Harvey Mackay, a best-selling author of books on business subjects, once said that regardless of one’s field of industry, success stems from discipline. He said that discipline builds a bridge between wishing and accomplishing. For an family-owned enterprise headquartered in Wisconsin, the disciplined approach to fulfilling demands in the delivery of warehousing, packaging and shipping solutions has helped many companies convert their wishes into accomplishments. And in this case, the span of expertise has indeed resulted in a new “Bridge” of service capability.
From its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bridge Logistics Services, Inc. is a provider of customized warehousing, inventory management, packaging and logistics solutions essential to the safe and efficient transport of goods for a range of leading Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller enterprises. Bridge Logistics is not only on-the-go, but on-the-grow with new locations preparing for launch in northern Wisconsin, California and Illinois. While that expansion has been compelled by the advancing of a horizontal integration strategy the company launched a few years ago as part of a rebranding initiative, it is also reflective of certain company values that drive consummate dedication to customer service and exceeding expectations in the solving of problems. As President Tom Haering explains, “We never want to say ‘No’ to our customers if we can help it. We want to go in and identify things that we can do to make life a little easier for our customers, whenever we can. That philosophy has helped us evolve our company and our services despite the challenges in the economic environment of recent years.”
Well before Bridge Logistics spanned into the range of services it provides today, it was known for offering warehousing solutions which catered to local companies in the proximity of Milwaukee. That all began with a husband and wife team known as Tom and Marlene Haering. Tom Haering had previously held successful professional stints which included serving as a traffic manager for FW Woolworth where he oversaw the distribution of goods across 13 western states. From there, he went on to oversee operations at a small trucking company in California, but over time, he had increasingly yearned to return to Wisconsin where he was born and raised, which makes sense because as is routinely reported in Wisconsin, it is much easier to separate a man from cheese than the cheese-head from a man. Upon returning, Haering took on a marketing and product development role for a manufacturing firm, but realized that he had actually grown to enjoy overcoming the challenges associated with distribution and warehousing. Seeing a business opportunity existed there at home, Haering and his wife launched their company in 1998, an era that give rise to the reference of “logistics” as indicative of a fuller range of services. Companies had increasingly grown to realize that commercial warehousing and logistics services were specialty areas of expertise and that by outsourcing such services to a third party, they could not only save time and money, but better focus on core competencies. The company’s first customer was a firm that needed warehousing of the account bank statements it produced for US Bank and International Paper. Today, by incorporating a horizontal integration strategy to service, Bridge Logistics is serving many other companies, and not only providing warehousing and value-added logistics services, but is also a solutions set of services including: packaging materials/consulting, prototyping, printing, light assembly, fabrication and a small package ship center, to name a few.
As Chief Operations Officer Greg Dugan asserts, “We want to knock on someone’s door and ask, ‘What do you need?’ If that means sorting nuts and bolts and placing them in a bag for shipment, or sewing some kind of material to help put a product together, we’ll do that… we want to be a true source of solutions, and our horizontal integration model offers a range of value-added services.”
Bridging the Gaps in Service
While diversity in service capacity has enabled Bridge Logistics to mitigate impacts encountered by any potential decline in one segment of its service offerings, it has also helped the company build a bridge to new professional relationships. For example, there was a national retailer experiencing trouble with respect to tonnage that it routinely brought into the US (all manner of plates, mugs, tumblers and other goods affixed with various school logos) which had to be sorted, repackaged and shipped to various regions of the country, and all within a week time frame. The company couldn’t find anyone in America who could handle the job correctly, that is, until it approached Bridge Logistics Services. This very relationship is now fostering Bridge’s expansion into imports/exports with a new location in California.
In another example, a lumber company based in Canada required help in finding a facility to offload a huge shipment of lumber which could be broken down and reloaded for smaller shipments throughout America. The expertise in fulfilling these services is now fostering Bridge Logistics opening of another new location in northern Wisconsin.
The company truly wants to provide its customer with a bridge to a range of services and solutions. And regardless of the job at hand, Bridge Logistics still imparts well-honed family values and professional best practices in accountability and customer service, all elevated by state-of-the-art technological platforms for rapid information sharing, data monitoring and digital archiving. Beyond the ability to access information via the company’s web portal, there is also “BLUe” (aka Bridge Logistics Update Email) which sends up to the date (or up to the minute) acknowledgement of receipts, shipments and orders processes. The technology also allows customers to download activity reports in a format conducive for their own respective needs, transitioning Bridge Logistics as something of an extension of their own record keeping divisions.
Integrity, operational responsibility and efficiency, and dedicated commitment to solving customer problems – Greg Dugan says these are the qualities and values that not only complement Bridge Logistics Service’s capabilities, but factors contributing to the company’s growth. In addition to the expansion underway in the US, the company is also eyeing opportunities beyond America’s borders. By all accounts, this is a company which continues to build bridges to new international relationships and strategic partnerships that will help ensure Bridge Logistics span many more years of successful service to industry.
For more information, please visit their website at: Bridge Logistics
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