Customer Care that satisfies, relates and creates the best experience

posted Mar 26, 2018, 9:46 AM by Connie Anderson

Customer care is the backbone to any organization.  This is the case at Pacific Coast Warehouse.  The PCW customer care group plays a huge part in the customer relationship.  They are the face to our organization – the people who talk directly to our customers every single day.  It’s a big job and not one to take lightly.

 

We have high expectations for this select team of individuals, so we give them the tools to do their jobs well.  We recruit people who care and have a heart for service and the customer.  We want these selected individuals to be accessible, knowledgeable and flexible.  We want them to invite the customer to a conversation.  But we know that this team isn’t the only thing that impacts our customer.  Our entire company is a customer care team – many don’t have direct contact, but everyone is represented when our Customer Care Representative (CCR) responds to our customer.  

 

Pacific Coast Warehouse looks at customer service in three facets:

 

RELATIONSHIP

The customer relationship must be built over time.  For PCW to retain customers, we understand that we need to know what is important to our customers.  We can’t service them based on what we think is right but what they think.  We don’t try to put a square peg in a round hole, in other words, we don’t push our agenda onto our customers.  We listen and learn about their challenges, what help they need, and what would make their jobs easier.  Then we execute on that.  PCW meets and exceeds the expectations.  But more importantly, we do it constantly . . . not just one time.  And over time, our relationship continues to grow, and our customers trust us more and more.  Why?  Because we do what we say we are going to do.

 

Our team responds quickly and gives timely feedback.  We commit to responding and we carry out that commitment quickly.

 

SATISFACTION

Having a satisfied customer who appreciates what you have done is quite rewarding.  At PCW we simply satisfy our customer.  We provide them information on their shipments and delivery times.  We handle exceptions with their customers and work diligently to resolve them.   We explain any discrepancies and give notifications of anything that they may need to know.  We communicate constantly electronically and personally.  Nothing can take away a personal conversation.

 

EXPERIENCE

Pacific Coast Warehouse looks at all the touchpoints that our customer interacts with our organization.   We want each touch to delight the customer.  But those touchpoints aren’t just with managers.  They are also with personnel in inventory control, warehousing, customer care, finance, transportation and more.  Our transparency in our actions give credence to our integrity and builds more trust in the relationship.  We know we won’t always do everything right, but we care.

 

PCW engages all employees with creating the outstanding customer experience.  Each and every employee is Pacific Coast Warehouse.  We are here to delight our customer.

 

 

 

How can you be more Carrier-friendly?

posted Mar 7, 2018, 7:17 AM by Look for More Information   [ updated Mar 7, 2018, 7:38 AM ]

Driver shortage isn’t going away.  Nor will tighter capacities and fewer choices.  So how do you tread through the treacherous path of these issues?

Pacific Coast Warehouse has approached the transportation challenges with fairness:

1)    We build long-term relationships with our carrier partners.  We are IN the market.  We don’t just have freight that ships here but we are here.  We understand the challenges that our carriers face each and every day.  Not with just the transportation industry-related issues but location issues with heavy traffic patterns in the southern California market.   Our network is stable because we’ve built those strategic relationship that are more reliable and result in consistency in service.

2)    Cost isn’t everything.  We want our customers to have competitive pricing.  But we also want

them to have excellent service.  There is a balance to that.  We negotiate what we think is competitive pricing for our customers that give them reliable service that meets their customer’s expectations.  We also want our carriers to feel that it is fair to them.  Our goal is to keep them financially healthy but rate structures and service expectations that are reasonable.

3)    Our warehouse facilities are located close to market and highways.  Both the Chino and Ontario facilities are located in prime locations that make pickup and delivery easier for our carrier partners.  Both locations are close to major highways that allow a carrier an ease of access when leaving our operations.  We work closely with our carriers to optimize the pickup times that help them.  Our constant communication by our Customer service team gives our carrier partner full access to shipments that require delivery with all delivery details available.

When our partners are challenged, we work with them to create a WIN-WIN resolution without jeopardizing our businesses.  Work with Pacific Coast Warehouse for your transportation needs.

