The strategy creates the success - interview with Radosław Rożek, managing director CAT LC Polska
Kinga Wiśniewska talks with Radosław Rożek, the managing director of CAT LC Polska about company’s development strategy, new logistics operator investments and the benefits of company’s focus on its employees.
The Polish market of logistic services has developed considerably in recent years. Offering only standard transport and storage services is not enough to survive in such a highly competitive market. How does CAT LC fight for its position and how does it find its advantage?
RR: I couldn’t agree more. These days, the standard services are no longer of a high value for our clients. At CAT, we listen to our clients in the first place. We get to know their expectations, needs and we anticipate business risks that may occur. In this way, we create ‘tailor-made’ solutions. Night-time deliveries are a great example. Our customers require that they take place as early as possible. The workshop employee, starting his shift at 7 or even 6 o'clock in the morning, must already have spare parts at their disposal. Last year, CAT together with VW Group carried out a project to reorganize the distribution network, the purpose of which was to guarantee delivery to the dealer service network by 6 or 7 o'clock in the morning. I would dare to say that it is the fastest nationwide distribution network to the Authorized Service Centres, taking into account the very late hours of goods release from the warehouse.
The problems related to the access to the employees are already serious enough to become a threat to the development of the economy. Many initiatives, projects and investments are therefore delayed or they simply collapse. Logistics operators also have to face the consequences of lack of the employees. Did CAT LC find a solution to these problems?
RR: Well, we didn’t find the exact solution. However, last year we built the company’s development strategy, focusing exactly on this area. 2019 and 2020 will mean to us a huge effort and work to strengthen the organizational culture. We run projects focused on researching commitment and motivation of our employees. On the basis of the results of these analyses, we will implement relevant changes and optimisation processes in the organization. Lack of employees on the market, change of expectations regarding non-financial benefits and a model of management in enterprises, and work culture in the eyes of employees of the Z generation - these are the areas that motivate us to keep improving the work environment in our company. Not only wages and social benefits matter in the process of choosing the employer, but also the prospects for young employees, the flexibility of employment and the possibility of travelling and taking part in international projects. We are changing not only the working environment in CAT, but also ourselves, by adjusting the communication model, as well as the way of managing and developing employees in our company. Working hours from 8 am to 4 pm - why not from 9 or 11? Many studies prove that working in the home office mode is more effective in several respects, so do we really have to be at the desk at the same time each working day? These are just some of the changes that we are researching and implementing in our company.
Operational excellence, processes refinement, high standards of timeliness and quality. This is what CAT is known for. Could the bar be set even higher? What goals do you set for yourselves, what goals do the customers set for you?
RR: According to Lean Culture, which we have been cultivating in CAT for many years, improvement of processes is a continuous process and should never end. Not only do clients set ambitious goals for us, but also as an organisation focused on development, we take up some big challenges which guarantee the continuous improvement of our processes. For instance, the above-mentioned deliveries up to 6 o’clock in the morning are not only the change of distribution network and ‘adding’ a few means of transport. In this project, we have hired 13 people in the VW Group warehouse who have taken charge of the part of logistics processes and support the goods dispatching process. It is also an investment into IT solutions. Precisely a month ago we exchanged scanners in our entire distribution network, implementing completely new devices with modern solutions, which significantly improved data management. In the coming weeks, we will begin the implementation of parcels scanning by using a smartphone application. At the end of May this year we distributed the first consignments from the warehouse that is fully managed by CAT for one of the most important clients in machinery and agricultural equipment sector. The building has almost 6,000 square meters surface with a 4-storey mezzanine. Customers from the agricultural industry are particularly demanding, expecting not only night-time deliveries, but also deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays - often in the middle of nowhere, because the machines are currently at harvest. The client we serve belongs to the leading producers of the agricultural industry, but is also known for extremely high quality requirements - both in the area of storage management as well as distribution to final recipients.
The supply of additional services, but also the development of logistics infrastructure is a response to the market changes. Recently, you have opened a new warehouse in Parzniew and a new platform in Sosnowiec. For whom and for what operations were these facilities created?
RR: This is the part of our sustainable development strategy. At the end of 2018, we began to implement our development strategy based on 5 main policies including: market and product policy, operational excellence policy, supplier management policy, development of technologies and IT systems policy as well as the crucial policy of HR, knowledge and learning. One of the pillars of our operational excellence policy is investing in the development of our infrastructure. This means new fleet, new scanning devices, but also investments in our A-class facilities built from scratch in compliance with CAT expectations. In recent years, we have started using new facilities in Stryków, Dobroszyce (near Wrocław), Gdańsk and Duchnice (near Warsaw). The change of the facility in Sosnowiec is regulated primarily by our development in the south of Poland as well as the significant development of inbound logistics for one of the key CAT clients. It is a completely new, cross-docking facility that covers an area of 4750 square meters with 39 gates. I am glad about this investment because for us it is an expression of trust and partnership with our customers. The facility in Parzniew is dedicated for forklift logistics one hundred percent. Since 2013, CAT has been successfully developing the forklift logistics. In addition to local distribution and international transport, CAT has also specialized (the services) in the field of forklift storage management. Currently, the facility stores more than 1,000 forklift trucks, manual pallet trucks and all kinds of accessories and batteries. Except for storing, we offer such services as assembling hand palette trucks, support for the assembly of masts in forklifts and providing a dedicated, specially prepared service zone for forklifts. The development of this area is also part of the development of our MachineCAT branded product. So not only forklifts, but also construction machinery is an area that we successfully develop.
CAT LC in Poland is developing very dynamically, which is confirmed by the company's results achieved with growth dynamics of 114 and 123% in the last 2 years. What is the recipe for such a market success?
RR: There are many success factors. I will name only two of them, which to my mind are the key ones and which are the basis of our profitable development strategy in CAT LC mentioned earlier. The success and development of our company in recent years is primarily the result of hard work and commitment of the entire CAT team: warehouse employees, administrative employees, specialists, coordinators and managers. It is also the great trust of our clients, partner solutions and the ability to listen and fulfil their needs. Focus essentially on our employees and the expectations of our clients: these are the key factors of our company’s development, its growth, successes and honours which we have receives in recent years. I would like to take this opportunity and thank all CAT LC Polska employees and our wonderful clients as well.
Thank you for this interview.