Located in Dallas, Texas, Worldwide Express’s “unique connection with customers” motto can be partly attributed to the success of the company.
Founded in 1995, the global logistics company has effectively grown to become the largest authorized reseller of express shipping for UPS®. In a recent interview, SVP of Operations Mike Grayson discussed elements that have allowed Worldwide Express to differentiate from others in the industry, such as its strong business model, use of technology and positive relationship with franchisees.
In the beginning . . .
Originally a reseller of small parcel services for Airborne Express, which was then purchased by DHL, Worldwide Express signed an agreement with UPS in 2008 on the small parcel side of the industry, an agreement that is still in effect today. The company is now one of just two that resells small parcel services for UPS.
In 2008, Worldwide Express began working with LTL—Less Than Truckload—and now represents 65+ carrier partners, making them the largest privately held broker of LTL in the country.
“The great news is there’s still more opportunity for growth in small parcel and LTL,” Grayson said eagerly.
The company’s mission statement is simple and direct: to clearly exceed the expectations of its customers, franchisees and partners. And that’s exactly what Worldwide Express does, thanks to the assistance of its business model that empowers local franchise owners to develop caring relationships with its customers.
Specifically, instead of using an agency model, Worldwide Express takes a different approach.
“We’re going after the small- to medium-sized business owner who has eight to 30 employees, and we’re able to have a really unique connection with that customer because a lot of the challenges that they face as business owners are challenges that our franchisees face,” said Grayson.
“We’re able to build on a real connection that already exists, because of common experience.”
The importance of technology
“Right now, ‘technology’ is a buzzword,” explained Grayson. “Our strategies for growth and improvement are driven by technology.”
While Grayson noted that the Worldwide Express business is all about the movement of shipments —the movement of goods and services around the country and world—information regarding these shipments is becoming just as important.
Simply put, technology improves the ability to work with customers. According to Worldwide Express, the ability to leverage technology is a key ingredient for the customer, due to the fact that they can track and trace the information of their packages.
“People have the ability now to go online and track their shipment, to understand where an item is going and when it’s arriving. The transfer of information regarding those shipments has quickly become a critical part to supply chain management,” said Grayson.
On the other side of the spectrum—the carrier’s side—technology assists with the reporting structure, streamlining the packaging process, including shipment rates, as well as other business intelligence pieces of the equation, such as a package’s average weight.
But it all goes back to the customer.
“Being able to provide access to information and data that is meaningful to a customer is key,” said Grayson.
In fact, the addition of technologies will allow for customers to become more productive and even help to improve efficiencies.
Today, the customer spends a lot of time, energy and effort in a very manual world. These new technologies will aid in different areas that include claims processing, billing disputes and documentation retrieval. Worldwide Express is working to provide more automation and efficiency from electronic access to information.
Attracting new customers
When it comes to retaining customers, Worldwide Express uses a face-to-face approach, meaning it’s not transactional.
Grayson described Worldwide Express as a “feet on the street” type of company. By knocking on doors and making cold calls, the team is constantly searching for new opportunities for both the small parcel side of the business and LTL.
“Our sales people and account managers are out on the street every single day and in the offices of our customers,” Grayson explained. “Our team is trying to provide solutions from a logistics management standpoint in which these companies are run. We see first-hand how they move their product in and out the door.”
“This won’t be changing any time soon,” he noted. “It’s a very effective approach for us.”
It is that local interaction that helps to set Worldwide Express apart from other companies in the industry, as they’re physically observing how these businesses are processing shipments and freight. Therefore, appropriate solutions can be provided that are real, practical and add value.
As for attracting new employees, Worldwide Express often gets a mix of new college graduates and already established sales professionals. Depending on how long an employee stays with the company, certain levels of training take place, ranging from basic sales training to more progressive and sophisticated techniques in their ACE training, which stands for Advanced Concepts and Excellence.
“It doesn’t matter what field they’re pursuing in the industry, from managers to freight coordinators. Anybody and everybody in the organization gets some type of training,” Grayson explained.
Driving the business forward
As for the future of Worldwide Express, Grayson believes the business will continue to stay on track, and to have a heavy focus on UPS.
“It’s important that we continue to represent the brand in a positive way,” he said.
Furthermore, Grayson believes there’s plenty of room to grow and educate the existing team, as well as find more opportunities in the LTL space.
“As a main driver for us, it’s important to continue to learn how to understand customer needs and pair those needs with solutions,” Grayson said.
In the future, the main focus for Worldwide Express is to understand the opportunities that lie within each customer and then utilize its expertise to provide solutions.
“For us, the business is and will continue to be about relationships. How we treat our carrier partners and our customers is our primary focus. Nothing should ever trump the importance of those relationships.”