- In the future, customers can select between ten express products
- April sees start of national plus 9 a.m. and Next Day Guarantee services
- CEO Wolfgang P. Albeck: “Logical development step to meet changed customer needs
- “No” to centralisation: customer service with a decentral alignment
- Good timing thanks to consolidation gap: a major player has left the express market
This year sees trans-o-flex Schnell-Lieferdienst becoming an express service provider. “On the one hand, this means new products, new services and also new ways of thinking”, says Wolfgang P. Albeck, CEO of trans-o-flex. “On the other hand, however, this is not a turning point for our company but the next logical step in the development as well as a reaction to the changed needs of our customers, who we will offer even better services in the future.”
The first concrete visible changes in the further development will be two new express products, which trans-o-flex will launch in April. "Then, we’ll also offer a 9 o‘ clock service and guaranteed deliveries on the next working day, thus filling two gaps in our range of express services." From April, trans-o-flex customers will be able to choose from a total of ten express products (see box). “This puts us in the top group in Germany, even when compared with other express service providers.”
Commenting on the background of this development, Albeck says: “When it was founded 47 years ago, trans-o-flex set a new standard as a fast delivery service. To date, trans-o-flex, with a standard delivery time of less than 24 hours, is still the top provider in the area of shipments without time guarantees.” According to the latest representative customer survey, a large majority of its customers confirmed that the company is faster and safer than most other logistic service providers and that it also has a higher overall quality. This is all the more true since trans-o-flex does not focus exclusively on the transportation of parcels but also transports complete shipments of combined pallets and parcels. “I believe that we are already the quality market leader in this segment today.”
At the same time, the customer survey revealed that criteria such as delivery time, recipient satisfaction and tracking information are at the top of the customers’ wish list. “Customers want to be totally sure that a shipment will arrive the next day. And sometimes they need the shipment to be delivered by a specific time. And this is exactly what we will guarantee them as an express service.”
Fast express night route network as operational backbone
In particular, the early deliveries on the next day will be made operationally possible by an additional, star-shaped express night route network, which trans-o-flex already installed back in April 2016. This plus star accelerates overnight transports and forms the backbone of trans-o-flex’s express services. To deliver the plus star service, additional transporters are used on special night routes. "Thanks to this network and the further optimisation of the interfaces, we realise decisive time advantages and ensure that particularly urgent shipments reach their destination depots on time," explains Albeck. "The plus star network is one example of how we are advancing the development of our express service: We are investing in the quality of our service. Express is the logical continuation of our quality strategy.” He believes that quality alone ensures the reliability that express products need.
More than just scheduled deliveries: express as a standard
However, trans-o-flex’s claim to being an express service provider goes even further. "The goal of 100 % quality does not only apply to pure transport processes. The goal must be 360° quality." Express must become a standard that encompasses all processes: how long should it take to make an offer? How long should it take to clarify a customer request? How long should it take to clarify and respond to queries about bills? How fast do we answer the phone?
Albeck will be placing one focus of the process improvement on direct customer contact. The key question is: “Do customers perceive us as an express service provider, and are they completely satisfied with the service we provide? That’s what counts at the end of the day." Albeck wants to examine all customer processes to see if and how processes can be accelerated and sources of error eliminated. Last but not least, this includes "reducing bureaucracy, automating documentation, eliminating duplicate or superfluous checklists, standardising and simplifying processes wherever possible."
Focus on the customer: gradual decentralisation of the customer service
To implement these plans, Albeck has already initiated two organisational changes. "We will set up a Customer Integration Management system in our IT department." The department will deal with the acquisition of new customers or support customers with system adjustments. In addition to this, Albeck also intends to gradually decentralise the company’s customer service. “Numerous customers have made it clear to me how important the decentralised structure of customer service is for them. We are taking this into account by moving closer to our customers again. For individual customers, we will, upon their request, even establish a joint customer service."
Consolidation gap: a major player has left the express market
From Albeck’s point of view, the moment for the company’s further development into an express service provider is opportune, as the market is currently going through a phase of consolidation. “With the acquisition of TNT by FedEx more than one year ago, one competitor has practically left the market. trans-o-flex has the potential to fill this gap and establish itself as an express delivery company with special industry solutions, especially for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, electronics and cosmetics as well as other sensitive products. As the only service provider, trans-o-flex continues to offer temperature-controlled express deliveries in the ranges of between 15 and 25 °C and 2 and 8 °C and is also examining additional international express services.
The trans-o-flex Group’s core competence focuses on the provision of logistic solutions for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and consumer electronics industries as well on the transportation of other high-quality, sensitive goods. For the transportation of pharmaceutical products, trans-o-flex has built a nationwide network that includes active temperature control and full documentation. To this end, the company, in its Pharma Logistics business area, has installed transport systems that are suitable for the transportation of pharmaceutical products in the temperature ranges of between 15 and 25 °C and between 2 and 8 °C in compliance with the EU directives for the transportation of pharmaceutical products. In its Technology Logistics business area, trans-o-flex organises transports for customers from other industries, mainly consumer electronics. These customers also benefit from the high standards with respect to safety, hygiene, reliability and transparency which trans-o-flex has established for the pharmaceutical industry. In its Contract Logistics business area, trans-o-flex bundles services from storage and picking & packing up to individual value-added services. At an international level, trans-o-flex focuses on the implementation of logistic concepts via the networks EUROTEMP (temperature-controlled logistics) and EURODIS (in 36 European countries). Both nationally and internationally, trans-o-flex, in contrast to 100-% parcel services or forwarding agencies, delivers both goods in parcels and on pallets and also offers special services, such as the transportation of hazardous goods (without being limited to small quantities), express and time-window deliveries, shipment consolidation as well as direct deliveries. Thus, the company covers the entire logistic chain from procurement and warehousing to distribution and fulfilment. In 2017, annual sales of the trans-o-flex Group, which has a workforce of approximately 2,060 employees, amounted to ca. € 459 million. For more information, go to www.trans-o-flex.com.
trans-o-flex Express GmbH
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