Luke Kupersmith started Lojistic to help companies simplify the intricate processes entailed by logistics. Logistics could also be quite expensive, so Lojistic also works to help companies from across the United States maximize savings on freight costs.
Since 2005, Luke Kupersmith and Lojistic have worked on the principle that the company should help companies reduce shipping costs and maximize efficiency to provide the best service to their own customers.
To that end, Luke Kupersmith wants Lojistic to become partners with companies, and not simply a service provider. By establishing partnerships with other companies, Lojistic can improve their logistic operations and help them save on shipping costs. Lojistic knows that a company’s logistic operations influence their performance indicators: “success customer satisfaction, ease of management, cost minimization, and profit maximization.”
Luke Kupersmith and Lojistic provide various services that reduce shipping costs for companies. If you partner with them, they will audit parcel services, negotiate carrier rates, provide wholesale shipping rates, manage freight costs, conduct transportation analytics, and apply shipping software to unify all processes.
You also won’t go wrong with Lojistic, for Luke Kupersmith has built a thriving company culture under the core values of steady progress, quality assurance, brand authenticity, client generosity, and an ethos of fun.
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Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Luke Kupersmith: I think we have an incredible product and a unique voice and brand in our market. We produce great results for our clients. But the thing that really makes us stand out is the relationships I see formed, both within our team and between our team and clients. It’s awesome how many stories make their way back to me about how much our clients appreciate the individuals on our team, and further, the communication they have with the Lojistic crew. All the time I hear how, yes, there are a ton of companies out there who can help reduce shipping costs in some way, but what makes us really unique is how the individuals on our team prioritize the relationships we have with our clients. We place a really high value on who we bring on board, so to see that paying dividends with our client relationships is cool. I think that’s the polish on the boot that really makes us shine. One story in particular is about a large synthetics/lubricants formulator and distributor customer of Lojistic. They’ve been with us for over a decade and have evolved with Lojistic as a company. They’ve been leveraging and utilizing the information that we provide through our platform to better run and optimize their shipping operations. They’ve also used all of our professional services too. So, between our platform and services, we’ve saved them millions and millions of dollars. We’ve really helped them change their business, and we’ve built a fantastic relationship over the years in doing so. There’s an endless stream of relationships we’ve built over the years, though. That type of relationship-building is really what makes us stand out.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Luke Kupersmith: I think whether you’re a business owner or an employee, we all run our own degrees of risk in terms of “burn out.” And, at least for me, the only way to avoid burn out is balance. You need to find balance in your life. But balance means something different for everyone. One of the things that has helped me in managing burn out is finding balance in my routine. I’m very intentional about the time in my life I allocate to work and to travel and to my son and to my friends and to alone time and to time spent in the mountains and time spent surfing…etc. Everyone’s balance looks different. Burn out happens when you give too much of your time to any one thing without there being some sort of balance. That can be true not just in business, but in all parts of life.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Luke Kupersmith: There are literally hundreds of people or more who have helped shape me as a human. Starting with my parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and others. There isn’t one particular person in my life that I’d necessarily categorize as my mentor. There are so many people, to varying degrees, who I credit in helping me get to where I am today. That statement is true of the relationships I have with the people who are still in my life and also true of some of the people who may have been in my life for a season, and now they’re not. Sometimes the things we lose and the hard times we endure help sharpen us and catapult us to success more so than the obvious “winning” moments. Jared, my business partner, is a prime example of person who has made a huge difference. We’ve been building this thing together for 16 years. It’s not always easy to have a business partner, but it’s much more difficult to NOT have a business partner. When you make a good match or when you find that complementary person who can work through the tough times and accelerate the good, it’s priceless. And for sure, Jared and I have worked through many tough times within various lifecycles of the company and through interpersonal conflict. Through everything we’ve gone through together, our personal and professional relationship is stronger today than it has ever been in the past. That’s a powerful testament to him. I’m certainly not the only reason we’re at where we’re at as a company. Lojistic is the sum of many parts, yet Jared is a huge reason why I’m where I am.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The Pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share a few examples of different ideas that eCommerce businesses are implementing to adapt to the new realities created by the Pandemic?
Luke Kupersmith: I’ll come at this one from a shipping perspective. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen so many businesses incur unnecessary shipping costs, as their shipping volumes have risen and the carriers have implemented a number of surcharges and eliminated service guarantees. A really big unnecessary cost in the midst of COVID, and in the world of parcel delivery in general, is that UPS and FedEx aren’t guaranteeing their services. If you’re shipping a package to your customer, and you pay for a service that guarantees next-day delivery, yet, if it takes three days for the package to be delivered, you’d be paying a premium for a service that you didn’t receive. There’s no recourse for the carriers if their money-back offer isn’t in play. Without the guaranteed deliveries, it’s important to manage and monitor your service level selection — and to have the software in place to support the execution of your shipping.
For example, many eCommerce retailers have some form of the question “What level of service do you want to purchase?” on their website. The days of asking this question are over. Instead, retailers should be asking “When do you want to receive your product?” Then, by using intelligence software, you as the shipper can select the right service to have the package delivered by that date at the least amount of cost.
It’s heartbreaking, truly, to see the extent that companies waste money on shipping. This existed pre-COVID, but it’s been drastically exaggerated during COVID. Companies throw money away by using an express or air service when a ground service or less expensive level of service would guarantee the same or lesser time in transit at a lesser cost. When this scenario is multiplied, the amount of lost revenue really adds up.
