For fifty years plus four, we have been delighting customers and building the foundational core of BDP, one customer at a time. Of course, 2020 has been a year for the ages and it would be easy to suggest that we have never experienced anything of this magnitude. The truth is, while doing a bit of research, it became apparent that over the years there have been quite a few events that have brought great hardship not only to BDP but the world at large. Yes, we have weathered many storms in our 5-decade existence (multiple financial crises, recessions, political conflicts, 9/11 - just to name a few), some worse than others. But through it all, we have continuously proven that BDP is at its very best when challenged, and it’s no secret that 2020 has tested us in ways we never could have imagined. It is safe to say that throughout the current pandemic there are many adjectives to describe our efforts but the one I like the best is resilient. The definition of which is “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions."
As the crisis worsened, we have bonded in different and creative ways. Who thought so many of us could work from home and not miss a beat? At the forefront of navigating COVID-19, our priority was the safety and security of our teams around the world. By securing our teams and their well-being, we secured the livelihood of the organization. We had every confidence in our team’s ability to not only survive in this new environment but that they would learn to thrive, despite the challenging circumstance. While we aren’t out of the proverbial woods yet when it comes to COVID-19, we are already thinking about the shape of the new world and how to best position BDP for future success. Heroes are born in crisis and our teams have proven once again that no matter the difficulty of the task, BDP is up for the challenge.
Before focusing on the future, what has the past taught us? History is rich with lessons learned on all topics for those willing to investigate. Many of today’s mistakes were made before but their solutions were forgotten. Our own journey began in Philadelphia during the tumultuous year of 1966, one for the ages in terms of chaos for the United States. The world was completely different than it is today, but some similarities existed. There was an unpopular war, racial injustice and protests, a recession, and the beginning of the counterculture which eventually gave rise to Hippies and the Woodstock generation. There was no going back; a new order began to emerge from the turmoil. Lessons learned: Focus on delivering a differentiated value in a new environment, shield customers from chaos by creating solutions that offload their stress, treat people with dignity and respect.
In summary, we were founded on the principle that the customer was always right and that we would go above and beyond for even the smallest request. The foundation for our culture was forged in those early days, shipment by shipment, transaction by transaction. Think of an era where there was no technology whatsoever, the only way to be a success was to out-hustle and out-work the competition. There was no internet, no fax machine, no e-mail - none of the things that we take for granted today and that we so heavily rely on within our everyday lives. What we did have was a determination to delight customers, to deliver more than just cargo, but an entire service experience. But a new era is dawning, one that will give rise to new ways of delivering those experiences consistent with our traditions, yet push us beyond our comfort zone in terms of managing the transformation necessary for an “agile BDP” to emerge.
As they say, history repeats itself. We have built a remarkable company the right way from the turmoil of 1966 to the turmoil of 2020. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that BDP is resilient, steadfast, determined, and unstoppable. No matter what challenge comes our way, we have proven that we can tackle and overcome the most complicated circumstances and rise to the top.
We are also reminded of the strength of our global team. None of this is possible, were it not for the enthusiastic efforts by our colleagues each day. In good times or in bad, we depend on trust, your belief that what we do matters, and that our efforts make a difference in the world.
We look back and are thankful to those that toiled at different times creating our unique culture, we say thank you for your efforts and your vision. We look forward and are grateful for that foundation to do great things, to reinvent and transform. So, as we say Happy 54th Birthday BDP, we navigate the difficult waters of 2020 but are eerily cognizant that they look much like they did in 1966. Times change, history records, we are given a gift…the chance to learn.
A chance to use those learnings to transform and create an agile BDP ready to take on anything the new world throws at us.
Remember: we got this.