Our hybrid model allows us to listen to and understand our clients’ pain points, and respond with feasible service solutions as it is designed to manage deflections and provide options. Even in crucial and unstable times like we have experienced over the past few months, our business model stood strong and the relationships we have with our clients were a fundamental element that we continue to nurture. We have remained a constant presence in their business through regular phone calls and virtual meetings to understand what they are facing on a daily and weekly basis, helping forecast what they need from us and determining how we can better service them. This allows us to continue to build and nurture what we set out to do from day one: establish a transparent, honest and open relationship with our clients, where we build together and where our clients trust us to safely, intelligently and securely deliver their product.
Our clients are our partners, and we are only successful if they are, which is why we are comfortable reducing profitability when we know what the result of the long game will be for both parties, as we did with one of our newer food & beverage clients. “With it having been produce season, we saw volumes peak with 70% growth from one day to the next without warning,” states Fuel’s Vice President of Operations, Peter Perrella, “And we marginalized our profits as costs are high, while still finding the capacity to ensure that the volume that was given to us was maintained, because our goal is always to build long, confident partnerships with our clients.” A significant part of that confidence is not only the service we provide, but the assets we utilize, including our offering this client unplanned warehouse space to respond to their inventory overflow needs.
Our warehouse, equipped with a fully integrated, cloud-based WMS, allowed our client to give us an additional 70 loads a week and we in turn were able to provide them with access to real-time visibility of their freight, inventory management and order fulfillment. These operations require a vast amount of flexibility, assets, technology and people that help support and facilitate the complexities of logistics.
Our process improvement initiative made it so that when the major supply chain deflection hit as a result of the pandemic, we did not skip a beat. Instead, we were able to continue our constant pursuit of a better way, whether it be from makeshift offices or in the middle of homeschooling. It helped us make smart decisions and identify solutions for markets that were drastically shifting daily, while keeping us connected to each other, our clients, and our network. “Our investment in technology and process improvement, as well as our commitment to our relationships, are what have gotten us through the last few months,” says Fuel CEO and founder, Robert Piccioni, “They are a big part of why we’re surviving.” We adapted along with our clients, listening, learning, and providing the best suited solutions to their individual needs, because we understand that even during times like this, it is not just about securing a load – it is about the ownership of lanes, of contracts, the commitment to our network, our hybrid model and the value that this all brings to our clients. At its core, we have navigated the pandemic with our clients the way we always do – as a two-way street to a better way: mutual understanding, mutual profitability, mutual growth.