A big mistake product companies make is underestimating the importance of the shipping manager. All your hard work of hiring, training, and motivating top talent for sales, marketing and customer service in order to create an image of quality and customer care can be wiped out with short shipments, late shipments, sloppy packing, failure to use specified carriers, and more.
First of all, your shipping manager is a BUYER. He is making decisions among carriers, negotiating rates and lining up favors. There will be many days when you’ll need a late pickup and need to call in those chits.
If your competitor is getting better rates for freight in or out than you are, you are at just as much a disadvantage as if you are paying more for materials or labor.
Hire folks who are ex-military, ex-police, or wannabes. You want precision execution. Counts need to be right on incoming and outgoing shipments. Paperwork needs to be filled out exactly.
Ability to work with others is also an important consideration. They will need to interface with purchasing, accounting, customer service, and the shipping or accounting departments of your customers.
Integrity should always be important, but a slick shipping manager can steal you blind.
If this individual will eventually have staff, then you will want them to have some background managing others, or you should be prepared to offer significant training in management.
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