Customer relationship management for terminals

For industry outsiders this is perceived as a simple task for terminal companies – after all you can only have so many shipping lines at one terminal.
But any terminal executive worth his salt knows that reality is very different. Shipping lines are a myriad of departments, regional and local offices. But most importantly they are organisations with many individuals that partake in the choice of terminal services.

In addition, most terminals are today embarking on managing the hundreds and potentially thousands of beneficiary cargo owners (BCO’s) and intermediaries that for most terminals represent both paying customers as well as influencers on liner choice of terminal. Do you have the process, systems and people to do this?

At InduStreams, we know that terminals face a complex eco system of more than 1,000 decision makers that impact top-line growth and retention because we have worked in both terminals and lines.

To manage this, terminal teams are lean on resources and equipped with insufficient means. In every case we see – revenue opportunities are left unexplored – and for good reasons given the means available. Good news is – now there is a way.

What are the primary challenges?

When asked to point to challenges, terminal executives consistently mention:

  • Limited resources to manage the magnitude and complexity of Liner and BCO decision-makers
  • Lack of transparency and structure for sales team and management to effectively drive a funnel of revenue opportunities
  • Mediocre customer engagement practices with low impact from most customer interactions
  • Unsustainable reliance on individuals and manual processes to drive top line

When asked how this impacts their business the answer is: “Money is clearly leaking as a direct impact from only being staffed and equipped to meet this challenge with a 60-80% solution”.

 What solution components are required to meet these challenges?

Terminal teams dealing with these challenges on an operational and strategic level all point to a few components to excel in driving top-line through customer management:

  • Increasing sales force lifting power by leveraging best in class processes and system solutions
  • One single platform for all members to drive pipeline, relation management and tracking
  • Industry leading customer engagement practices for maximum impact
  • Systematic and automated customer data handling and governance

There are many generic solutions available in the market but only one ideal for terminal customer relation management. We have developed a customised terminal solution based on terminal needs on the most cost competitive base we could establish to make the benefit case self-evident. It’s part CRM, part process, part best practise, part management tool and much more – to form the solution terminals need.

Our solution is made by terminal executives, and combines knowledge from sales professionals, liners and customers plus brings the latest technology from other industries to terminals – to offer a real competitive edge for our users. Because we are from the industry and work in the industry, we know it has to be:

  • Cost effective to deploy with clear monetary benefits
  • Quick and easy to do, from start to finish can be executed in 2 months

So that’s how we have made it. For a snapshot of our solution and a short demo watch our introduction video:

Can you honestly say that your top line is optimized to 100% of it’s potential? If just 5% improvement would come from systematic customer management on a top-line of e.g. $100Mn – year after year – would it be interesting? Contact us for a demo and discussion on whether it is applicable for your terminal.

Michael Pomerleau

Michael Pomerleau

Investment, BD and Commercial

Former Director of Investment and Business Development China and Europe at APM Terminals, Michael works with port operators, investors and owners to maximize investment and portfolio value.

During his career at APM Terminals Michael has worked with portfolio strategy setting, securing terminal investments as well as divestments and business development projects.

Educational background: Master in Finance and International Trade and various management school programs including INSEAD.

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