Attention to detail doesn’t get the flashy public relations treatment that typical buzzwords like “synergy” and “integration” evoke, but for Eddie McKinley at RS Express in San Francisco, attention to detail is the cornerstone of quality service.
“Orders, inventory, pick & pack, trans-loading, every facet of what we do in a warehouse as a forwarder is improved by paying close attention to the details of what is happening around us,” Eddie explains when asked about his secret sauce.
“Avoiding errors, understanding the reality of the shipments you’re managing, all of that comes together to save time, money, and – honestly – professional integrity. RS Express knows the cargo we work on. We aren’t getting just a small snapshot of a container. Working as a team, with everyone paying attention to the cargo journey we prevent errors which reduces wasted time fixing or revising mistakes, shaves time off our preparation schedule, and completely elevates the service we offer. When you call, you speak to someone knowledgeable. When you arrive for a pickup, the cargo is complete and accurate.” Eddie understands that sometimes intense focus on one project is difficult.
Warehouses are high-activity areas where many moving pieces perform the delicate dance of loading, documenting, checking in, checking out, and general movement. Traditionally, cargo has three general positions that can be defined as: 1) Put this cargo this far down 2)This far over and 3) This far up in the warehouse space. There’s a fourth element for Eddie’s team, the need to coordinate the temperature as well.
Eddie joined RS Express in June of 2020, which many logistics professionals remember as the start of the current supply chain industry chaos. After weeks of blanked sailings, by June vessels were coming to the west coast laden with PPE and medical equipment that grounded planes were not flying. Eddie knew he needed to take a minute and get his feet under himself.
“I’m a person who wears many hats and each of those tasks deserves a thorough understanding and expertise. I came on board when everything was just starting to spin out of control in the supply chain,” he recalls.
“We’re all in this together watching shippers struggle to get the product or fight to get inventory that’s sitting on a container on the ocean. Everyone has deadlines and we’re able to turn someone’s day around by just understanding them and being the easy part of their logistics plan,” Eddie explains.
Customer service excellence is the RS Express difference, a difference that perfectly suited Eddie’s problem-solving style when he came from an operations management background. The attention to detail required when handling alcohol, wine and spirits is second to none.
“When I started we were just two guys in a warehouse and it was golden. There’s no micromanaging, an emphasis on supporting a healthy work-life balance, and a great environment to grow and learn in an atmosphere of camaraderie that we don’t typically see in many companies. When people are happy, supported, show care and consideration they love coming to work, they love being here, they work harder because it matters. RS Express and the customers matter to each of us and that’s our secret sauce.”