Entrepreneurial Business Life-Cycle
As demonstrated by the experience of most successful companies, entrepreneurs succeed in building businesses around a superior skill set and special passion for a specific area that they know best. This special knowledge and expertise in that business area position the enterprise on solid grounds for growth and success, nourished by the depth of experience and knowledge of the brains behind the venture. Although this is true for all enterprises, it is specially critical for Chemical sales and distribution companies that have unique complexities and regulations.
With business growth come new tasks, responsibilities and key requirements necessary to sustain business development and expansion. Often, these may not be covered by the initial skill set of the start-up team. Yet out of expediency and necessity, these responsibilities are commonly assumed by the new business and management eventually hire people to assume the day to day functions. Apart from sales and distribution skills, now you have to contend with transportation logistics, rates and a wide range of governmental rules and regulations, environmental concerns, chemical warehousing issues and order fulfillment procedures.
Your great ideas steadily grow the business and generate external success and momentum within your market segment. This, in turn generates positive excitement within your organization as the sense of accomplishment becomes evident. It is exactly at this stage where you need to pause, take stock, and re-assess your position. Your major challenge at this point is to resist the assumption that that you have arrived and your hard work and skills have paid off. It is at this stage, more than ever, that you need to focus on optimal business practices including automation, outsourcing and productivity improvements. These will become the essential drivers to survive and thrive within a very competitive marketplace.
You have built a very successful sales organization that has tremendous market potential and product knowledge which have been the drivers behind your success and growth. You are now starting to realize that you have less and less time to focus on sales as you need to manage logistics and ensure that your sales orders are fulfilled. Despite hiring additional staff to handle logistics and thus increasing your operating expenses, you still find that a substantial portion of your time is required to manage your growing logistics department, and therefore taking time away from your core sales function.
Your sales growth starts to suffer and your revenue potential is not realized due to increasing time and resources demands for managing the day to day logistics. All that time and effort identifying and sourcing the best chemical trucking companies, or heated transport carriers. Making sure all required information are in the hands of your hazmat trucking company, then regularly track and trace your shipment to ensure on-time delivery. As you attend to all these critical details, you are sidetracked and entangled in the operational requirements necessary to satisfy your customers, to the detriment of your sales efforts.
There is no doubt that efficient logistics activities are essential to your continued sales cycle success and must be a major component of your operations. The question is; “Is there a better / alternate way of fulfilling this part of the operation without negatively impacting your primary function of selling?”
The real and viable option is to partner with a company that can assume the logistics’s “load” and responsibility? Perhaps it is time for you to re-focus on your core competencies and join the growing number of successful chemical distributors who currently utilize a reputable 3PL to manage their transportation and logistics services.
A good reputable 3PL will have the expertise and resources to manage your chemical transportation requirements and constantly monitor and assess the following factors that can affect your industry:
- Risk analysis impacting your supply chain
- Compliance with customs and cross-border requirements
- Environmental and sustainability considerations.
- Cost effectiveness
It pays to focus on your core business and let a specialized chemical transportation expert handle your logistics requirements.