Annual Review & Outlook 2013: Horizon Lines

Sam WoodwardIn the shipping business, any strategic plan must include a strong operational focus and, above all else, a comprehensive understanding of — and commitment to — the needs of our customer.

Among the biggest challenges facing our industry today is our ability, or inability as the case may be, to translate the advantages of rapid technological innovation into value-added execution. A strategic vision is useless in the absence of a very robust and real ability to tactically execute on that vision to the satisfaction of our customer.

Turning knowledge and technological innovation into value-added execution is not easy. It requires a clear understanding of the value we bring to our customer’s supply chain. Then and only then can we focus our resources on what we call “the business of our business” — aligning the organization around the needs of our customer and relentlessly pursuing excellence within this alignment. Our people, our processes, all of our assets must focus on providing efficient, world-class service at a fair price — on moving freight on time and intact, with total reliability.

The challenges to successful execution and customer satisfaction are many. The value of strategic planning is always measured by how well we operate on a day-to-day basis. Our business operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year through hurricanes, ice storms and other physical limitations. We are only as good as the last shipment successfully delivered. We are only as strong as our weakest link.

The relentless pursuit of excellence requires that we understand and remain focused on the needs of our customer, on the business of our business. Doing this allows us to implement the right strategies rather than be distracted by the wrong ones.

Visit Horizon Lines online.

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