An overarching pain point that all online-based businesses grapple with is the exorbitant cost of shipping. It’s a big challenge to balance when to charge for shipping, or whether or not to charge for shipping. Do businesses offer free shipping and absorb those costs? How much does that affect their bottom line? Or, do you charge for shipping and potentially risk losing a sale to a competitor who offers shipping for free? Consumers are savvy. And nowadays, they expect shipping to be free and fast. So sometimes charging for shipping can be a major deterrent. That’s a trend that was here before COVID and continues to be a point of pain for many companies.
It’s not all bad news, though. There are a lot of resources and solutions that help businesses with things like fulfillment, rating, routing, auditing, costs…etc. It’s a matter of whether or not a business is taking advantage of the available resources.
Jerome Knyszewski: Amazon, and even Walmart are going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?
Luke Kupersmith: I’ll point back to managing shipping costs as a big variable in all of this. People want good products at affordable prices. And on top of that, they want their products shipped fast and shipped for free. If you’re selling a product, or products, that are different, or better or prettier or whatever it is, that sets you apart, and you’ve figured out how to get it sold — great! But people want the thing they just bought now, and they don’t want to pay for shipping. So, to compete with the big guys or companies based in China is tough. Items shipped from China will take a bit longer, unless they’re using a local or US-based fulfillment company. Amazon gets your products to your house fast and often times, for free. The only way to combat, or compete, is to be obsessive with controlling your shipping costs. There are a lot of parts and pieces that go into the total cost of getting your product from point A to point Z. But because there’s so much that goes into shipping, there are a bunch of opportunities to shave off pennies and dollars for each package shipped. With those dollars saved, you can choose to not charge for shipping or upgrade the level of service you’re currently using, or you could choose to be more profitable. There’s a lot within your shipping operations that can help you compete with the big retailers. But the main point is to manage each and every variable that comprise your total shipping cost. And, if shippers need help, we’re certainly here to lend a helping hand.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Luke Kupersmith: It’s a hard thing to generalize because there’s a million mistakes I’ve made, and every other entrepreneur makes along the way. In a broad, overarching sense, one of the big mistakes that founders make is anticipating that things will go smoothly. That anticipation can lead to unpreparedness, mostly in the emotional sense, for the inevitable bumps along the road. Not being able to adequately manage the emotions that come with the challenges that CEOs and founders experience and encounter can be tough to avoid. We all want things to go smoothly, so when they don’t, it can be a shock to the system. But, if you go into starting a starting a business with the anticipation that you’ll get your butt kicked at some point, you might just stand a chance of making it through that butt kicking.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Luke Kupersmith: Fundamentally and organizationally, all eCommerce brands need to figure out how to more effectively communicate and engage with their consumers and to create a memorable and valuable digital customer experience, since the face-to-face communication will never occur. How you communicate with and engage with a consumer face-to-face is totally different than in a digitally-driven marketplace. It’s going to be essential for eCommerce businesses to succeed through a completely digitally-driven marketplace/environment/reality by being intensely intentional about how they engage, attract, and interact with their customers. Equally as important is how a business maintains the loyalty of a customer that they’ll never see in person.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the main benefits of shopping online is the ability to read reviews. Consumers love it! While good reviews are of course positive for a brand, poor reviews can be very damaging. In your experience what are a few things a brand should do to properly and effectively respond to poor reviews? How about other unfair things said online about a brand?
Luke Kupersmith: This is a really tough one, and to be honest, I don’t have that figured out! How to escape the blackhole of negativity online is a really, really tough thing. I don’t know how to be online and remain completely unblemished from the “haters.” I’m not even sure if it’s possible. At the end of the day, my big thing is to approach any negative review with kindness. Cliché as it is, kill them with kindness. If that doesn’t work, at the end of the day you have to remind yourself that you can’t always make everyone happy, no matter how much you might try. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C, you can’t please everyone. If you did everything in your power to remedy someone’s anguish or dissatisfaction, and you’ve got nothing left in your bag of tricks, don’t get lost in the negativity.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful e-commerce business? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Obsess over your customer’s experience
Think about every interaction your customer is going to have with your brand, and perfect every little detail. Consumers are so savvy today, so it’s worth the blood, sweat and tears to pour over everything.
- Obsess over every aspect of your shipping operations
There is so much that can happen between point A and point Z, so if you aren’t keeping a close eye on how you’re getting your products to your customers, you’re potentially missing out on big cost savings opportunities.
- Ask your customers when they want to receive their packages
By asking this question, you can use intelligence software to determine the most cost-effective method of getting your product into your customer’s hand at the time they expect. Businesses can save a ton of money this way. Not only that, you aren’t sacrificing customer experience — you’re getting them involved in your process and meeting their preferences.
- Be willing to deviate from your original plans
Things change all the time in business, especially the last several months during this pandemic. Be fluid and accept deviations from your original plans as they come. You might just come out stronger as a result.
- Expect to be challenged and anticipate changes
Challenges will happen they always do even when they’re least expected. Prepare yourself for the emotional toll they might take!
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Luke Kupersmith: Some of the excerpts of my life and of my 6-year-old son are captured on my Instagram: @lukekupersmith
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
The post This is Luke Kupersmith, CEO of Lojistic appeared first on Tekrati.