Considering the increasingly competitive global marketplace, companies must grab every opportunity to get ahead of their competitors. This is especially true in the field of logistics.
"Sophisticated logistics management encompasses a wide range of services, for example, from exporting rice to shipping precious stones. Transportation is merely one function within the broader strategic scope," explains Analdo Li, general manager, Crown Logistics.
To differentiate from its competitors in the global arena, Crown Logistics has in place a focused strategy, which hinges on creating specialist services for different industries. According to Mr Li, this is particularly important when it comes to luxury consumer goods such as fashion and fashion accessories, cosmetics and hotel logistics.
"To offer the best possible services, we offer clients in our focused segments a complete package, including the vital components of warehouse, inventory and distribution management," Mr Li adds.
With a proven track record in more than 200 locations worldwide, Crown Logistics not only provides warehouse space, but also has the expertise to provide total solutions with physical handling capability.
In addition to carrying out value added services on merchandise, the company also provides a range of integrated consulting services. Detailed quality control processes ensure that accurate inventories are drawn up at all times and orders shipped expediently.
"Our sales team works closely with clients to identify their needs and establish efficient and cost-effective systems that correspond with their requirements. Since different client companies require unique models, we adopt a 'demand-chain' approach," Mr Li notes. "This means that it is crucial for our staff to have a solid understanding of all Crown's operations."
Crown Logistics sales staff typically start off working in non-sales divisions such as customer service and operations where they are able to learn about every aspect of the company's work, gaining first-hand information and hands-on experience.
Mr Li believes that new recruits with academic qualifications related to the field benefit from working their way up. "This way, they learn to implement the theoretical knowledge they gained at university while picking up the required practical know-how through on-the-job experience," he says.
Once new staff members have gained a thorough understanding of the company's unique mode of operation and structure, they receive further training prior to joining the outstanding sales workforce.
"Candidates should be prepared for a continuous and steep learning curve since the logistics industry works closely with market players," Mr Li stresses. "Staff must be au fait with changing environments and requirements when they tailor-make suitable solutions for different clients."
The day-to-day tasks of the sales team include selling and closing deals. The first step is prospecting and presentation, which entails identifying potential clients and introducing them to Crown's services.
The most important requirement for sales staff is to establish exactly what the client needs, in order to assess how Crown can assist. Once the employees have established this, they can proceed to draft an initial proposal. If the client is happy with the proposal, the next step is to draw up a quotation and, finally, a detailed contract including the service agreement.
"Our professionalism lies in the ability to accurately assess our clients' logistics needs," Mr Li points out. "Through analytical thinking and common sense, we combine the information we have with the client's budget and business plan to come up with a solution that incorporates practical action with the resources available."
Salespeople should ensure that they provide outstanding service at all times, by being proactive in tailoring solutions and monitoring the execution of the job, as well as responding to problems.
With a worldwide demand for experienced professionals in the field, Crown offers competitive remuneration packages. Recent statistics have shown that up to eight million management positions were available in the logistics sector in China alone.
"There are many opportunities for good team players in this market-driven sector, and it is common for people to move into executive positions from sales functions," Mr Li notes. "Passion is key to success because it gives you the energy to overcome daily challenges."
Logistics experts interact with people from a broad spectrum in a dynamic working environment. They meet new clients on a daily basis, working with anyone from chief executive officers and chief financial officers to warehouse operators.
"A 'live to learn' and 'learn to live' mentality will help an employee to respond to the everyday challenges of the job," Mr Li concludes. "On the other hand, providing perfect solutions to satisfy all our clients and enhance their businesses brings immense job satisfaction."