Australian 3PLs can up their game: CEVA

CEVA Logistics’ new Australian Executive Vice President Giuseppe De Vincenzo says 3PLs can improve their services

Australian 3PLs can up their game: CEVA
Australian 3PLs can up their game: CEVA

By Anna Game-Lopata | November 18, 2011

CEVA Logistics’ new Australian Executive Vice President Giuseppe De Vincenzo (pictured) says third party logistics providers (3PLs) can improve their services.

De Vincenzo, most recently Vice President CEVA Logistics in Brazil, joined the company in 2002 when he took over as Key Account Manager of the Fiat Group companies in Italy.

Newly appointed to the Australian business, he says given the goal posts keep moving, servicing customers is a challenge for all businesses, not just Australian 3PLs..

"In our case as 3PL providers, we face challenges in meeting customer expectations in areas that include increasing requirements for technology based solutions, improved measurement processes, service performance and relationship models," he says.

According to DeVincenzo, potential gaps also arise where customers continue to focus on using their 3PL as a transactional partner, hired to bring costs down and improve efficiency.

"That kind of relationship, while it can meet the KPIs set for it, can also limit the value the 3PL is able to provide the business and leave the customer dissatisfied, even if they’re not sure why," he argues.

De Vincenzo says creating relationships with customers based on trust, collaboration and mutual risk and reward is a key fundamental to drive real innovation.

However he also concedes the onus must be on the 3PL to earn a customer’s trust.

"It should not be a matter of getting frustrated, but of recognising that to create this kind of relationship, sometimes as the 3PL we have to prove our worth before customers want to share deeper levels of information and collaboration," he says.

De Vincenzo also points to the "tyranny of distance" and the lack of qualified people as challenges he observes facing Australian industry.

"A weakness requiring more effort or focus is how to make the industry more attractive for existing and prospective new employees – from front line to management employees," he says.

However, having worked extensively in Europe and South America, De Vincenzo is quick to point to ‘flexibility’ as one of the first things that comes to mind as a definite strength of 3PLs in Australia.

"For many companies, the economic problems of the past few years have increased their awareness of the importance of supply chain management," he says.

"They are moving to realise cost reduction and improve efficiencies and asset utilisation."

"I’ve seen the 3PL industry in Australia show real agility and adaptability to meet the challenges posed by customers’ ever growing and changing expectations."

CEVA in Australia is looking to grow its market share in all the key sectors it has key customers, including Automotive, Consumer and Retail, Industrial, Energy and Mining and Technology.

The non-asset based supply chain management company has reported a third quarter revenue of €1.76 billion ($2.37 billion) and EBITDA of €86 million ($116 million), up year-on-year by 1.2 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.

The result reflects a good performance in contract logistics, partly offset by lower rates and volumes in freight management.

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