Grading your Transportation Partners

posted Feb 20, 2018, 12:52 PM by Look for More Information

Choosing transportation carriers can be overwhelming.  There are hundreds of carriers within a market and you want to make sure your selected carrier addresses all your needs.  That’s where Pacific Coast Warehouse Company steps in.  We can ease your mind and free up your time by handling this process for you in the southern California market.

We’ve been doing this for over 90 years and have built some tremendous relationships of carriers who care about servicing our customers.  Here are some of the grading points that Pacific Coast Warehouse reviews before selecting carriers that handle our customer’s shipments.

 
  • Must be flexible.  We understand that our role is to make your life easier.  We also know that things happen and not everything goes as planned.  PCW’s carrier partners realize that flexibility is a necessary requirement.  Our carriers can handle special requirements and urgent deliveries as they occur.
  • Service area and frequency must be consistent.  PCWC has selected carriers that service the entire southern California market and that the frequency of delivery is consistent with our customer’s needs.
  • Sufficient capacity for regular and seasonal volumes must be available.  We want to make sure that our selected carriers will be available during all times of the year.  Our carrier partners commit to capacity volumes that ensure consistent rates for our customers.
  • Carrier must be financially sound.  We want to make sure our partners are financially stable.  Not only do we ask questions, but we keep an open eye to signs that can show potential concerns.  Discussions with existing customers can reveal any issues we may need to know.
  • Equipment condition must be capable of handling food-grade products.  We ensure that all equipment that is used for your shipments are not used for products that would pose a risk to food.  Our inspection of equipment when it arrives to our door will be key to identifying problems.
  • Service responsiveness must be thorough and accurate.   We want partners in all areas of our business that are like-minded when it comes to servicing customers.  We expect our carriers to be responsive in their communication.  We want to give you accurate and timely information.

Pacific Coast Warehouse determines the best-fit carrier for your business needs.  Our grading process is thorough and allows us to be selective in carrier relationships that will meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.  Only carriers who meet the above criteria are considered.  Once we know the above grading is excellent, then we negotiate a rate structure that satisfies market competitiveness. 

 

4 Reasons to Outsource Transportation

posted Jan 15, 2018, 6:09 AM by Look for More Information

It can be a hard decision to decide to outsource any of your logistic services.  In this day of thinning resources and time being a valuable commodity that you never have enough of, many are looking to the economic value of outsourcing.

It’s a big step but to continue growing, it is a step worth taking.  Outsourcing is not a new concept.  Many organizations have allowed others to provide services that are not their core competencies.

Pacific Coast Warehouse Company believes that we can provide you 4 benefits to outsourcing your transportation needs:

 1.     Expertise:  PCWC understands the market, the carrier and our clients.  The combination of these three allow us to create the best customer experience as we eagerly manage your shipments, timely and efficiently.

2.     Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency:  We have determined best fit carriers and have negotiated rates that are fair and competitive in the southern California market.  PCWC ensures that our clients to not have to go through the hassle of establishing local transportation relationships, outlining expectations, determining pricing needs or tracking performance.  We do that for you.  We know you – We understand what your expectations are.

3.     Flexibility:  Your business may have seasonal volume fluctuations.  PCWC can be flexible in your transport needs, we have built a network of options that allows volumes to never have capacity issues.  As your volumes build, our network usage scales up. 

4.     Time Savings:  Outsourcing can not only save you money but it can save you valuable time.  Allowing PCWC to handle the transportation services give you and your team more time to handle what is really important to your organization. 

Keep in mind, just because you outsource doesn’t mean that you lose control.  Now, you manage the process through performance-related metrics and analytics and don’t have to handle the mundane daily tasks that can eat up so much time.

Look to Pacific Coast Warehouse for your transportation needs in Southern California!

 

We do our part in the Transportation Chain of Responsibility

posted Dec 27, 2017, 9:04 AM by Look for More Information   [ updated Dec 27, 2017, 9:05 AM ]

Trucking safety on the highways is an important issue in the United States.  Over 70% of all freight is carried on a truck in the U.S. and this industry employs more than 3.5 million drivers.  While trucking accidents are a low percentage, the impact can be overwhelmingly destructive.

