P&G (a long-time client of a regional 3PL located in Green Bay, WI that specializes in DC management, WMS & TMS) was a customer that our client looked to grow. The accounts team drove discussions at the Director level. But it was about the activities that were being completed and general “benefits” – and not about the gaps that were filled and how it positively impacted operations, finance, employees and the customers. Because accounts were not having the right customer conversations that were supported by case studies, content and messaging that proved “unique value” gained and where future opportunities lied, the team was not able to drive top-to-bottom engagement. They could not get access to the VPs and the CXO that Ryder (a larger, national competitor) had close relationships with. Three years of having the wrong conversations led P&G to caution our client that the company will most likely move to the larger, lower-cost national provider. This was our client’s biggest customer with the greatest revenue growth potential and they were about to lose it!
To overcome the relationship gap with the much larger competitor, the team decided to involve sales & take a personal approach to marketing. This began with building LinkedIn profiles, content, case studies and personal messaging for the purpose of penetrating P&G. For example….
- When you read the profile for Diane Mitchell (SVP of Sales and Marketing), you’ll see how she talks about how 50% of 3PLs under-leverage the warehouse, distribution center, and transportation as they focus on costs rather than growth (a key differentiator). She discusses her 14+ years of tenure at P&G to demonstrate that she understands their business, operations, and culture. And you’ll see stories that are relevant to P&G such as how segmented visibility resulted in Ryder making suggestions that would slow inventory turns by 50% and put 40% of direct ships at risk for P&G. She didn’t just make claims – she proved how other 3PLs focus on costs instead of getting a strong and accurate measure of how each part of the supply chain impact each other and their customers’ growth. And, she proved how it impacted P&G personally.
- When you read the case study that was created for P&G, you’ll see that it’s not meant to just build credibility like most case studies. It was designed for the conversation that sales and accounts wanted to have with P&G leadership – a conversation around gaps that existed, why it existed and how our client was the only 3PL that would have filled those gaps. It was built for a conversation that showed the impact on On-Time, In Full Delivery that our client (a key focus area) and the total value achieved in addition to where the future opportunity lies. Backed by stories, the purchasing manager decided it was time to reconsider buying habits. This led to an intro with P&G’s Director, who worked with the 3PL director regularly. Only now, the connection was made through purchasing on the promise of a case study about themselves. The attached case study discussed not only past challenges & KPI growth but also future opportunities. Once he understood the impacts to himself and his team, he now asked our client to meet with the corporate VP decision maker. There, the stories were further validated to prove the case on hard costs vs soft costs (and risks versus growth).
- When you read our client’s “On-Time, In Full Article”, you’ll see how manufacturers like Unilever (a key competitor to P&G) has low service performance to customer scores and how it will cost them 3% in profit margins. Within the article, Diane shows how shipment delays are not just a transportation problem and it can be caused by how the warehouse and DC operates. Three out of the 6 stories that prove it’s not just transportation were based on the challenges faced at the P&G plant and DC that our client directly fixed. When you read our client’s “Total Value” article (which was created immediately after the buying committee mentioned that they wanted more than cost savings and that they are looking for increased efficiency, stronger KPI growth, improved customer experiences) you’ll see stories that demonstrate how most 3PLs have limited control over inventory turns even though there’s a 77% correlation between turns and profitability. You’ll see how 3PLs put cost over the customers of their manufacturing clients, which impacted service performance and organic growth. And, again most of the stories speaks directly to P&G. While the content can be used more broadly, it was first designed for the conversation that sales and accounts wanted to have with P&G.
Based on personal marketing, P&G went from cautioning that the company will most likely move to the larger, lower-cost national provider to awarding new e-com business without an RFP or bid process. They are also in conversations to expand in site 1 while developing strategies for additional locations. This was achieved because sales and accounts profiles and content were used in email, social and in live conversations to prove to the buying committee how soft costs, risk reduction & new growth would quickly replace any ‘freight’ line item reductions the enterprise competitor can offer.