There are many moving parts in the business of logistics. Cargo. Warehouses. Trucks. And miles and miles of highway. But what ultimately fuels all these necessary components are the most important pieces: Agents, customers, and teamwork. Since its founding in 1970, Atlas Logistics® has made it a point to focus on its people— internal and external—as a secret weapon to capturing wins and ensuring success.
“We have managed to maintain long-term customers that have stayed with us for many years,” says Phil Wahl, President and COO of Atlas Logistics. “They have evolved over the years, but we have always had a solid core group that has kept us moving forward.” Wahl credits his internal direct sales team, mixed with the integrity and service excellence of the Agent network, for the company’s continued business growth and relationship management, plus a drive to expand capabilities into new areas with great potential—like final-mile delivery for the e-commerce sector.
“A big key for us is staying current in the market. It is one of the reasons we are focusing on final mile and have made strategic acquisitions with companies like TopHAT Logistical Solutions™. Consumers want things faster and they do not want to go to a store, and we saw that as a strategic opening for us,” says Wahl. For Atlas Logistics, one hallmark stands above the rest when it comes to great service: being forthcoming. The company must sell what it is good at and what it can realistically achieve, not overpromise to a customer to secure a win if it cannot translate that into long-term business. Says Wahl,
“If you do not communicate clearly and honestly, you are going to build a reputation for yourself that you do not want in the marketplace. Our best-selling tool is the Agent network. There are not many companies that have the quality of warehouses across the United States and Canada that we have. Our Agents are the best in the business, and we utilize and sell that every chance we get.” Another key to securing lasting wins is developing partnerships with customers and making sure they know that Atlas Logistics is there to help and serve them, not just itself.
Wahl says he understands that he is a cost center for his customers and that they must work in tandem to keep those costs under control and within budget, while still providing the level of service expected from Atlas®. Frequently that will require his team to look for opportunities to improve and streamline efficiencies, all while keeping clear lines of communications open.
“It is all about transparency,” says Wahl. “We do not hide anything. You must be very transparent with your customers and build that relationship of trust so that when they have a problem and need a solution, they think of you. We want to be a part of that supply chain solution they are looking for. That is what helps make us valuable to those customers for the long haul.” To maintain its success, Wahl says that Atlas Logistics will remain focused on what it does best.
“We will continue to build out our network of carriers and final-mile providers and make sure that we are continually improving what we do. That is what will drive us forward, help us win business, and sustain the business that we have today. We are going to keep doing what we are doing and strive to get better at it every day.”