Through the years the trucking industry continues to implement programs and regulations intended to improve overall public safety.   Carrier’s safety ratings, BASICs scores, Hours of Service and other processes all help consumers educate themselves on which carriers are following industry standards and guidelines.

At PCWC, we take safety seriously whether in the warehouse or on a truck.  So, while we don’t own transportation assets we use carriers and our clients use carriers.  We don’t just simply hire a carrier.  We believe it is our responsibility to choose carriers whose policies and values comply with safety regulations in the industry.

As we go through the vetting process of carriers that represent the same philosophy as PCWC, we have 5 elements in safety we review.

1.     Safety ratings

2.     EPA Smartway rating

3.     Safety as a Core value

4.     Culture of Prevention

5.     Employee Empowerment

Pacific Coast Warehouse not only wants to serve our clients as expected but also in a safe and responsible way.  Partner with PCWC – we move product to market better!

Gift of Quality Service

posted Dec 19, 2017, 9:31 AM by Connie Anderson

Service excellence is hard to pin down since many perceive it in different ways.  However, a study (named SERVQUAL) by Zeithami, Parasuraman and Berry found that there were 5 areas that customers used in evaluating service which seem pretty spot on.  

As you see in the graph from the study, not all areas are equal.  But at Pacific Coast Warehouse, each of these areas touch on our PCW WAY quality process and are core to our organization.  This study just supports what we do and believe in but more importantly, how we approach our business and quality service offering.  We offer the gift of quality service to our customers outlined in these elements.

TANGIBLES – This area looks to the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, and personnel.  Overall everything a customer can see. 

PCW has robust processes that ensure that not only are first impressions impressive, but second, third and ongoing impressions too.  If you see a clean facility and people take pride in their environment, then more than likely, they will take pride in everything they do to serve their customers.

RELIABILITY – Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.

Many just want their 3PL provider to do what they say they are going to do.  That’s really not asking too much.  Pacific Coast does not provide empty promises.  We know that reliability over time results in trust.  If the relationship does not have trust, then there will be problems.  We not only want to perform accurately but meet the expectations of our customers.  We can only do that with repetitive and dependable results.

RESPONSIVENESS – Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service.

Today with the age of technology, it is not only necessary but expected to quickly react to inquiries and requests.  Customer Care is one of our top priorities.  Our Customer is important and information is timely.  Communicating constantly with our customers occurs in our service department.  We know that information must be up to date with quick responsiveness.

ASSURANCE – Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.

Pacific Coast Warehouse are the logistics experts.  We engage with our employees in not only functional training but in customer service.  We entitle them to make decisions and use their knowledge to determine the best approach.  We want our customers to know that not only does the senior management team have expertise but that is driven to all areas of the business.  Creating this depth of experts brings value to our customers and flexibility in the process. 

 EMPATHY – Caring, individualized attention the organization provides its customers.

We want passionate employees.  Passion for serving.  We want each customer to feel special and cared for.  This can’t be done with employees who don’t enjoy what they are doing.  Our Business Reviews with our customers include specific people that are involved in our customer’s business.  We want our customer to know the people that work on their business.  Having transparency in our relationships will help us understand the expectations and ongoing needs.

In this end of year season of peace on earth and goodwill towards others, PCW offers the gift of quality service.

·      Clean and compliant facilities where your inventories are being handled,

·      ease of mind with reliable services so you can enjoy your holiday,

·      personalized caring service from a PCW team that knows what is expected, and

·      responsive communication so you know that your customer is being served.

 

Pacific Coast Warehouse Roadmap to the Best Solution

posted Nov 30, 2017, 11:06 AM by Connie Anderson   [ updated Dec 1, 2017, 12:22 AM ]

Not all roads lead to the perfect solution.  At PCWC, we intentionally have not invested in transportation assets so that we can work with carrier partners and give our customers the best option for their shipments.   We don’t want to dilute that solution by encouraging an asset solution if it’s not the best option.   If it’s small parcel, LTL or Truckload, we work to give our customers the solution that fits their needs.

