Yusen Logistics Kicks Off New Global Initiative
Since the merger of NYK Logistics and Yusen Air and Sea in 2010, Yusen Logistics has blazed a trail that has led them to becoming one of the world’s leading logistics and supply chain management companies.
However, innovating isn’t just a onetime undertaking; it takes continuous effort to push a company forward. To this end, Yusen Logistics recently announced their “Transform 2025” initiative. This new vision has many elements to it, but at the heart of it is a customer focused attitude. Along these same lines, a decision was made to move the regional office for South Asia & Oceania (SAO) Region from Singapore to Thailand to work more closely with their customer base throughout Asia.
To get a better understanding of what this move entailed and for a broader overview on Yusen Logistics new initiative, we recently sat down and spoke with Mr. Check Poh Lee, President and Chief Regional Officer South Asia & Oceania Region at their newly relocated regional office in Bangkok, Thailand.
The SAO regional office is one of five total in the world, with the others covering Japan, Europe, Americas, and East Asia. The SAO region is one of the company’s largest and covers an expansive range of countries from the Indian Subcontinent to the Oceania Region, excluding North East Asia. The SAO office was originally located in Singapore, but to be closer to their customer base and to be more centrally located, the regional office recently moved to the heart of Bangkok in Thailand.
“Thailand, and South East Asia, is one of the top manufacturing destinations in the world,” said Mr. Lee. “With the exception of China, this is one of the highest producing areas for manufacturing goods and is of great importance to our group. Part of the reason we moved our regional office to Bangkok was the location. It’s situated right in the middle of where much of the manufacturing activities are happening. This is a great place to be for a number of reasons, but being on the ground level with customers and manufacturers is particularly important to fully understanding their needs.”
Mr. Lee wanted to stress that the new regional offices role within Yusen Logistics isn’t to overtake the duties of the local office. To the contrary, they are here to help support them with whatever they may need. He explained, “The regional offices role here is to be a cost center. We’re not here to get involved in the day-to-day operations of the local offices. We’re here to support them with any bids they may receive from clients or if they have any issues that may arise in order to keep the operation running smoothly. We’re happy with this setup, and we don’t want to extend our reach too far and become a burden on local offices.”
For customers in Thailand, this means that they can still contact the local Yusen Logistics Thailand office, where they can assist customers throughout Thailand and the region as a whole. Even more so, having the regional office in the same city only strengthens the offering that Yusen Logistics Thailand can offer customers with the global knowledge and support that the regional office can offer. Mr. Lee said, “We’ve seen that being closer to our customers in this area is already producing results. It’s a real benefit for customers to put them at ease, that they know that we have a lot of experience in this country and our experiences from abroad can be brought to their local situation as well.”
Coinciding with the shift of their SAO regional office, Yusen Logistics announced details of their “Transform 2025” initiative, which is a shared vision and strategy for the future of the company. The company has laid out clear guidance on how they plan to become a more customer-centric organization with closer connections. To do this, the company needs to be able to understand and adapt to meet customers’ ever changing needs.
When you get a new customer, it’s important that the same amount of energy you spent in acquiring them is used to keeping them happy with your service. To lose a customer is very easy, a lot of care and attention has to go into building a long-lasting relationship with customers.
“I am excited about the new initiative which covers all aspects of Yusen Logistics, and should have a significant impact on our company globally, regionally, and at a local level. I’m especially looking forward to the new value proposition to our customers, our suppliers and our colleagues. The business is changing, and it’s all about making connections and long-term relationships with customers. By understanding our customers’ business better, we in turn can provide the best quality service possible,” said Mr. Lee.
Customers nowadays are looking for the total package; supply chain management, contract logistics, as well as air/sea/land transportation. Businesses like Yusen Logistics are moving in a smart direction, by looking to provide these solutions for customers. However, this is much more complicated than just selling freight. A business needs to develop a sales team that is knowledgeable and able to understand customer requirements to truly succeed.
We’re not just simply a service provider, we’re more of a partner for our customers’ businesses.
Mr. Lee said, “Logistics is all about reaching out to customers and not being afraid to take on a challenge. Matching customer requirements is critical and being flexible is key. This is one of our biggest challenges. While systems and processes are of course important, you need to have flexibility built into your company to adapt to customer needs. You also need to have a group of very talented people who can take care of customers. They must be actively involved with customers and their business. You can see it works, as we have many customers that have stuck with our services for a very long time. This also means that we can cater to all sizes of customers. Our services aren’t only for multi-national companies. We have been expanding greatly to become a truly global company.”
To differentiate themselves from the competition, Mr. Lee says that Yusen Logistics emphasizes more on their service quality, as well as their relationship with customers. “The cost to acquire a customer is very high, and it takes a lot of time, effort and resources. So, when you get a new customer, it’s important that the same amount of energy you spent in acquiring them is used to keeping them happy with your service. To lose a customer is very easy, a lot of care and attention has to go into building a long-lasting relationship with customers.”
“We’re not just simply a service provider, we’re more of a partner for our customers’ businesses. This is due in part to Yusen Logistics being a Japanese company, as I’ve found they traditionally value this type of long-term perspective on making relationships. While we are a Japanese company, we’re certainly focused on the global stage, as we continue to expand and cater to more than just Japanese clientele. The true strengths we put forth as a company are the togetherness, teamwork, and flexibility that we can offer. The difference is clear; when we work together and achieve success, the fruits of what’s reaped are then shared together.