Simon Oxley, Executive Vice President – Global Business Development and Head of Indonesia at LF Logistics, discusses developing customer relationships...
LF Logistics is a 3PL logistics provider based in Asia and operating as part of the LF Group. It has been in operation since 1906, and today provides three key areas of service to users: distribution centre services, transportation management services and global freight management. LF Logistics manages over 250 distribution centers across 15 countries in the Asian region. These distribution centers serve over 400 customers, many of which are recognisable, household brands. Its operations cover a range of key verticals, including Footwear, Apparel & Accessories, Fast-moving Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Beauty & Wellness, Consumer Electronics and Healthcare. Simon Oxley, Executive Vice President - Global Business Development & Head of Indonesia at LF Logistics explains: “We’re the logistics provider of choice in Asia, focussed on expanding our customers’ operations across the region. One of our customers, for example, has grown across nine countries with our support and another has doubled in size over the past 18 months. Through our solution design expertise, we can help a business design and build its distribution centres, employ staff, put first-class operational systems in place or start operations in a new location.”
LF Logistics uses a three-pillar model to measure its success and guide its operations with its customers. The first of these is operational excellence, as Oxley explains: “We believe providing excellent service is a main driver for customers' success and their desire to stay and grow with us. We are operations-centric and focussed on exceptional customer service.”
The second and third pillars are account management and business development. Each customer has its own dedicated account team to facilitate the transformation it will undergo with LF Logistics. “This provides confidence that we are serving our customers to their required service standards, that operations are efficient, and that we are prepared to grow our business with existing customers,” Oxley notes.
With regards to business development, LF Logistics identifies potential customers’ growth targets to see how LF Logistics can facilitate this growth, to both provide a solution that best fits the customer and benefits LF Logistics’ revenue stream. These three pillars have become the foundation upon which the company has built its business. “We’ve been very successful in the industry, our growth is above the industry average and we believe our three pillars are the foundation of this,” says Oxley.
The dedication to these key areas has ensured LF Logistics rapid expansion of services offered to its customers. As more companies join the network, the benefits of growing infrastructure and forward planning become evident. According to Oxley: “We are investing in our business in the region, whether that’s in people, in systems, in distribution centres or transportation networks, our customers can see our visible commitment to the industry, our infrastructure and an excellent level of service.”
LF Logistics’ own growth is led by the needs of its customers, both current and potential. The company invests in its future operations to anticipate the requirements of the industry. For example, rather than building up fulfilment networks from scratch, LF Logistics will instead build upon pre-existing needs to ensure smart investment. “We don’t look to expand into new countries from a zero base. We would rather expand into the markets that our customers are targeting. Over the past five years our expansion has been driven by customer expectations. Entering into a new country with a customer means we expand with their business and can readily provide expertise as they are already familiar with us. We know their operating procedure and, in many cases, are already working with the same implementation teams they have used before.”
LF Logistics looks to breed that same sense of partnership and familiarity with other partners it works with. One of the largest types of vendors are property developers, such as MMP Property, that aid in the construction of distribution centres. LF Logistics will work in tandem with developers to design each new facility and from there, negotiate leasing agreements to use the space. Transportation vendors, such as Ugasan Berkat Jaya, then provide operational and rental services for the vehicles needed to manage a site, as and when they are required. These services may include drayage to seaports, heavy duty haulage vehicles or smaller vehicles for city deliveries. This allows the company to adapt the infrastructure of its organisation to suit its needs whilst leaving room for reassessment in the future. Labour providers meet the requirement to fill positions with additional labour at peak periods to relieve strain from areas that may be in need. A good example of these peaks was the singles day period of 11 November 2018 when the LF Logistics facilities in China received 7.6 million orders in a 24-hour period. Lastly, equipment providers ensure that customers have a connection to a steady and reliable supply of anything from software and hardware to automated machinery. In addition to this, providers such as Re>Pal and Loscam give the company a choice in what kind of pallets and or handling materials it wishes to use throughout its operations.
The ability of LF Logistics to serve a vast array of requirements, whilst maintaining a trusted network of partners, enables a customer to streamline the growth of its business across individual sectors, through a tried and tested process. This level of holistic integration extends across many LF Logistics systems. Oxley elaborates; “The Oracle Transport Management system allows us to process orders. If we move to a new market we are able to seamlessly provide this same operational system. So, if a brand moves to a new market and needs a 3PL provider, it will already have an integrated system with us and that’s one less obstacle to entry in a new region.”
Over the past two years LF Logistics has seen 100% growth across the business in Indonesia and continues to grow throughout the Asian region. By developing in familiar territory it can improve upon the services it can offer its clients, whilst taking advantage of the economic opportunities provided by one of the fastest growing markets in the world. “The area we operate in represents half the world’s population. Of all the global consumer spending growth in the next 12 years, 84% of that is forecast to be within Asia. We’re very focused on remaining a leading 3PL in Asia, and if there are new markets we could expand into then we will ensure that expansion is in line with our customers’ requirements, so they can grow their business with us.”
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