Flexport is an innovative player taking the world of freight forwarding by storm. The key to their success: a matchless software platform combined with infrastructure and expertise. Their European ambition is to double in size twice, over the next two years. The Senior Manager Operations Strategy is instrumental to this goal.
Flexport was one of Business Insider’s Top 51 enterprise startups to place your bets on in 2018. They’ve earned this moniker by reinventing global trade. They move freight globally by air, oceans, rail, and trucks while giving clients total transparency, efficiency, and control across their supply chain. This multinational scale-up has offices and warehouses in the US, Europe, and Asia. In 2018, they shipped to over a hundred countries around the world, servicing thousands of clients. In 2018, the company made close to half a billion USD in sales, and it aims to continue this growth in the coming years.
“Say goodbye to the black box of freight forwarding. Only Flexport delivers deep visibility and control, low and predictable supply chain costs, with faster and more reliable transit times.” – Jan van Casteren, Vice President Europe, Flexport
Disrupting a fragmented market
Freight is a highly fragmented global market with a multitude of players. On their way from a factory in China to a warehouse in Utrecht, goods will typically be handled by at least nine different stakeholders. And each will have their own software for processing data. This relay race of goods and data is a highly complex process to manage. Hence, many commercial parties choose to outsource it to a freight forwarder. In other words, a freight forwarder is a travel agency for freight.
Traditional freight forwarders work with as many data systems as they have shipping partners. They manage the transition of data between the different systems manually. Often, there is no central data system. Clients who want insight into the supply chain of their goods need to pay for this, as it requires extra man-hours. The fact that data is managed by hand is also a limiting factor for the scalability of the business model: doubling in revenues means doubling in headcount. Furthermore, the need to increase the efficiency of staff also leaves little room for customer intimacy.
Flexport does things completely differently. They have one powerful tech platform for clients and all their suppliers. From booking, communication, customs, and collaboration to reporting, analytics, and more, this cloud software platform put everything in one place. The system improves the efficiency and accuracy of deliveries. An additional benefit is that clients automatically get access to all of their supply chain data. And last but not least: it empowers the client facing teams to focus on customer satisfaction.
“It’s a skills-driven industry, and we offer a software-driven solution. The better our software gets, the easier it gets to scale. That’s why we can consolidate this global market, and our competitors can’t.” – Jan van Casteren, Vice President Europe, Flexport
About the vacancy: Senior Manager Strategy Operations
The Senior Manager Strategy Operations plays a central role in driving Flexport’s ability to scale as fast as possible. This is a global role aimed at driving operational improvements. The Senior Manager will have counterparts in Asia and the US and will have a dual reporting line to the VP of Europe and the Global Head of Operations in the US. They will manage a portfolio of projects and drive operational excellence across squads, accounts, and countries.
This role is both highly strategic and hands-on. The Senior Manager will deal with a wide range of topics at a conceptual level, prioritize projects, define the improvements and drive local implementation. PowerPoint has never changed anything – the Senior Manager knows how to change processes, structures, and culture in order to drive business change. The combination of operations strategy, implementation and change management is what truly makes this a high-impact role.
Optimize across multiple stakeholders
The client-facing side of the business is organized in 80 multidisciplinary squads, located around the world. Each squad is responsible for a cluster of accounts and has two goals: growing the book of business and optimizing customer satisfaction. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a major KPI for the squads and they have a lot of freedom to make decisions to serve their customers best. A consequence of these highly autonomous squads is that there is room to drive process efficiencies across teams. The Senior Manager will continue to improve the way different parts of the business – air, ocean, rail, and truck – fit together and will help drive standardization of processes and create ways to share best practices. The challenge for this role is striking the right balance between the close ties with local clients and global efficiency.
- Minimum 6 years’ top-tier consulting experience
- Problem-solving skills
- Conceptual thinking
- Organization design
- Change management and implementation
- Highly flexible and adaptable
- Project management