| 63 WESTPAC AUCKLAND BUSINESS AWARDS Vertical Logistics Moving product in, out and around New Zealand Donna Yarrall and Brian Broom - finding a niche. Enjoy endless data, TXTs, calls and sunsets This summer BUSINESS TEAM PLAN keeps your team connected. Speeds reduced after 40GB to a speed of up to 1.2Mbps. Max SD streaming at all times. Std NZ & Aus numbers. 5-100 For teams of Business Team Plan (Open Term): Minimum 5 Team Plans required. Total monthly cost is $38 (excl. GST) per Team Plan (to a maximum of 100 Team Plans). Speeds reduced to a maximum of 1.2Mpbs after 40GB. Max SD streaming at all times. Unlimited voice calls & TXTs to standard NZ & Aus numbers (i.e. no short codes or MMS/PXT). Terms apply, see vodafone.co.nz/legal/terms-conditions/business-team-plan VCS01563 Six years ago Donna Yarrall and Brian Broom could see a gap in the market in their business sector for servicing small to medium businesses needing to move product in, out and around New Zealand. Previously both had worked for large multinational freight companies who, while they are a good fit for large clients moving big volumes, were less focused on those moving lesser volumes. This was their inspiration to combine forces and start Vertical Logistics Ltd. They service a clientele selling or moving anywhere from 20 to 1000 domestic parcels weekly, and/or internationally up to 20 containers a month. From their early days of doing all the legwork themselves, to a year later employing their first sales rep, they now have a staff of 14 people, have doubled their turnover every year since they began, to achieve a turnover this year of over $20 million, and are poised to embark on a bold new expansion. “Because we take the time to meet with people and understand the specific needs of their business, we’ve grown steadily and a lot of that’s been through word-of-mouth,” says Donna, and Brian agrees. “We started through cold-calling and door-knocking but we have also grown through referrals.” In many cases also their growth is because the customer they’re working with grows, and the service Vertical provides adapts and expands alongside them ensuring heir freighting needs continue to be seamlessly met, whether it’s retail product or steadily increasing vol- Virginia Wright umes of building supplies. The business is currently split into two sections: international import and export freight which includes containers, air-freight, LCL (many customers sharing one container), and international couriers; and a domestic courier service whereby Vertical Logistics guarantees a high level of customer service while working with local courier operators for the mechanics of the pick-up and delivery. “The large freight-forwarder is generally more of a process-driven company, whereas we’re more a customer-focused company,” says Brian. They provide a door-to-door service inclusive of clearing customs and delivery in New Zealand with the reverse applying for exported products. More importantly they take the time to consult with and advise their customers, drawing on their valuable years of experience. “Some new clients haven’t got our experience so we work with them to find the best solution for them including how to deal with suppliers , best terms-of-trade to buy on and that sort of thing,” says Donna. “So we often do a lot of consulting before we actually move freight.” Clearly their customer-service ethic and the depth of knowledge underpinning their work is core to the business overall, but it’s their clear vision for the future that has earned them a place as a finalist in the Westpac Auckland Business Award for “Excellence in Strategy and Planning”, with the winner to be announced next February. Key to that strategy and the result of meticulous planning is Vertical Logistics’ expansion into new premises next year, along with developing a third part to their business. They are moving from their current low-overhead office space in Papakura to a purpose-built 10 metre high, 4200 square metre warehouse in Porchester Rd. Takanini. “It’s due for completion on June 10th next year,” says Brian. “Through talking to our customers we know that a lot of them are looking for that 100 percent solution through one provider, which includes the warehousing.” It’s a calculated risk which reflects Brian and Donna’s vision of catering for their small to medium customer base and incorporating their changing needs into Vertical Logistics’ strategy and future-planning. They know that as their clients grow their warehousing needs increase, but often not enough to warrant a large distributor taking them on. Vertical Logistics will solve that problem for them along with being able to pack and dispatch products overseas if required. The warehouse will be a customs-bonded area and an approved transitional facility for MPI. Their strategy includes launching a successful social media campaign in partnership with a global media company, the latest in a series of strong partnerships underpinning their business. But without their own ongoing management and focus on excellent customer-service and the high skill-set of their valued staff, along with efficient work practices that marketing would be meaningless. “We like to do things successfully and we want to continue looking after our customers and listening to their needs, that’s at the heart of everything we do,” says Donna.