Ted Presnal, IL2000’s Director of Enterprise Account Management, brings robust experience and clear ideas on how to win with customers.
According to Presnal, success boils down to solid client engagement. “It’s about bringing value and building trust not only in the logistics side of the business but also within all levels of the organization. Supply chains have become complex, and the order-to-cash process typically engages many different departments. It’s important to strengthen connections between both people and systems.”
Presnal prides himself on still honoring the lost art of personal relationships, which have taken a beating in recent years with the shift to virtual work and social-media-led interaction. He maintains that while relationship building is uber important, what makes his team impactful is an entirely different skill set; the ability to act as consultants.
“Our goal is to work hard, play hard, and make the client engagement as fun as possible.” – Ted Presnal
Consultants first – our unique differentiator
Presnal explains that the enterprise account managers act as consultants for their clients, committed to listening and understanding their client’s business. It’s their superpower. And that’s really what sets IL2000 apart from others in the market.
“Our key differentiator is the account team’s commitment to learning the client's business, coupled with their innate drive to take ownership and be proactive.
“Our technology and reporting give us visibility into factors impacting our clients’ day-to-day, allowing us to dive into their business needs. Once we identify issues, we work through the problems, and devise and implement new solutions.”
But the team focuses on more than just transportation. The supply chain impacts every department. Therefore, it's critical they understand each of their client’s departmental pain points. Presnal and his team work with sales, customer service, distribution, operations, accounting, shipping and receiving, and many other departments.
“Historically, the perception is folks like us talk to transportation managers. That's not the case, although they are vital to the process and solution identifiers. Our internal teams work with many different departments, whose focus tends to be one-offs – ‘I have a need. You've taken care of it. Good, we're okay to move on.’ We get with these different departments with growth in mind. There may be a future and ongoing need for what was just resolved. We want to be able to build the process, the solution, and the parameters to resolve that need regularly, not just from a one-off standpoint.”
“It's such a great feeling to get in front of the clients, work with them, talk with them, meet different departments, understand their business needs, understand their goals. We work to provide solutions; they may be small or large-scale, and they may take weeks or even a month to analyze and bring to the forefront, but the result of the hard work is motivating and builds trust.” – Ted Presnal
Core values at play
Presnal leads his team with one objective in mind – building trust. To this end, he encourages them to uphold the IL2000 Core Values of maintaining a positive spirit, offering stunning client service, and delivering continuous improvement.
“That’s what we refer to as embodying excellence. Next, we take ownership and are accountable. We act as problem solvers with a sense of urgency. We embrace communication as it’s more important these days than ever to be clear, concise and effective. And on top of all that, we need to be precise, fact-driven subject matter experts. Our clients rely on accurate information and direction.”
The typical a-typical day
The norm is that there’s no norm, though the rhythm of the team revolves around client meetings --most recurring weekly. In those meetings, we walk through the metrics with the customer and highlight what’s important.
“We identify a business matter, whether it be impactful or something needing a minor resolution, document it, track it, and assign it to internal or external team members. And we work through the continuous improvement process to resolve past items.
The goal is to leave no stone unturned with anything impacting the client’s day-to-day business.”
Presnal on making customers successful
Ensuring clients are successful is paramount. To do that, customers need to open their doors and allow Presnal’s team to engage with all their different departments so they can dive into the customers’ processes and fully understand the business.
“Some folks hesitate to let somebody come in, work with different teams, and dig deep into various situations. But ultimately, if you open those doors, you'd be surprised what true solutions we can formulate to improve business processes and offer a much better experience for our clients.”
It's a hand-in-hand relationship. Presnal relies on the clients to be open and bring forward any matters impacting them, whether it’s something IL2000 can control or not. “We want to understand what's going on in their world. We can't support or find a solution unless we know what they’re up against. So, we work collaboratively and want everything on the table. From there, it's a teamwork process.”
Success looks like a load optimization plan
We can't talk about customer success without asking Presnal about his greatest achievement since starting with IL2000 in September last year. Although he's met so many customers, and he says they're all great to work with, Presnal is especially proud of one project that grew out of IL2000’s continuous improvement process.
“The big win for this one customer was a solution that helped manage their entire domestic transportation model. We built a weekly optimization load plan for them to follow, and our teams now support our client through day-to-day freight operations. The integration IL2000 introduced gives our people access to all the company’s orders. Using our technology, we can predetermine which orders need to ship LTL and which require truckload. That saves both money and time. Moving forward, our TMS will be a key factor along with our LTL and truckload operations teams, client services, and account management team.”
Staffing and high shipping costs top challenges
Post-pandemic hardships still impact clients, including staffing shortfalls in operations and high shipping costs, whether international, domestic, inbound or outbound. Now in 2023, they’re faced with sales dipping and orders following.
“We’re still dealing with staffing issues, but a lot of attention now is on looking at supply chain expenses. There isn't a manager or C-level executive who isn’t looking to cut costs in their operations. My team and I work to support these client initiatives. Our goal is to find opportunities to streamline and reduce costs, with a particular focus on finding different ways to import, export and manage domestic transportation.”
Living a promise
“We need to learn to trust. We have to bring on innovative technology. We must have consistent communication and steadfast reliability. So, my promise to customers is to work their business and their needs as if they are my own." – Ted Presnal
Prenals' promise to his clients aligns with the IL2000 mission statement.
“We provide exceptional comprehensive logistics management services by tailing our solutions to fit our client needs. I've lived that for many years. Important components of that are, first, to earn a client's trust. Once you have trust, you can leverage the different innovative technologies that we bring to the table.
“Second, you've got to be consistent and clear in your communication. That's a promise, too. If something is not making sense to the client, you need to restate it, reinforce it, even do additional fact-finding to clarify that picture. Communication is so important.”