For years, the supply chain has been little to do with customers. It’s been about process, and it’s not hard to see why. Supply chains are complex beasts – made up of several links in a tangled up chain. Over time, they weren’t getting any simpler. If anything, they were getting more complex, reliant on multiple parties and harder to visualise.

So how did the industry react to increasing complexity? They made everything process-driven and the customer became an afterthought. After nearly a decade of working this way, I wondered if it would ever change. Until I joined Zencargo.

Why I joined Zencargo

I have worked in supply chain for 20 years. During that time I’ve had a number leadership roles within multinational forwarders and held senior roles within retailers, looking to ship the right product to the right place at the right time. I know all too well the stress of delays, climbing lead times and mind-numbing bureaucracy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with great people, and I’ve had invaluable experiences along the way. But I couldn’t help asking myself “what if I could make this better? What if supply chains were easier for companies?

Fast forward (no pun intended) to today and at Zencargo, I’m finally doing exactly that. Customer-focus always used to be a bit of a buzzword, but now I feel like we’re living up to it. It’s not just a poster on the wall that we aspire to. It’s in everything we do, from picking up the phone, to when visiting clients on site. It’s refreshing to put the customer first.

But I know what you’re thinking – “anyone can say they’re customer-centric, what makes you any different?”

To answer that, here’s a few concrete examples:

We’re flexible. Company processes can be like sausage factories. They focus on doing one thing well: making sausages. That’s great for ‘sausage lovers’, but what happens if one day you fancy a burger?

In the context of the supply chain, that means little room for flexibility. It means getting customers to fit into your processes, and not being able to move to their needs. Because of this approach, the customer experience can suffer.

At Zencargo, we don’t start with how supply chains should work. We start with the customer and work backwards. This approach means our customers are happier and stay with us longer because we’re able to be honest with them. We’re not just tied into forcing prices down on, say air freight or road haulage; instead, we can work with them to deliver the best possible outcome for them and their customers.

We don’t have one solution, but lots of bespoke solutions according to what fits the customer best.

We move fast. In larger companies, decisions can get kicked around, passing through a number of stages and various rungs of the ladder, taking months to get approved.

On the flip side, Zencargo is not hindered by big company processes. Working in a dynamic, agile team has been a breath of fresh air. It means that we can move quickly to get the best outcomes for our client. If I want to suggest a change to our product it takes days or weeks, not months to implement.

It’s still early in my Zencargo career, but I’m already excited for what’s to come. The developers in our tech team are working on brilliant ideas to make our customers’ lives easier. As for the juicy details, you’ll have to wait and see – but I promise you it’ll be worth the wait.