Bidvest International Logistics (BIL) has won the prestigious PMR Diamond Award for a sixth consecutive year, further testimony to the company’s standing as an industry leader in South Africa’s service provision space.
BIL, one of the country’s largest logistics companies and owned by the services, trading and distribution powerhouse Bidvest, bested 150 other companies in the freight forwarding sector to claim the award.
Finalists are nominated after PMR contacts organisations in each industry space, asking them to rate their respective service providers across 15 categories. These include Black Economic Empowerment (BEE); Relationships with agents; Predictability of deliveries; Proactive communication with agents; Problem solving; Reliability; Brand reputation; Risk management; Track and trace; and Value for money.
According to BIL Supply Chain Solutions Manager Willem Bekker, in each of the past five years BIL has averaged more than four out of a maximum of five points in the different categories, a feat unmatched by any of its competitors.
It has excelled in offering alternative transport solutions, electronic access to data, timeous delivery, communication and accurate documentation, among other services.
“We had the highest overall score out of all finalists, the sixth year in a row that we have finished on top. The fact that we finished first meant we were awarded the PMR Diamond Arrow,” Bekker explains.
In addition to the honour of winning the award, the survey of organisations also provides BIL a well-structured matrix of key measurable aspects within logistics, particularly around client satisfaction and what clients perceive as satisfactory factors.
“This is very important,” says Shannon Wellcome, BIL’s General Manager of Roadfreight in Gauteng.
“Within BIL we strive to achieve client satisfaction through offering and maintaining key objectives, these being client and agent relations, reliability, quality of documentation, proactive communication and electronic access to data. By achieving these objectives BIL has placed the business at the forefront of providing client satisfaction,” Wellcome says.
The survey also identifies aspects where the company can improve.
“These factors are comfortably within our reach of improvement through our ongoing strategic intent to digitise and automate shipment feedback and documentation processing, to and for the client,” Wellcome says.
BIL is going to great lengths to increase data gathering to ensure it understands the market, thus creating a better opportunity for improved pricing structures. Greater automation also results in improved communication and quality of documentation.
“Winning the PMR award, when we were up against some of our biggest competitors and leaders in the industry, not only showcases our capabilities as a professional logistics organisation, but also increases employee motivation to continuously do our best at servicing our clients, which in turn creates more confidence in investing in assets and supporting businesses,” Wellcome says.
It is a sentiment shared by Marius Geyer, BIL’s General Manager of International Logistics in Gauteng.
While individual client feedback is always welcome, there is no real measure of how a company is performing within the broader industry. The PMR awards, however, provides such input, he says.
“The feedback from the industry survey gives us a pretty good indication of how we compare to the opposition and the industry on average,” he says.
“Our aim is to always be above the industry average in all areas. Where we may fall below it is a clear indication that we need to focus on this aspect and improve. It goes without saying that where we are doing well, we must maintain our standards and always review to see if we can improve even further. The result of the survey is analysed in quite a lot of detail to ensure we keep focusing on the right areas.”
“We look forward to the PMR results every year as we know it is a great measuring stick and assists us in lifting our service levels.”
Saloshini Reddy, BIL’s General Manager of International Logistics in KwaZulu-Natal, says particularly in light of the uncertainty created by Covid-19, this year’s award is especially rewarding.
“Our amazing BIL team has kept their heads high and worked through some big challenges. People are at the centre of our corporate heart, and it will be our BIL people who will maintain our success. To ensure success, we need to be clear on the way we think, act and communicate.”