Insights & News

What Makes a Good Team – and What Makes an Excellent Team

Posted On March 21, 2016

Logistics management is an intense business. Our customers depend on Flat World Supply Chain to help get their goods and supplies across the world quickly and efficiently. Accomplishing that requires cooperation, communication, and coordination. While our customers expect us to get the job done right, the expectation we put on ourselves is even greater.

And we have big expectations because we know our work matters, which is why we’ve focused on creating a culture of excellence. At Flat World Supply Chain, and across the entire Flat World Holdings family of companies, which includes Flat World Hospitality and Ram International, we define a culture of excellence a very specific way.

In our definition of excellence, is the customer always right? No, not always. We view our customers as business partners, and good partnerships are built on trust—and trust is built on both parties being honest and direct with each other. Sometimes that means we have to help show our customers a new or innovative approach to logistics management. Doing something a different way can be uncomfortable, and moving out of your comfort zone is a lot easier when you are making that leap with a partner you trust. In our definition of excellence, are we always right? Definitely not. Logistics management is complex, and sometimes a solution isn’t readily available.

While it may take some time for our team to get a customer the right information, we pride ourselves on finding that solution as soon as we can. We are not afraid to say, “I don’t know”, as long as we follow that with, “but I will find out.”Our culture of excellence is not built on telling customers what they want to hear, or an assumption that we always have the right answers. Instead, we base our culture on:

Creating an environment that makes our employees proud to be part of our family. Working hard, because what we do matters.Being responsive to customers, and to our team members.

Being transparent and honest in all of our interactions.

Those principles are the foundation of our culture of excellence, and they originate with how our team treats each other. How do you build a team like that?

First of all, it requires intention. As a company you need to consciously define what you want your culture to be. For the Flat World family of companies, we want to create a culture built on recognizing the fact that while we might be a technology-driven logistics management firm, it’s not the technology that drives us. Our people drive us.

Creating a culture of excellence based on being “people-driven” means that we create opportunities for our team to get to know each other and have fun outside of work. It means that we support each other. And it means that we respect diversity and new ideas, and the results those new ideas generate.

“Our friendship and the respect we have for each other means we are quick to get each other’s backs,” says Stacey Gallagher, Director of Project Management at Flat World Hospitality. “Everyone from our owners on down will step in to help a team member who needs it. It sets the tone for how we all treat each other—and our customers.”

We believe that creating a team that feels like a family, working hard, being there for our colleagues and customers, and being transparent in all of our interactions is the foundation of our culture of excellence. It’s a culture that values people, both the people we work with, and the people—customers—we ultimately work for. Because, in the end, we’ve learned that if you want to move “things” you have to move people first. That’s how we define a culture of excellence: one that moves our team to do great things for your team.