Happy New Year 2019!
It’s that time again for my annual year-end review and outlook for the coming New Year. For the past 32 years (although I might have missed the January 1st deadline along the way) this ritual allows me to share some insight and hope for the year ahead.
We started 2018 – 13 months into the JBS/Koch acquisition (December 1, 2016) – with a clear 5-year plan for change and growth (15% – 20%) which is essential in today’s competitive 3PL industry. While the first year was focused on the “Culture Change” of the old JBS (Sam and Alec) with new JBS (Koch HR, IT and a different Org Chart), the 2nd year was more focused on improving our infrastructure and building a solid base.
Coming out of the acquisition, although JBS had the necessary assets and employees for continued moderate growth of around 5%, we knew that in 2018 we needed to make significant investments in people and equipment to achieve our 5-year plan:
- First: we needed to increase our labor force
We did this by hiring skilled warehouse labor, experienced customer service, and sales development personnel.
- Second: revisit job descriptions
For example, we have moved away from our Carrier Reps (dispatchers) doing customer service functions like tracing and making pickup appointments. Now they dedicate their efforts finding the best qualified carrier, while a team of Customer Service Personnel handle inside sales support. We also hired an LTL specialist to help generate business for Koch Logistics LTL common carrier program.
- Third: we needed to invest in equipment and space
Another significant event in 2018 was the 40% increase in warehouse space we obtained when we took over the 999 Bilter building in June. This included an investment of almost $500,000 in new sit-down forklifts, standups, and racking plus new workstations, computers and -soon to come- new phone system. We also added to our transportation fleet with new tractors and refer trailers.
All of these changes were planned and executed in 2018 – a very busy year!
Turning to 2019 – to achieve our 5-Year Plan of 15%-20% sustained growth, we will focus on 2 things:
- Providing exceptional service to our current customer base. Every one of us has a hand in making sure our existing customers are getting the best possible, mistake-free service.
- Obtaining new customers. We are cultivating a team of Business Development personnel which will focus their efforts on bringing new opportunities to JBS.
What does this mean to you? As you may know, JBS has adopted a quarterly bonus plan from Koch Logistics that allows qualified employees to share in a portion of the profits that were generated. My goal is to ensure you are getting that bonus 4 times a year!
I am 100% convinced that these new investments along with our dedicated and talented workforce will bring us much success in 2019! I am also very grateful that you have chosen to be part of our JBS team and I wish you and your families much happiness and good health in 2019.
All the Best –