Our transportation service model is to have strong relationships with various carriers who have the same business and culture of service as Pacific Coast Warehouse.  With our customers’ interests in the forefront, we negotiate for fair and marketable freight rates, but more importantly, ensure a dependable and reliable delivery model.

We take on the responsibility of coordinating with the local carriers for pickup and delivery to meet your customers requirements so that this takes one item off of your “to do” list.  Managing the process all the way to delivery points gives value to your supply chain with reliable delivery service to your southern California customer.

 

Map out your transportation solution with Pacific Coast Warehouse.  We move product to market better!

Technology is a continuous change

posted Oct 24, 2017, 11:57 AM by Look for More Information   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 12:47 PM ]

Anyone who uses any type of technology knows that to stay current, technology options must be updated constantly providing new features and efficiency updates.

At Pacific Coast Warehouse, we have decided to integrate into a new Warehouse Management System that will provide our team and our customers with additional features and a more efficient process for operations.

In January of 2018, we will be implementing Zethcon’s Synapse WMS into the PCWC operations.  The combination of advanced capabilities and a hosted platform demonstrates PCWC’s commitment to reinvesting in our business for the benefit of current and future customers.  In the world of the cloud, this approach enhances our business continuity plan and allows us to manage updates to the WMS and keep our IT resources focused on servicing our customers.



“I am very familiar with the Synapse system and what it can provide to both our operation and to our customers.  We are most excited about the advanced fulfillment capabilities and the labor saving features such as task interleaving and two-step moves”   ---  Jim Emmerling, President

 

After reviewing several WMS options, the PCWC team determined to move over to the Zethcon product for several reasons: 

1)    Broadest functionality that meets the PCWC needs and the needs of our customers

2)    Zethcon implementations have a diverse grouping of customer requirements which we felt would accommodate the PCW client base.

3)    Personal experience with the Zethcon team has found them to be highly professional, knowledgeable and reliable.

 Our operational teams are working closely with the Zethcon team in identifying and developing a plan of action for a seamless transition.  We are excited about our technology direction and believe this change will continue to build our capabilities, streamline our operational processes and ultimately provide an enhancement to our customer experience.

 

Southern California . . . the ideal supply chain hub

posted Aug 24, 2017, 10:09 AM by Look for More Information

Southern California has proven to be one of the top (if not the top) distribution hubs for North America.  As speed to market plays a significant role in our supply chain world, this market is ideal in reaching vast populations. 

The proximity to 3 major harbors and ports, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and Port of San Diego, allows many shippers to import and export their goods to Asian countries and beyond.  The major export destinations include Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. The ports represent a major economic engine for the state and the nation.  Over 40% of imports enter the country through the California ports and over 30% of the nation’s exports depart through them.  The warm weather climate also brings an advantage with all year productivity where many other hub locations don’t enjoy.   The ports handled 598.3 million tons of freight valued at $1.7 trillion throughout the region in 2015.  This is a daily average of 1.6 million tons!  But access to ocean transportation isn’t the only advantage that the Southern California market brings to shippers, it’s the close proximity to all major interstates, airports and rail systems.

INLAND EMPIRE

The Inland Empire is a region in Southern California that covers more than 27,000 square miles of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  Originally a major center of agriculture this sub section of Southern California is now a mix of suburban and rural areas specializing in distribution, tourism, industrial and commercial development and civic organizations.  The economy is this area is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the nation boasting the 13th largest metropolitan market.

This logistics-friendly area was among 25 nationwide warehousing industries reviewed by The Boyd Co. Inc., a site selection firm.  By looking at a myriad of factors, the Inland Empire was concluded to be one of the top 10 places to be the most cost-effective to work in.  The area is at a crossroads of freeways, has an airport nearby and includes both hubs for UPS and FedEx.

The Inland Empire continues to lead the nation in industrial activity.  Large retail giants like Wal-Mart and now Amazon have entered the market in recent years and has resulted in a growth in the big box warehouse and the e-commerce market.  The E-commerce market growth is responsible for 40% of all new transaction as stated in the First Quarter 2017 Market Report for the Industrial Inland Empire market.

