Why technology is the secret to good customer service.
Luke Taylor, owner of Everything Logistics, on how a combination of customer focus and technology has helped him to expand his business.
“Hi. I’m Luke and I’ve been working in logistics for 15 years. In my early career I spent my time building other people’s businesses. I was good at it too. I worked for a number of large parcel carriers and helped each one to grow. I was content to work in this way for a while. After all, I was getting something out of it too. The training I received and the experience gained while working for them gave me a great foundation for the future.
But eventually I decided to and start my own business. That’s how Everything Logistics was born. I founded Everything Logistics from a warehouse in Dunstable, near Luton. I began by brainstorming the name. Getting the company branding right is so important. It’s what people see when they’re scrolling through Google looking for good quality carriers. There are thousands of operators out there. So your name has to stand out. It has to sum up your brand in a few words. And most of all, it must make a potential customer want to pick up the phone.
The name of our company ‘Everything Logistics’ does just that. As the name suggests, ‘versatility’ and ‘customer focus’ are our two main selling points. We also pride ourselves in guaranteeing our customers a fast, reliable service and a money-back guarantee, which I’m pleased to say – due to the extremely high standards we set our drivers – none of our customers have ever triggered.
We cater for a wide range of clients from the same day and next day delivery markets. We’re a dedicated carrier, as well as one that specialises in multi-drop deliveries, and furthermore, we also run an international courier service across mainland Europe.
However, we couldn’t do what we do without technology – particularly in the same day courier space, where we’ve experienced the largest growth. Like so many other logistics providers we turned to
Transport Exchange Group for help and inspiration, and we’ve certainly reaped the benefits from joining Courier Exchange, which in case you don’t already know is one of the UK’s biggest freight exchange platforms for trade-only courier businesses.
To be honest, when we joined in October we weren’t sure what to expect. We’d heard some good things about the Exchange from owner drivers who work for us and so we decided to give it a go.
But why did we need CX? Well, we’ve worked over the last few years to win customers, but frustratingly, we were struggling to compete with larger operators’ large and varied fleets. The Exchange, however, has a virtual fleet of nearly fifty thousand vehicles, and the best thing about membership is that not only do we have access to every single one of them, but we’ve have been able to build up a trusted network of drivers/customers in a very short time. That puts us in a very strong position because whenever anyone calls us with an urgent request for a van or a lorry, not only are we able to always say ‘yes’ to their request, but we can have that vehicle at their depot to collect their goods in under an hour.
The Exchange’s virtual fleet is mixed and is evenly spread around the country too. This has helped us with one of our major clients, which manufactures high-spec. hardwearing wooden shower floors. There’s a lot of demand for this wooden underlay in luxury gyms and new housing developments.
However, previously there were challenges that we couldn’t meet. For example, the manufacturer needed their floors delivered on time and at short notice. Often it was unable to confirm the quantity until the last minute. Normally, that would cause a logistical nightmare for us – so much so that we’d have to turn the work down, but thanks to the Exchange we can just as easily send an artic lorry to pick up as we can a 7.5 tonne truck. It’s that straight-forward.
Many of our clients also insist on using dedicated carriers, whose vehicles can be tracked at all times.
If you’re familiar with the Exchange, you’ll probably be aware of the Live Availability Map which lets you see the real-time location of any member vehicle on the platform. This technology allows us to share updates with our clients at regular intervals. And if the goods don’t arrive on time – which is exceptionally rare due to an unforeseen incident – the REPLAY tool makes it possible for us to provide the company with a detailed breakdown of that journey.
We’ve found that the extra visibility and security from tracking in real-time has also helped us to win more work. We’ve begun winning bigger contracts and more lucrative ones too – both at home and abroad. Last month, for instance, we began working in exhibition related freight. It’s a very hard slog because the working hours are often anti-social and the job often takes us overseas. However, it pays very well and is extremely satisfying also to know that you’ve played an integral role in making an event happen that will be attended by thousands.
But perhaps the best selling point of Courier Exchange is that the technology recognises and appreciates that reality that couriers are constantly on the move. Both anecdotally and statistically, it has benefited my business and the drivers who work for me in this respect.
For me, the CX App has allowed us to do more. From an efficiency perspective, for instance, we can quote our customers on a load in just 90 seconds. Operationally too, the Exchange has unshackled me from my desk, giving me the confidence to leave a fully-staffed office to run the business in office hours.
And any spare time? I use it to help my father run a 115-acre carp fishery in Northamptonshire. We have over 600 fish on the Ecton Lakes complex. The biggest carp tips the scales at 46 pounds. If angling’s not one of your hobbies, ‘The Big Lin’ – as we call him – weighs the same as a small child. And like most kids, he’s very good at ‘hide and seek’. He hasn’t been caught now for over a year. So the next time ‘The Big Lin’ surfaces, which is not very often, I want to be there. Thanks to CX, there’s a good chance that I will be.”