External Media Report

Built to Perform: 10 Years ACS Logistics

© Joachim Horvath | ÖVZ/LogEASTics

An article by "ÖVZ - Österreichische Verkehrszeitung", appeared in "LogEASTics" (June 22, 2021).

Throughout its history, ACS Logistics has maintained high standards of customer service and quality.

747 Cargo Plane being unloaded

"Time Critical Services" and "Emergency Solutions" are a specialty of the Upper Austrian forwarding company.

It all started with an office container in the freight center at Hörsching Airport. From here the company founders Ulrich Hartwig, Gerald Kleeberger and Thomas Sticht looked after the first customers of ACS Logistics GmbH & Co KG. It is quite possible that some competitors underestimated the "newcomer" at the time. The demands were already very ambitious when the company was founded in 2011. The company wanted to become the highest quality provider of transport and logistics solutions for air and ocean freight in Austria. And that of all things in a market segment that has been defined by fierce cutthroat competition for decades.

This can go wrong if you choose the wrong strategy. ACS Logistics countered this danger with a very methodical approach right from the start. "We wanted to do forwarding differently and decided to take a very specific route," says Thomas Sticht. This was and still is being implemented with a high degree of digitization maturity. By automating routine activities, employees have more time to deal with customers and design processes. Linked to this is a start-up culture. This results in so-called instant solutions with high quality, agility and flexibility. Due to the high scalability, this demanding service level can be offered on a broad basis.

Quality in international freight forwarding also depends on the mindset of potential clients. Anyone who thinks that the providers of transport and logistics services are interchangeable will be disappointed with ACS Logistics. But it is very unlikely that it will come to that. Because the forwarding company from Linz Hörsching, which opened an air freight office in Office Park 4 at Vienna Airport at the beginning of the year, pursues a clear core customer strategy and analyzes exactly which customers you can ideally serve with your setup. This includes industries with high expectations in terms of performance and quality. If these companies need partners who can react quickly, so much the better. It is not for nothing that "Time Critical Shipments" and "Emergency Solutions" are among the specialty areas of ACS Logistics.

With its methodical approach, clearly defined processes and a high level of digitization maturity, the forwarding company looks after many Austrian customers. Excellent logistics solutions for global supply chains.

Thanks to its agility and flexibility, the company has won numerous new customers in recent months. "We give companies security by being available to them," notes Thomas Sticht. You benefit from the pronounced process and technology orientation. Every transport order is therefore subject to end-to-end planning and, as a result, automated performance control. The innovative visibility, monitoring and tracking platform called WebTracker supports customers in planning and forecasting processes. This results in complete order transparency including the integration of all parties involved within one system. The 40-strong team from ACS Logistics controls everything and constantly monitors customer needs.

The Hörsching-based logistics company has thus grown to a considerable size. "We have a tenacious sense of team spirit and a high degree of identification among our employees," notes Thomas Sticht. He is proud of the small, outstanding technology team tapped for the support of existing and new business on the one hand and for the further development of IT solutions on the other. In his opinion, the topic of digitization in the logistics industry is still not handled in a structured way. For this reason, ACS Logistics favours high school graduates, dropouts and career changers as newcomers, who can then also take advantage of the educational path of the "Dual Academy" in Upper Austria.

With many long-term customer relationships, several high-ranking awards, a fixed position among the top 10 Austrian air freight forwarders and around 10,000 TEU ocean freight per year, ACS Logistics is aware it has achieved the moniker "top performer" in overseas freight. That is why the company's vision statement has been formulated to span until 2030. The entire team states "The best tailor-made logistics solution. Anytime. Straightaway." as their mission. A progressive business model is created by transforming future customer requirements into smart logistics solutions. This is characterized by quick responsiveness and availability at all times. It's about presenting complex logistics as simply as possible.

ACS Logistics relies on its global partner network with around 600 offices in 140 countries. The client-base is dominated by Austrian companies with high demands on quality, communication behavior and guidance. They prefer generalists with a high level of transparency and reliability. Quick decision-making is also valued, which is undoubtedly an advantage for the independent and owner-managed freight forwarder. "Short response times are one of our particular strengths," reflects Thomas Sticht. He states the annual turnover in 2020 at almost 30 million euros.

Ulrich Hartwig, Gerald Kleeberger and Thomas Sticht have brought their vision of a modern freight forwarder to life.

Until 2019, the Upper Austrian forwarding company had increased its annual turnover by 20-30 percent. The management initially reacted to the Covid 19 crisis with defensive measures such as short-time work. This however neither served to strengthen output, nor did it create security for employees and customers. That is why they switched back to their trial and tested offensive stance in July. By means of learning phases, determined further development and continuous process optimization, the groundwork was layed for the future. One result is the agile target achievement method OKR - Objectives & Key Results, with which the company intends to consolidate and expand its position as an Austrian full-service provider for global logistics solutions over the next few years.

Original article for print (German) – Download

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