by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Moving the Needle

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —

Staying on course is an accomplishment for virtually any business during a pandemic. Still, it’s not a time to set aside laying the groundwork for improved post-COVID operations. Our annual Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, for example, went out as planned to our customers last month, the results of which help benchmark and guide our continuous improvement initiative. Our simple two question questionnaire is sent to everyone in a customer organization, asking them on a scale of 0 to 10 would they recommend Hanson Logistics to a friend. NPS is an important score in measuring year-over-year our customers’ experience, allowing us to assess how well (not so well) we’re meeting our customers’ expectations. 

Respondents are grouped by the following:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

This year, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement and the excellent feedback from our customers. Our score confirmed that incremental, front line improvements suggested by customers and implemented by Hanson Teammates are having a positive impact on the Hanson customer experience. Yes, we have a few detractors; we view their input as an opportunity to zero in on their feedback and improve our service accordingly.

In statistical terms, our 2020 NPS improved significantly, up 20% from last year. This dramatic improvement was achieved not only in our traditional warehousing and transportation, but also in our newer service lines, such as frozen food ecommerce and single inventory national distribution. What’s more, our customers voted Hanson Logistics in the higher percentile for service levels during COVID, when the frozen food supply was reeling from rollercoaster changes in demand, and we all were working – and continue to work — under strict safety protocols.

Hanson Logistics Teammates deserve all the credit for not only making things happen, but making things happen better. 

Yes We Can!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

What’s New, What’s Always Been.

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —

As you know, the pandemic brought with it a focus on the people, places and things that are critical to maintaining some similarity to normal life. Healthcare workers, police and fire men and women, to name a few. Those of us in the food supply chain, from farmers and processors, to warehousing and trucking, are also cited as essential. It’s always nice to be recognized for the work you do; I just wish it wasn’t for these reasons. 

The pandemic also brought an increased awareness on supply chain performance, including warehouse efficiency and safety. In the cold food chain, there are those warehouses on the grower side of the supply chain that make sure only quality comes through the doors. And there are those on the distribution side that ensure only safe, quality food goes out the doors. Quality in and quality out; the pandemic has not changed that. And while I can’t speak for everyone in temperature-controlled logistics, I can say that there isn’t a person I know in this industry who isn’t working harder every day to protect the health of those around him or her while also striving to improve the logistics of safely moving frozen food to the right place at the right time.

First and foremost, of course, is worker safety, as stated in our Hanson Way. A recent Global Cold Chain Alliance survey shows 90% of respondents placing workforce protection as their top priority, followed by maintaining business continuity. Business continuity is virtually impossible to maintain if Teammates are not well. 

So, while the protocols may be new, safety and improvement have always been part of the Hanson Way. Direct-to-consumer frozen food ecommerce I’d put in the new column, but the determination and willingness to take on these new channel challenges has always been here. As our Teammates say, “Bring it on; we are Hanson Strong!”

Stay safe. 

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Using Your Experience to Think Ahead

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —

Supply chain activities can be very cyclical, especially when it comes to frozen foods, but they can also be impacted by unforeseen disruptions, such as hurricanes and pandemics. In both scenarios, we gain experience as our careers grow longer. For example, Hanson Teammates know the fairly predictable cycles of fruit and vegetable harvests. We know that we’ll need room for frozen blueberries and cherries and we can expect, or plan, for greater throughput of ice cream in the summer, frozen turkeys and pies as we head into the holidays.  

All of us unfortunately, have gained experience in life in pandemics; I hope with all my heart that we never have to put that experience to good use in the coming years. But if we do, we’ll know the procedures and protocols to put in place. We’ll be able to make decisions, to think ahead instead of just reacting to what’s happened.

One of the tenants of the Hanson Way is Thinking Ahead. “We anticipate the next step and others needs to be successful. We improve activities through proper planning, not just reacting to the past. We do two extra things so others will be ready and prepared to deliver the plan.”

Thinking ahead has different applications at different times. Today, it means stopping for gas on my way home so I’m ready for a weekend getaway later tomorrow. For others, thinking ahead may be as simple as creating a more thorough list of items needed in the household for the next trip to the store. Do you a few extra masks in your car.? Or maybe some of us need to have a family discussion around the coming school year or the college options that are still a few years down the road. 

At work, we have immediate tasks and long-term objectives. If we finish our work today, can we help teammates finish theirs? Do you have an agenda to follow at your next meeting? Are you seeing potential stock outs if your customer’s orders tick up more than usual? Can you cross-train or job shadow as time allows to make you more qualified for future positions? 

Granted, in today’s radically changed world, our focus should not drift from staying healthy and helping others do the same. Yet, even in these challenging times, we are often presented with opportunities to make tomorrow better. . . to plan for the upside while we ready ourselves for the downside. 

Thinking ahead is one more reason why Hanson Teammates can say with confidence, “Yes We Can!”