An Inside Job: On-site support can reap big rewards
In the detailed world of global logistics, an out-of-sight, outof-mind approach to client service, while choosing the path of least resistance, becomes a barrier to service quality. For the client, the results are often redundant follow-up contact, rework and ultimately, the erosion of confidence in the quality of work processes for even the most basic shipment transactions. Such hands-off service not only strains relationships, but is also a hidden cost factor.
Air Products found a partnership that works by establishing an on-site group of BDP staff at its Allentown, Pennsylvania facility. The group focuses primarily on ocean export, as well as ocean import, air export and import, and project services, which are employed to ship oversize plant construction materials around the world.
A growing number of companies are introducing outside resources and vendors to their inside operations. This side-by-side, face-to-face way of doing business can reap big rewards that go right to the bottom line.
Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Air Products manufactures and provides industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. The company has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives.
For Air Products’ Foreign Trade Customer Service Manager, service depends to a great extent on relationships and successful partnerships with customers and vendors. “Since my first day on the international side of the business at Air Products, I can distinctly recall exchanging ideas with BDP people about the meaning of a partnership,” she states. “From the beginning we communicated and acted as a team. And while BDP was our vendor, it would be important for them to be able to come to me and say, ‘If you take action-step Y rather than step Z, you will save time, eliminate duplicate work, and your process will run more smoothly.’”
That proactive approach is precisely what a company like Air Products—with its extensive global manufacturing operations— not only needs but also demands. This is one of the primary reasons for establishing an on-site group of BDP staff at its Allentown facility. The group focuses on ocean export and import, air export and import, and project services, which are employed to ship oversized plant construction materials around the world. BDP books the client’s products, provides the necessary paperwork (such as dock receipts and bills of lading), handles document distribution, and ensures that Air Products customers throughout the world receive their shipments.