Compass Logistics & Marine set records for growth in 2021, crediting a “best-in-class” staff and innovative business model for overcoming the challenges of the pandemic. “This goes back to our boutique model, which has enabled us to customize and tailor to the customer,” CEO and owner Danny James told Invest
How did 2021 unfold for your company and what challenges were you able to overcome?
It has been a story of sustained growth for Compass. We set a budget to grow by 48% and a stretch goal to double in our top line and bottom line. We ended up nearly doubling our stretch goal. We are growing at a rapid pace in all sectors. Clients who serve hospitality and tourism have seen the pressures of the pandemic relieved by pent-up demand, which is interestingly contributing to the logistical challenges. We have best-in-class staff who are all hands on deck to manage that growth, especially as it was occurring during a worldwide crisis.
What strategies are you implementing to address the labor shortage?
We have been deliberate in our hiring and building out our team. But it has been a challenging process. Hiring in this market is difficult and the labor force is not plentiful. Especially in this region, employees will jump into new jobs regularly. Our employee retention has been excellent but finding new talent and “best in class” team members has been tough. We want employees who want to be a part of this special team and growth story. Additionally, we want employees who don’t mind working hard, align with our values, and fit into our culture. In return, they grow faster with a company like ours. We develop their skills and accelerate their growth to accomplish and surpass their goals and optimize their future in this company, industry, and beyond.
What are some mistakes businesses make in their logistics?
Cash flow is important and can be a big issue if not properly managed. Inherently, we support our customers and agents in this area, but we avoid acting as their bank and extended lines of credit. Additionally, some companies try to do everything for everyone without specialization, which is where our boutique model diverges. Educating our clients is a big part of our experience. We act as advisers and consultants to help companies set up their supply chains that otherwise would not have the size to manage their own logistics department. We ultimately add value to our clients and their supply chains beyond the shipment level.
How has demand for your services changed in the past year and how is that preparing you for the future?
Specialization is always important because otherwise, you are just a commodity trader. If you are not specializing in something, what makes you special? The pandemic has shown us if you are not diversified and your clients are focused on one sector, you can be put out of business. We do not expect a reprieve in the near term with regard to the global supply chain. We need to keep up with demand as well. And as far as the private sector, we are getting opportunities that other smaller companies as young as we are could not have gotten 10 years ago. This goes back to our specialized and boutique model, which has enabled us to customize and tailor to the customer. We are nimble enough to shift our thinking much more quickly but with the expertise to design creative supply chains for our clients that can help them through these really difficult times.
What solutions to these big issues might technology be able to address?
There are companies that have emerged in the last few years that have challenged the traditional model by investing heavily in systems and software to alleviate the need for more experienced employees. We look at it more like a hybrid with software playing a role in freeing up the time of our experienced staff so they can focus on solutions for our customers. We believe in continuous improvement and do see several strong use cases for technology to help us scale. We just are not believers that the complexities of this field can be fully automated.
How important is it for companies to include veterans in their spaces of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Very important. Anyone who has served this country has volunteered to serve a cause greater than themselves. Employers should want that. They have also developed unique and special skill sets through their training, military experiences, and service. If you can harness these and bridge the gap between veterans and civilian opportunities, the results are exponential. Veterans bring something special and unique to any organization.
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This article originally appeared at: Spotlight On: Danny James, Owner & CEO, Compass Logistics & Marine (capitalanalyticsassociates.com)