As the world-class leader of evaporative media and portable evaporative cooling solutions for more than 30 years now, Portacool is proud of the world-class teams that serve as the foundation of our organization. Our logistics team has faced unique and unprecedented challenges over the past few years. How have they approached those challenges? Today we highlight an interview with several key team members.
What does a typical day look like for a member of the logistics team?
Consistently inconsistent. The Logistics team members work with multiple departments within Portacool, and several third-party entities, to ensure each day is successful. From Traffic Coordinators to Material Handlers to Inventory Control to Customer Service, this team plays a crucial role in ensuring operations flow smoothly. A portion of the Logistics team is responsible for getting our inbound containers, trucks, LTL, and parcels in a timely manner so that production can stay on track to produce a quality product. The team has to be able to adapt to the unexpected in order to make the end result favorable to all parties.
What unique challenges has the logistics team seen in the past year?
The past year has brought a number of challenges. Along with many other manufacturers, we’ve seen capacity restraints and increased freight rates for both inbound and outbound movement of freight. However, our 3PL logistic partners assist in minimizing the negative effect this can have. Increased lead times from outside suppliers has caused us to, in turn, present increased lead times to our customers. And on top of that, the uncharacteristically cold Texas weather added some challenges – the first Texas freeze resulted in 3 days of lost production and shipments, and the second Texas Freeze resulted in 8 days of lost production and shipments.
However, even with unforeseen challenges, our team stepped up to problem solve and did everything in our control to ensure our customers received high-quality products and world-class customer service.
How has the team overcome the challenges brought on by COVID?
Our team went above and beyond – putting in the extra effort and understanding we must continue to operate with the goal of satisfying our customers. We added carriers for both domestic and global freight movement to combat the capacity restraints brought on by COVID. We banded together as a team to fill orders, coordinate shipping, and come up with solutions without ever sacrificing the quality that comes standard with the Portacool name.
What do you think sets you apart from other logistics teams?
The Portacool Culture and “Customer Service” attitude we convey. We are dedicated to excellence and commitment to our team members, customers, quality, and performance in everything we do. That includes everything from answering the phone, to shipping an order, to working with the drivers of the local trucking company – we want to make sure we are courteous and knowledgeable in our interactions and that everyone we come into contact with leaves satisfied.
What is the greatest strength of the Portacool logistics team?
Two things come to mind. First – tenured personnel. We have been fortunate enough to maintain a core group of team members who take pride in their work. They also understand the importance of their role in the quality product and service Portacool provides. Second – agility! The past year has proven that we need to be more agile than ever. In addition to the other challenges, we started the year with a brand-new operating system. The tenured team we are so proud of fully embraced this change as a new opportunity. Our early season shipments were significantly higher than previous years, so this meant they had to learn the new system in a shorter period of time than others to ensure we provided that world-class experience to our customers.