ECU Worldwide is all set to further its footprint across the globe. This is owing to the recent addition of Dmitriy Ioffe — Global Chief Commercial Officer, ECU Worldwide—to the team. In this exclusive interview, he expounds on strategy for the organisation and plans to engage his team to put their best foot forward as ECU Worldwide continues to upgrade itself in the digital spectrum.
How best would you summarise your journey in ECU Worldwide?
I joined ECU Worldwide about nine months ago. It’s been an exciting journey so far meeting colleagues around the world, working on the strengthening of our sales organisation, and contributing to our digitalisation journey.
Which are the best performing markets/trade routes for ECU?
We have many success stories. To name a few, Mexico, India, UK, USA, etc., are showing significant growth. Vietnam has been growing and its immense potential will truly be seen in the next couple of years. We have also expanded our product range and some of our new offerings have had tremendous growth this year. We are well-positioned to take a further leap and continue exploring new markets, trade routes and growth avenues.
What is ECU’s strategy to tap bigger markets?
We are looking to further tap into our global network. Our strength lies in working as partners to our customers, and this will play a big role in growing each tradelane. We are focusing on supporting our small and medium-sized freight forwarding clients in this ever-changing market to further diversify our clientele base.
What are the key factors that help build a great sales team?
I believe that a great team can only achieve success when they work together for a common goal. My experience has taught me some important lessons, which is why I run my sales team on the philosophy of the following five pillars:
- Lead by example
- Focus externally and not internally
- Build a global sales organisation
- Offer great product support
- Be proud of who we are as an organisation
Logistics has been witnessing a wave of change since a couple of years. As someone who is closely in touch with the customers, what is your reading of their needs and where does ECU stand?
Customers are looking for transparency in freight movement and pricing, product consistency, performance accountability via KPI and data, and innovation. Today, technology is making the world smaller; however, the logistics sector is yet to catch up. This is why I believe that ECU Worldwide is in a unique position. We are ahead of the game when it comes to technology adoption and digitalisation, and it is for this reason that we will solve all these challenges. Our organisation culture and experience-rich team and leadership have a major hand to play in this scenario.
How do you see ECU’s future as the leader in LCL?
We believe that we will continue to grow as a leader of the LCL segment by delivering best-in-class customer solutions. Through digitalisation, we will continue to become a more efficient, low-cost, fully transparent global operator supporting global accounts, SMEs, and digital forwarders.
You have been around the globe, managing key accounts. What kinds of transitions are happening in ocean freight consolidations?
We’ve certainly seen an increased focus on the door-to-door all-inclusive pricing. Customers are looking to have all charges upfront. There is an increase in the number of regional consolidators focusing on the global accounts and on how to increase global presence via associations. Large freight forwarders are continuously looking to increase their own consolidation services.
You have worked with some of the leading companies in this sector. What is so unique about ECU Worldwide and its culture?
Through my travels, I’ve met a tremendous amount of great and dedicated people throughout our organisation. What I have found unique to ECU Worldwide’s culture is its focus on the creating a positive working environment as well as emphasising corporate and environmental responsibility. This helps create a stronger bond between the organisation, its workforce and its community across the globe.
How are you leveraging ECU Worldwide’s focus on technology to fuel future growth?
Digitalisation is the future. Not only for our organisation, but also for the industry in general. Technology is what will make us more efficient and, at the same time, let us further focus on customer needs. We are in a unique position, owing to our unparalleled global network, to truly provide customers with a uniform, global digital platform that helps enable seamless operations and offers second-to-none transparency.
Almost every player is facing pressure on volumes and profitability. Where do you see an opportunity in this?
Our opportunities will come from leveraging and continuously growing our global volumes. By leveraging our global services and becoming more efficient, we will be able to continue to deliver value for our shareholders. Furthermore, we will continue to focus on developing and creating value-added products like airfreight and domestic services to complement our core product and to relieve the pressure on LCL to be delivering results. Our single global platform Topaz will not only allow full visibility globally but it will also help create an efficient global working process to allow us to grow our volume substantially, without dramatically increasing our workforce.
How do you look forward to driving ECU ahead as a digitally enabled and customer-centric organisation?
We are looking at exciting times ahead. Our job as a commercial management team is to support our sales people in any way needed. Our organisation is sales-focused and fully committed to support the commercial team. The commercial team has been engaged in improving ECU360 and is looking forward to delivering an improved product to the market. We will continue to work on improving and creating a better, truly global, collaborative sales organisation. Armed with our new Tablet project, new CRM, and improved ECU360, the sky is the limit for ECU Worldwide’s sales team!