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3 Weeks In

Jim-Trailer-CircleWell, though it has been an inch by inch slog, here we are today, 3 weeks into this crisis here in the US.

The world has changed and is changing before our eyes, but LP stays strong playing our essential role in helping keep things together, here and around the world. Thank you.

Some good news amidst all the insanity:

In some countries, like China, things seemed to have slowed a good deal and life seems to be getting back to normal. That’s a good thing, and hopefully a harbinger of what’s to come elsewhere around the world.

Also, I saw an article in the NY Times this morning that SEEMS to indicate that infection rates are slowing a bit in a lot of US states. That would be good too.

The LP family has been working even more closely than normal to help move medical supplies (and other necessary goods) across the globe, helping people stay safe and fed and cared for around the world. Great job!

LP WILL remain strong and viable and will come through this stronger than most. I have no doubt about that. We can already see that we are picking up new customers where their current provider said no and where we figured out ways to yes. The LP way, and should bring us several new customers when this is over.

Also, the gallant work our LP Medical team is doing; bringing in millions of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the US, should combine with the Pharmaceutical work LP has been doing for awhile to grow our presence in the Medical/Pharma industry in a really big way going forward.

Our finance team is focusing on invoicing, collecting, improving our processes to get cash in sooner and to PRESERVE CASH, which is the watchword for businesses especially during this crisis. We are financially strong and should continue to be. There are things in that regard that are out of our control (several customers have suspended their contracts with us due to THEIR decline in business activity, and some of our customers may not come out of this mess alive) but we can’t control that. So the usual sound advice: Control what YOU CAN control is what we are focusing on and the finance teams are all doing that, and doing it well, whether from the office of from home.

Same with our IT team. They are helping “fix” things while also getting us the new and improved tools we need to handle these new projects we have taken on. Doing yeoman’s work behind the scenes to “figure it out” and deliver tools to support our ops guys, to make their jobs easier and more efficient, and our customers, giving them better visibility and access to the tools that help them manage this crisis. Thank you, guys.

Our warehouse folks have kept the products moving to keep the world afloat. Social distancing and staying safe, but doing their jobs, behind the front lines to support the front line heroes and keeping the shelves stocked so the world stays alive.

And our ops folks have stayed true to the “Find a way or make one” spirit on which this company was built. NOTHING is easy anymore. And it would be simple to say “Nope. Can’t do it. Sorry”. But you can tell by our daily $’s that they ARE finding ways to “deliver the goods” no matter what the obstacles. A true testament to our ops teams and their talent, and tenacity and creativity and resourcefulness. They have stayed at their post and kept this world moving. Proud of them/proud of you all.

You know I’ve always said that we are a logistics company—we move things. And ALL OF US are here to support the ops folks who do that day in and day out. Who are judged every day by a simple pass/fail—Did you deliver the product on time and in good shape at a fair price? That is what we do, and that is how our customers decide the value of having LP by their side (or not). Everything we do at LP is designed to make their jobs easier so that they can WOW the customer. Support from below—we lift them up—rather than management from above that beats them down. I’ve always believed that, and created this company with that model (an upside down pyramid) in mind.

So, I want to thank you—the front line ops folks—who deal with our customers every day (our customers are who pays ALL of our salaries, of course 🙂 ), who continue to find a way, despite these unprecedented obstacles we now face, despite the fear and uncertainty, despite it all, and do that with a great attitude, a confidence, a sense of humor, a professional lack of panic. And I want to thank those of you behind the scenes, supporting them/giving them the tools and the insights and the financial security and the confidence to get through this shitstorm.

Today makes 3 weeks for us in the US. Hard to believe.

We’ve made it this far, and we will get through this.

Stay safe/stay strong.

Adelante!

-Jim Berlin (Founder & CEO)