The Inland Empire in total represents almost 8000 building with over 500 million square feet.  The need for quality buildings with higher ceiling clearance, expanded truck lots, energy efficient light, modern fire suppression systems and functional office layouts are all in demand.

The coast continues to be expensive and migration into the Inland Empire region is expected to increase.

Pacific Coast Warehouse who has been in the southern California market since 1927, has strategically located their facilities in the heart of the Inland Empire.  Our facilities in Ontario and Chino provide over 600,000 square feet to companies who require quality locations in the market.  >>>  For more information on PCW in the California market

Business Reviews are critical in the 3PL-Customer Relationship

posted Aug 8, 2017, 6:33 AM by Look for More Information   [ updated Aug 16, 2017, 1:12 PM ]

Communication is critical in building trust in relationships.  Each person brings their own past experiences, history and expectations into it.  Plus people communicate differently – some are better at it than others.  This is why it is critical that Business Reviews are scheduled and performed between Third Party Logistics providers and their customers.  Because communication either makes or breaks a relationship.  When you’re in the trenches working each day, sometimes shortcuts are established, and in many cases, our communication style can be brief and about as clear as mud!

To build that true partnership between 3PL’s and their customers, clear communication is necessary to build trust and a bond that establishes that both organizations are on the same page, understanding the expectations and needs to execute on the perfect order.

Business Reviews allow you to optimize your relationship by establishing short and long-term goals.  The most effective reviews should include 1) reviewing the recent past, 2) evaluating the present and 3) preparing for the future.  This structure allows data to be presented, benchmarking to be established and open conversations to anticipated challenges and opportunities.

However, while the structure of the Business Review is essential for both parties to prepare in advance, it will never be successful without some key communication tips:

STOP AND LISTEN

We want so much to be heard that we don’t spend time listening.  Make sure that both parties have time to speak.  During meetings it’s easy to want to keep things moving but sometimes we miss out on some of the deeper discussions that need to be said and to be heard.  Make sure you don’t get caught up in the moment talking about your point.  Make sure you HEAR what the other party is saying.  Reflect on their comments by restating or rephrasing what they just said.  Don’t be condescending about it but it helps by slowing your mind down and really hearing what is being said.

 LOOK FOR NONVERBAL SIGNALS

We communicate a variety of ways.  Nonverbal communication through body language, voice tone and inflection and eye contact can tell you things that may not be coming out of their mouths.  This takes time and patience but is necessary if you want to really engage in deeper conversations.

·      Folded arms --- are they feeling defensive or closed off?

·      Louder and aggressive tone – is the conversation escalating or becoming emotionally involved?  Take a step back to make sure you’re hearing.

·      Are they focused on other things (their computer, perhaps?) – are they disinterested in what you’re saying?

·      Lack of eye contact – is this a difficult conversation that they are having and there is some discomfort?

BE OPEN AND HONEST

It’s difficult to be vulnerable and authentic.  However, being transparent in your conversations allows you to have good and open communication.  Honesty can set you up for some disappointment but can also allow the full potential of the relationship to be possible.  Being REAL in your communication allows you to understand what is important to others and allows them a window to what is important to you.

GIVE YOUR FULL FOCUSED ATTENTION

With so many demands of our time, it’s easy to get disrupted with emails and phone calls.  However, this dedicated time together allows you to concentrate fully on the here and now.  It’s an investment in the future of your relationship.  Stay focused.

You can also get sidetracked in conversations.  You start with a topic that is on target and the next thing you know you’re talking about everything from your vacation trip to the new grandbaby!  While those conversations are needed and necessary in building the relationship, there is a time and place.  Our scheduled Review time is specific so it’s important to stay focused on the topic at hand and don’t veer off in a direction that eats up time and doesn’t allow you to talk to the points of the meeting agenda.

Building relationships can be rewarding with clear communication.  Business Reviews are specific times in your relationship to “regroup” per se.  Use those times effectively and efficiently and you will see the trust between both parties continue to build and flourish.  Pacific Coast Warehouse believes in authentic communication with their customers.  By LISTENING, by COLLABORATING and by EXECUTING they have been able to sustain a business in an ever-changing environment for 90 years!  This powerful combination gives PCW customers a competitive advantage.

 

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