How HPL-Apollo Made 2016 A Success
HPL-Apollo is having a great year in 2016 thus far, having grown by 30% in sales since 2015. Chief Operating Officer Ivo Skorin attributes much of this growth from a decision to focus on perishables exports to Asia, Australia and the Middle East.
“We’re very happy with that, not just because we’ve been growing, but because that was our plan and we accomplished it,” Skorin said.
Skorin said they opted to focus on exports because the turnaround is very quick. Whereas with imports or warehousing, a product (in this case, perishables like fruit or flowers) could be at the facility for 24-48 hours while exports on the other hand, move through the facility much quicker.
“The products come in around 4:00 am, and they are gone by noon,” he said. Hence, they are able to use their facilities more efficiently, which in turn improves their bottom line.
Additionally, Skorin attributes much of their success to working with their partner organization, Hellmann Perishable Logistics, and its global network, the HPL network. Thanks to the HPL network, Skorin says, HPL-Apollo is receiving sales leads from all around the globe.
Part of what sets the company apart from its competitors is going the extra mile for its customers. Skorin said when they noticed their growth in perishable exports was really beginning to take off, they looked at ways to minimize risks for themselves and more importantly, the customer. In February 2016, they began working with the Produce Inspectors of America to bring in quality control inspectors to evaluate shipments before they would leave the HPL-Apollo facility.
Every time a supplier delivers a product to the HPL-Apollo facility, an agricultural engineer inspects the product: checking the temperature, the level of sugar, the condition of the product, etc. The inspector sends a detailed report, complete with photographs, to the customer before shipping the produce. If they don’t like what they see, the customer has the right to stop the shipment before it leaves the facility, thus saving themselves the costs of returning the product to the supplier.
This service, Skorin said, is “above and beyond” the service provided by their competitors, who may provide some details about a shipment to customers, but nothing to the level of the reports the quality control inspectors provide.
“As we are growing, we are focused on maintaining good customer service,” Skorin said. “We have a great team that is doing a great job and we’ll keep working on being always available, in providing the right feedback, and the right communications at the right time,” he said.