Today marks the 2nd anniversary of KRAFTTRANS’s Warsaw hub. So we asked ourselves the question: what pace should a corporate leader live at, so as to manage, in a span of just 2 years, to forge partnerships with the European "giants" topping the lists of the world’s largest companies by revenue. We decided to talk to the Director of KRAFTTRANS’s Vienna office Walter W. Jelenskij, who is also in charge of the Warsaw hub development project. The life of someone like Walter is all about non-stop work and super-tight schedules. Nonetheless, our interviewee claims there is still room for creativity amid the corporate routine! Walter told us about business process acceleration and attracting the "giants". He also noted that solutions to any complex problems lie in good ideas, the ability to go the extra mile for the client and the principle of treating the client’s needs as if they were your own.
- Walter, how has the company managed to achieve so much in so little time?
Solutions to complex problems lie in good ideas. After all, that’s what creativity is about - finding solutions that are both sound and effective. KRAFTTRANS’s development and expansion on the European market began with these three steps: we relocated our headquarters (opened 10 years ago) to the beautiful city of Vienna, set up a Polish hub in Warsaw a couple of years ago and adopted the focused growth strategy. Back then, KRAFTTRANS was already a major 3PL logistics service provider with a network of offices in 6 countries. Our competence and experience gained over the past 24 years allow us to create propositions that are interesting to and profitable for the client.
Right now, we feel very confident on the Nordic market, we understand its specifics and offer high-quality ISC-services (Inner shared services). First, KRAFTTRANS became active on the Northern-European market. In a short time, we also managed to attract major brands as customers. And it was in the process of constantly improving our services and actualizing our price offers that we managed to develop an efficient approach toward the “giants”. Nevertheless, we do not forget about smaller companies, because the current market situation is providing us with a great opportunity to advance our relationships with clients of every scale.
Our next step was to expand the company's service portfolio by adding intra-European shipments and liquid cargo transportations. These avenues of activity are new to us. We acquired our own tank container fleet for liquid cargo transportations. We now have new Mercedes tank vehicles and Mann tanks. At KRAFTTRANS, we are actively developing liquid cargo transportation forwarding, including the shipping of hazardous chemicals. Over the past years, we have been recruiting the best people on the labour market to be sure we only have true professionals on board.
- So, there is truth to the saying, “If you want to go places, never go alone”… Please, tell us about your team.
Our company’s global mission is to offer quality services, to go the extra mile ... to do what we call "sound logistics”. I should point out that every member of my team fully supports this approach. We constantly work with our staff: we hold workshops for them, we include them in the mentoring system, which helps new employees quickly integrate into the company, display their abilities and get a vision of the prospects for personal and professional growth. We also run what is called the Freight Forwarding School – with some of the students already having prior experience in the field.
- Yet, things are changing so rapidly on the freight market...
At KRAFTTRANS, we take these risks into account – and we are ready to keep up with the client’s growth and adapt to their new demands, while still remaining competitive. To achieve this, we have established the Organizational Development Committee tasked with gathering ideas on possible improvements to the business. To add to it, we have working groups and agile-teams that generate improvement solutions, e.g. develop services or uniform work standards. All the changes implemented at the central level are then adapted to our offices in different countries. At KRAFTTRANS, we keep up with new trends, automate our processes, try new office development schemes and models – and, most importantly, – we make sure our customers are heard, thus preserving a flexible approach.
- Now, what are the main lessons you have drawn from the past two years?
There’s one thing I can say for sure: the most powerful driving force behind any business is a brilliant team. And I am infinitely delighted to be part of one.