I started my career in shipping as a UPS sales rep. I built relationships with clients, sought to understand their businesses, and worked with them to provide the shipping services that they needed to maintain their end-to-end supply chain. I was their ally in a fight with corporate bureaucracy to secure better shipping rates.
At least, I thought I was.
A little over a decade ago, I began meeting shipping consultants like Reveel’s team. They asked for discounts and concessions that I didn’t realize were even possible — and yet UPS approved many of those contracts. I realized that I fundamentally did not understand how UPS pricing worked. I’m not sure anyone in my position did. We didn’t know what went into creating better pricing agreements, or understanding how a client’s shifting profile affected their overall cost. It felt like whenever you tried to find something out, or do right by your client, you ran into someone who’d say, “Just do your job. Just sell them on this, sell them on that. You don’t need to worry about that.”
Fundamentally, it seemed, UPS was not trying to understand their clients’ needs in order to offer them truly beneficial solutions. Sales reps weren’t able to truly advocate for their clients because they didn’t have the information that they needed. When I look back, I can see that I really didn’t know anything — because UPS didn’t really want me to. They didn’t want me to save my clients as much money as possible. They wanted me to generate revenue.
Interactions with Reveel opened my eyes. “Wait a minute,” I realized. “I’m on the wrong side of the table here. I should be helping my clients. In some cases I’m doing the exact opposite, and in some cases even taking advantage,” in ways I was hardly aware of. It was a little like being in the movie The Matrix: You can have the blue pill or the red pill. I chose to open my eyes.
Read More: Why I Left FedEx for Reveel
During my time at UPS, consultants could still negotiate directly with carrier reps. Those consultants would ask me for specific prices, and I’d assume, “There’s no way this is going to get approved in our system.” But then I’d put it into the pricing department, and, voilà, it would be approved. I realized that I was largely ignorant of my own company’s pricing models.
When I learned about a job opportunity with Reveel, I was immediately drawn to their business model: Everything is contingent on saving their clients money. It truly aligns the goals of our company with the goals of our clients. So many other business models ask: What margin am I going to get out of this client? How much money am I going to make off this client? But at Reveel, we get to ask: How much money can I save this client? How much more money can I put into their pocket for them to spend on marketing, for them to spend on new employees?
I was initially wary of joining a consulting firm, however. At UPS, “consultants” was something of a dirty word. Executives said these companies were working against us. And, of course, they were — but I came to believe that the consultants, not the pricing executives, were on the right side of these exchanges.
Further, Reveel would allow me the autonomy to work from home, develop my own relationships with clients, and work on a team that values constant learning from experience.
I moved to the other side of the table and have never looked back.
Read More: How to Build Powerful, Lasting Relationships
Why I’m Still with Reveel a Decade Later
I love that Reveel gives me the freedom to truly understand my clients’ goals — even those that don’t initially seem to relate to shipping. I spend more time than ever with my clients. They share with me how they run their business and what pains they encounter in their supply chains. I get to see, up close, how those pains affect them as business owners and as people. When my clients are considering letting employees go or eliminating products because their shipping costs are so burdensome, and when I can help ease that stress, my work is hugely satisfying.
Early in my career with Reveel, I helped a large client secure new pricing from their shipping carrier. They made some additional changes within their company, and soon after, their revenues jumped by 30%. My client directly attributed that increase to us lowering their shipping costs.
And our relationships with clients go much deeper than that. I helped another client with parcel size and freight, but we couldn’t provide the LTL services they needed. I introduced my client to a freight partner, who helped them reduce their freight spend even more than Reveel had reduced their parcel spend. Later, the same client wondered if they’d overbuilt a warehouse, and we connected them to a partner who does warehouse assessments. Our partner got them into a new building that better fit their needs and saved them quite a bit of money.
These relationships aren’t transactional. Reveel is committed to our clients for the long term, for whatever they need. When we sit down and talk about long-term goals and challenges, especially in the age of Amazon, tight transit times, and ever-increasing costs, I can offer them a wide range of data analysis and consulting services and referrals tailored to their needs.
What I like most about Reveel is that every single person on our team takes that commitment as seriously as I do. Everyone brings a lot to the table — their talents, their networks, and their feedback. Every member of our team has taught me something. This can be a tough job, and our team’s camaraderie is a huge help on those tough days.
Reveel’s culture is a learning culture. We’re constantly striving to learn more and find better ways to do things, as individuals and as a company. We’re bringing new technology to the table, from our web app to artificial intelligence, and are continuing to grow. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do for our clients and for each other.