leitmotiv of our company is refrigerated transport – products that need to be carried under a controlled temperature; from foods to components to medical products. It is due to customers to whom we have been providing services for years that we are developing, expanding and improving our fleet every year. Currently, we own every semitrailer type available on the global market, as far as refrigerating equipment is concerned. Our fleet includes standard semitrailers, as well as double-floored ones, floral refrigerators, multi-chamber ones with partition walls to transport goods at different temperatures; some of them have lifts. Most of our units are semitrailers with room for 33/66 pallets, but we also have smaller ones, accommodating between 1 and 18 pallets, which allows us to distribute even to very hard-to-reach places. Additionally, apart from our vehicle fleet, we have a cadre of perfectly trained personnel fully involved in customer assistance and consulting. They oversee the entire process of transportation from point A to point B. This process is more than just pulling up to be loaded and reaching the unloading site; there is a whole range of relations to be fulfilled if the entire operation is to have a happy ending. Through commitment and passion, they prove their dedication to the company which is not just corporation but also the very friendly relations we have here. Everyone is involved in the works and development of the company, as evidenced by the expanding fleet and the new challenges posed by cooperating companies, which is proof of their confidence in us.
Is a logistics partner able to affect savings, or even increase profits, of manufacturers in the FMCG sector?
The term “logistics partner” may denote companies specializing in a given branch for many years – no company specializes in all branches of the sector of logistic services – which know all inner workings of the given area inside out. Learning, many times, from their own experiences and errors, they are able to nullify and prevent any future problems which might arise in cooperation with a new contractor and a long-time partner alike. Additionally, what matters is reliable and transparent cooperation, as well as explanation of cost-related details: what they result from and what consequences they entail.
Analysis of the given needs and expectations will minimize the risk of, first of all, failure, and secondly, potential losses due to inexperience and wrong decisions. There are tools allowing one to minimize the costs; it is a matter of finding them, implementing them and using them correctly, as well as conversations with experienced people willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
In view of the drastically growing prices or the unstable geopolitical situation, it is a challenge nowadays to maintain the continuity of business. How do you provide your contractors with a stable supply chain?
The lack of stability in the world, with regard to both prices and geopolitical problems, affects us all, and entrepreneurs indeed bear the brunt of it. However, this affects not just the logistics sector but all areas of the economy. First of all, the situation impacts the first link of the chain; an increase in transportation costs affects the increase of prices in the final effect. However, many conversations with our contractors allowed us to realize the problems we are all facing, hence full comprehension thereof and the will to cooperate further. Nowadays, as I have already mentioned, it is not only price that matters but flexibility, the will to cooperate, actions based on the “win to win” principle, consulting, availability, timeliness, as well as openness in solving problems and searching for solutions. Also with price increases, especially of fuel, our partners fully understand the lack of stability and our models of cooperation are elaborated in such a way as to avoid any disruptions to the supply chain at any moment.
How do you adapt your offer to the individual needs of contractors from different countries? Are you able to react to all variables? What stands out in your fleet?
The answer is in the question – this is individual. It is the basis of action in the current times and situation, not just on the market of logistics services but mainly based on the best possible relations with partners. We cooperate differently with each one of them, as each customer is different, with individual needs, requirements, standards, or norms. However, since we know our partners and constantly remain in touch with them, we can respond on an ongoing basis and monitor all variables appearing during the implementation of individual tasks, virtually in real time. As I have said before, we own every semitrailer type currently available on the market. We put much emphasis on proper servicing, appropriate equipment, regular maintenance, and systematic inspection of the correctness of operation of individual components. Of tremendous importance to us is the proper operation of our equipment, worth several hundred thousand euros and often used to transport goods exceeding its value; simultaneously, we are able to ensure the safety of the property entrusted to us and, above all, to the drivers. Additionally, our semitrailers are equipped with many more options of cargo securing than in other companies of a similar nature have. Our stock is no older than 3 years, we systematically replace it with newer equipment, allowing no shortcomings on our part. We use all innovative solutions available on the market, and we search for them ourselves, to strengthen our position even more, expand the offer, and increase our competitiveness.
How do the forwarding services you offer optimize the transport processes?
Above all, through using our own fleet, we know the real costs borne by transport companies, especially by forwarding ones. Based on our own example, we have experienced what most service-selling companies have only read about in industry magazines; we now have real costs we are able to document and present to our contractors. In addition to the numbers, immediately visible when the concept of optimization is concerned, one should not forget timeliness. Aware of the transported cargo, especially foods, we allow no delays. We adapt our cadre of drivers to perform the entire operation flawlessly. We know that the cargo loses quality with each delay, and thus the quality is reduced when it reaches the end recipient – and, in fact, we are such recipients too every day.
Our greatest benefit is customer satisfaction and orders for new transports, as well as new challenges being posed to us. This motivates us to act and develop even more dynamically.
What goals do you set for yourself for the years to come?
Development, development, development, and more development. Of course, as every entrepreneur, we have assumed a certain business plan we are implementing step by step. We are unable to foresee the geopolitical situation and the extent to which it would impact us, but we surely intend to significantly increase our vehicle fleet, to develop even more with regard to less-than-truckload transportation, as well as to expand the scope of storage services. We can see potential in each of these areas. Few companies are willing and able to develop in all of the mentioned areas, while we can see a future in them. We will surely be able to repeatedly prove our experience to the customers who work and will work with us.
Thank you for the interview.