ArticlesDecember 27, 2023
2023: A Year in Review
After a year of growth, learnings, opportunities, and successes, a momentary lookback affords us the occasion to reflect on our performance this year. We assess not only the gap but also the gain. Charles-Antoine Martin, Vice president, Network planning and engineering, and Simon Spratley, Vice president, Operations, share their take on a busy 2023 and an ambitious 2024 in this year's recap.
How would you describe our operations in the past year?
Charles-Antoine Martin: "Everything we did this year was in preparation for Peak 2023. Peak season became the entire focus of the organization – to ensure we have the capacity, commit to processes, and are able to deliver quality at peak.
Secondly, Intelcom has always been a last-mile focused company. This year, we have many new clients with different expectations, and we needed to adapt our approach."
Simon Spratley: "An extraordinary level of effort was exerted by the team this year. We grew our business and set new benchmarks for 2024. We implemented our control tower, which allowed us to better prepare for peak while improving our overall processes.”
What were our biggest operational challenges this year, and how did we respond to them?
Charles-Antoine: "Our four value streams: roles and responsibilities, training and onboarding, ability to ramp up and managing exceptions, helped us guide our decision-making this year as we navigated any operational challenges.
For example, with roles and responsibilities, we made sure to communicate a sense of accountability among our teams. Everyone needs to know what their job is, what they're evaluated on, how they can do better at their job, and where theirs ends and others' start.
For training and onboarding, we reduced turnover by improving the onboarding experience while ensuring someone who joins the company today is operational as fast as possible.
Our third stream, ability to ramp up, was all about scalability. How do I ensure I can double my capacity for five weeks and then ramp back down? Otherwise, costs are going to explode.
Finally, we needed to identify the exceptions in our delivery flow to eliminate them, or find ways to manage them when they happen. We can now anticipate where and when we would have situations needing to be monitored – to look to the horizon and adapt before there's a fire."
Simon: "Our teams really came together this year. We integrated the East and West into one team, which resulted in a tremendous uptick in collaborative efforts. This really helped us better plan for high volume seasons.
Major strides were also made by our human capital team by backfilling most of our Station Manager roles."
What have we learned, and what are we bringing into 2024?
Charles-Antoine: "The biggest thing is the power of focus. If you do 1% of 100 different things, nothing moves. One thing we did very well this year was to focus our team on two or three things to put all their effort into.
This year, we also embraced our values. We identified four key values: innovation, teamwork, diligence and customer-centricity, and having again that focus on a set number of things allowed us to all work together in the same direction."
Simon: "2024 will benefit from renewed energy and an even stronger foundation from the Intelcom team. We'll continue to build on the momentum we've generated these past 12 months."
How do our teams demonstrate Intelcom's values in our day-to-day?
Charles-Antoine: "In operations, the most important value is diligence. For people to do their job right, they need to know what their job is, what the processes are, and how to execute them. That's been a heavy focus this year. We've really stepped up.
We also focused a lot on innovation in all areas. I always say we need to refuse the status quo. What's conventional won't get us to where we want to be.
Customer focus is also prioritized. We have monthly performance reviews with our stations now, so we're getting to a point where everyone understands the importance of satisfying our clients.”
Simon: “Teamwork always plays a key role in everything we do. How we work together to overcome challenges, develop innovative solutions and deliver excellence on an everyday basis is the driving force behind our operations. Everyone plays a crucial role in making sure every package makes it to the right door.”
What role has technology played in our operations this year?
Charles-Antoine: "We've internalized a lot of our technology, which leads to lots gain in productivity. We focused on the foundations. Fixing core issues that we had with our automation was prioritized. We believe in continuous improvement – We get 1% better every day, making changes that matter to the people on the floor.
I'm looking forward to us rolling out some big initiatives in the next six months.”
Simon: "We will see the benefits of IT development next year as many ongoing projects are progressively deployed. Our employees and delivery partners will be equipped with new tools that will greatly improve their daily operations and streamline our workflows. We look forward to the added value this will bring our operations.”
What are you especially excited about for 2024?
Charles-Antoine: "We're looking forward to continuing to execute with excellence during peak seasons and starting to think about how to refuse the status quo in 2024: How do we get better? How do we change how we do it? We've built a team that thrives on challenges. We have many new clients and new initiatives rolling out. I think that's super interesting.”
Simon: "I'm proud of Intelcom for providing leaders with new opportunities, and I'm excited to capitalize on the success of 2023 with some exciting new initiatives such as our network’s expansion!”