Wednesday May 19, 2021
This article has been republished from it's original version. You can read the original article here.
In today’s highly competitive world, the priority of any business is to achieve higher customer ratings and differentiate from the competition to further grow and expand. This objective could be severely hampered in the absence of a sound logistics / transportation system. Logistics is much more than just about moving freight from point A to point B. It is ultimately about creating a holistic customer experience.
The receipt of goods is effectively either the “moment of light” or the “moment of dread” for the customer. Quality goods and up- front customer service quality can quickly be squandered if the delivery experience is less than ideal. The true cost/benefit of proper logistics is more than just the up-front delivery cost. It is also about creating satisfied customers who provide positive referrals and repeat business over the years.
In today’s complex supply-chain driven world, the importance of logistics has never been more at the forefront. Navigating them astutely is a daunting task for most new entrepreneurs and even many established businesses. Selecting a competent and efficient logistics partner is crucial in the competitive market environment we all face today. A well-organized and trusted logistics partner can help minimize costs in the long run while maximizing customer satisfaction.
Globally, the trend of collaborating with third-party logistics support partners has been a rising trend over the last decade. The growth of new technologies have been interwoven into the fabric of these third party partners, which in turn allows them to deliver benefits to their customers more efficiently. LDK Logistics is one such formidable brand marking out a high-end niche for itself in the first/final mile logistics segment.
LDK Logistics is a ‘velvet glove’ logistics solution provider based in Denver, Colorado. LDK has been in business since 1999 and has focused on a specialized niche in transportation called “White Glove” or “First/Final Mile” Logistics. The company helps manufacturers, distributors, and freight forwarders to move large, complex equipment all around the US and Canada. LDK has in fact trademarked the term “Velvet Glove” to differentiate its services as a turnkey outsourced logistics solution. The firm’s areas of expertise include specialized handling of medical equipment, computer/technology/servers, office equipment and full office moves, trade show displays, factory deconstruction, reverse logistics and other non-dock, white glove situations. LDK is guided on its quest to be the best in the industry under the leadership of its CEO, Richard Waryn.
A Fascinating Legacy
Richard Waryn’s journey has been a testament to the tenets of hard work and determination. His distinctive leadership abilities have served him well over the years to achieve many successes. Richard acquired his bachelor’s degree in geoscience from the University of Toronto, subsequently followed by a masters in finance and economics from Harvard University. After spending time at several large management consulting and private equity groups, in 2002, Richard founded a company based in London called Centurion Capital that focused on mid-market buyouts throughout Europe and Russia. He then set up a Russia-dedicated fund in Moscow partnered with Russian investment bank Troika Dialog.
According to Richard “this was a great time to be involved with private equity investing in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and Russia”. Richard led some groundbreaking deals including the acquisition and turn-around of a global fashion brand, and the creation of a new 5-star Hotel in Prague that entailed the refurbishment of a 15th century monastery.
Be open to experiences beyond your comfort zone. You might discover new passions you never knew you had – Richard Waryn
Richard has spent over 20 years in international private equity managing a series of funds that invested in a wide variety of companies throughout Europe, Asia, Russia and the Middle East. He was based in Washington DC, London, Moscow and Dubai. Prior to acquiring LDK, he ran part of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Dubai. Among the deals that he did in his private equity career were a turnaround of ESCADA, the woman’s global fashion brand, building the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Prague, and various other infrastructure projects throughout Asia including power plants, telecoms networks, toll roads and cement projects.
When Richard and his wife Liz decided to move back to the US, they picked Colorado as their home base. At this juncture, Richard was ready to acquire his own company. Through his network, he came across LDK Logistics and acquired the company in 2015. Apart from being a board member of Angie Communications International, a Dutch telecoms group, Richard currently is the CEO of LDK Logistics and a Managing Director at ACT Capital Advisors. At ACT he specializes in helping transportation companies come to market and achieve maximum value for their owners. Richard also recently founded a new company called Parry Parsenn Development LLC which focuses on developing high end properties in the Colorado ski town of Winter Park.
Pillars of Inspiration
Richard was inspired by the magnanimity and optimism of his parents. Both his parents were Polish citizens and survivors of the Holocaust and the Second World War. Richard learnt the value of hard work and dedication when he witnessed his parents build a life for themselves in the US after the end of the war. While inspiring Richard and his sisters to do well in school, they also taught them the true value of being an instrument of greater good in society.
Richard believes in giving back to the world. He has mentored young entrepreneurs, students and colleagues to help them find their own paths in the world. “I believe we all have a responsibility to ensure that the next generation is well equipped to thrive in changing times”. Richard believes that the new opportunities in business and technology are vast not just in logistics but across the board. “in the end, luck is about being prepared to seize the opportunities that are presented and also about figuring out how to navigate through the inevitable challenges”.
Achieving Competitive Advantage
Securing a distinctive niche in the competitive market can be a daunting task for most ventures. However, LDK has successfully overcome this hurdle by focusing on a key differentiating element that sets the firm apart from the rest. The in-house enterprise software created and implemented by LDK exemplifies simplicity and ease. It manages the entire process from initial bids to project management as well as invoicing and provides a competitive advantage in perpetuity. LDK has also over the last two decades, built and managed a vendor network that is second to none in the white glove world. Part of LDK’s success involves treating their vendor partners with respect and dealing with issues that arise in a timely manner. LDK’s operations team is also expert at curating every aspect of complex moves for their customers.
