Family Style Relationships
Borderline is all about family style relationships with clients, not fancy, shiny buildings and lavish offices which are meant to impress; but often cover poor service and money making business attitudes, where customers are just dollar figures.
Most small to medium sized businesses are family owned and operated. Even many very large businesses remain family owned. Our client, Orbit Irrigation Products Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah, is an excellent example of a small family business that has grown into a giant company with manufacturing and sales all over the world. The philosophy of this company is still based around family, and relationships, which makes companies like Borderline feel like part of the team, and an important partner in their global business.
After visiting several warehouse service companies in the GTA, we had a new client tell us that they felt like these large, new, modern facilities were visually impressive, however the client did not feel like their needs would be respected and that they would not get good value for their dollars. Borderline specializes in working with small firms who are just starting out who require “hands on service”, or larger USA based companies who are just entering the Canadian retail market for the first time, and are unsure of Canadian laws and social habits which are unique.
Sometimes small business owners are so focussed on budgets and lack of capital that they don’t realize that their warehouse and fulfillment partners are just as valuable as their lawyers, bankers, and sometimes even their business partners. Often the warehouse is the physical face of the client with many of these retailers, and having a reliable, safe, secure, and dependable warehouse partner says a lot about your company.
Borderline has found that our most valuable sales tool is our reputation and our client’s recommendations to others about our service and staff relations. There are fundamental differences between doing business in Canada as opposed to the U.S.A., and many US clients don’t understand how Canadians do business, (does Target ring a bell!), and we have learned what those differences entail, and we can help our new clients work through some of these issues.
Having all the US “Big Box” retailers coming into Canada has changed the Canadian retail landscape, and warehouses and fulfillment centres like Borderline have become a very necessary piece of the logistics supply change between these suppliers and the Canadian consumer. Most products are produced off-shore and there are many steps involved to getting these products from point A to point Z , and the warehouse provides an integral part to this chain.
We often have internal discussions as to why our very small clients always expect Borderline to provide “hands on service” without allowing us to charge a fair fee to cover expenses and actually make a small profit. Why is it imperative for the client to make a profit, however it is not important that Borderline also make a profit? The larger the client, the more they understand that Borderline’s financial viability and success means that they will be around for another 60 years.