The firm implements a central customer service, training, and systems approach to guarantee that customer service is well managed. Some of the most notable services offered by LDK Logistics include:
LDK Logistics is prepared to assuage all your asset recovery woes. The company guarantees excellence with its expansive knowledge of the best practices in this arena to ensure success in the recovery of field assets, Dock/Inside/Desktop, completion of the necessary inventories, direction of disposal and permanent data destruction, pack (box, crate, palletize) and preparation for transportation.
LDK Logistics ensures customer satisfaction by providing in-home delivery and final mile logistics for products requiring additional care and set up.
Padded Van Transportation:
This invaluable service provided by the company eliminates the need for extensive packaging. This service is especially well suited for the recovery of collateral for trade show events and delivery or recovery of products in computer room environments.
LDK Logistics helps clients maximize their flexibility by offering over 2000 warehouses throughout North America, equipped with state-of-the-art distribution systems and high levels of security protection.
By working during typical customer hours or after hours, the team accomplishes a wide array of services to facilitate complete store closings, new display delivery and set up, fixture delivery and set up, inventory packing, and store relocation.
Apart from these, LDK Logistics also offers other services including kiosk creation programs, packaging and crating, special equipment deliveries, transportation of medical equipment and factory relocations.
An Admirable Leadership Style
Richard’s leadership style has been acknowledged by various awards over the years. As a visionary, he believes in handcrafting the strategic direction of the venture, inspiring the talented team members to excel and finally, to think outside the box to see tangible and innovative results. Richard says that vision, stability, self-confidence, empathy, reasonable risk-tolerance, and the ability to step out of the way and let people and processes do what they need to do are some of the essential attributes every CEO should possess. “My general view is that if you are dealing with talented professionals who are motivated to do the right things then the role of a manager or CEO is to allow people to do their thing in their own way and to get involved when I need to not as a matter of daily oversight but more as a source of inspiration.”
Keeping Customers Happy
Providing exceptional customer service is one of the many hallmarks of the LDK brand. As a customer-centric organization, LDK has an unwavering focus on the customer. Each customer has a single point of contact with the company so that deep relationships can be formed over years. This enables the customer service managers to fully understand their customers’ needs and can provide appropriate solutions. LDK has also recently diversified its vendor base and is constantly augmenting its custom software platform to better integrate with its customers’ systems. The plethora of services offered by the company ensure the client a holistically satisfying experience.
Curating a Conducive Work Environment
Creating a harmonious and healthy work environment is equally significant for Richard. During his long tenure as a private equity fund manager in companies across the world, Richard learnt the importance of a shared work ethic. His experience taught him that people generally want to do a good job, feel appreciated, and ultimately be rewarded for their efforts. Leaders who identify these traits are able to curate optimal environments to inspire their teams, ensure progress and avoid micro-management.
Last year was particularly challenging for companies all over the world. Richard responded to the COVID disruption by immediately setting up home-based work-stations and using technology to create on-line team protocols to ensure employees stayed connected to each other and to their customers. “It was a big experiment in remote working” according to Richard. The end result was no disruption in customer service. “We learned some lessons that we will be implementing even after the COVID epidemic is under control.” One of Richard’s findings is that remote workers can be as or more productive than office-based workers. It is largely about trusting your employees and supporting them with resources and processes that keep them connected. Cutting out commuting time is also a big bonus.
Recharging the Soul
Great leaders invest both time and effort in honing their leadership abilities. Outdoor activities help Richard replenish and sustain his entrepreneurial spirit. When he is in need of respite from the overwhelming work pressure or in need of new insights, Richard opts for a 20-30 minute hike in the outdoors. He finds that connecting with nature can be restorative to the human spirit and can help develop a fresh perspective on issues. Richard has also incorporated meditation into his daily routine to help manage stress and enhance creativity.
Richard believes in collaborating with other successful leaders. He belongs to several high impact networking groups and a monthly CEO roundtable that allows him to share experiences with other company owners in a safe and confidential space. According to Richard “my CEO roundtable colleagues help to ground me and give helpful feedback. In fact, they have both encouraged positive moves and saved me from making dome disastrous decisions over the years. I am deeply grateful”.
Guidance for Entrepreneurs
Richard supports budding entrepreneurs to follow their passions to buy or build new businesses. “I believe that there are incredible opportunities for motivated individuals who want to create entirely new lines of business or improve on existing business models. We live in a time where capital is very easily available, new industries and technologies are emerging every day, and where opportunities for mentorship are readily available.” Richard is excited at the prospects for the future and believes that giving back is very important. He has been a mentor to many business owners and entrepreneurs over the years. “I can think of few things more satisfying than helping young people to achieve their dreams”.
LDK is looking to expand its service offerings through acquisitions into asset backed transportation companies and also through the use of innovative, technology driven marketing campaigns. Under Richard’s leadership, LDK Logistics is set to achieve continued success in the future.