|Today we are publishing an interview with Anibal del Diego, the Membership Development Coordinator of The Cooperative Logistics Network. Anibal’s primary task consists of researching and recruiting the most competent freight forwarders for membership in The Cooperative. Additionally, he plays a vital role in seeking out new sales opportunities and selecting and engaging reliable members for The Cooperative. Before working at The Coop, he spent many years in the Sales and Customer Service department of a few multinational companies which gave him an in-depth knowhow of working with a goal driven basis and ensuring client satisfaction. Moreover, Anibal’s skills in interpersonal communications lends a positive, confident and determined approach to customer relationship management.|
Q. Tell us a little bit about your experience at The Coop.
A. I really enjoy what I am doing and so far my experience with The Coop team has been nothing short of delightful. We are a close knit team and my associates within the organization are very amiable. We work harmoniously to come up with innovative solutions for our network members. In the course of my service at The Coop, I have learned a great deal about enrolling new members, client research, the importance of concise and precise communication and much more.
Q. Can you tell us something about the beginnings of The Coop?
A. The Coop started its journey from September 2014 has completed 7 years in business. We started with members from over 60 cities across 50 countries and today we have recruited over 310 reliable agents across 134 countries. Moreover, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for independent freight forwarders to band together and successfully compete with the big players. Notwithstanding the several challenges of this industry since 2020, we have been able to maintain our quality standards and significantly expand our member base.
Q. What does your job consist of? Do you find your day-to-day tasks exciting?
A. My everyday work is very interesting and even demanding at times. My primary task entails doing research about the applicant companies and determining their membership eligibility. Moreover, as the Membership Development Coordinator, I am the first point of contact between the members and the network. Additionally, I also contact potential members and communicate about the advantage of joining our network. It is my responsibility to keep the number of members growing for further expanding our coverage in the coming years.
Q. Which is the most challenging part of the job?
A. The Coop accepts a maximum of 3 agents per city with the exception of busy cities where the maximum is 5 members. Therefore communicating with so many agents each from several cultural backgrounds surely poses a considerable challenge. However, my previous experience in the Customer Service Sector has taught me how to effectively deal with my clients and attend to each of their questions, issues and requirements.
Q. In your opinion, which is the greatest advantage of The Coop members in terms of sales?
A. The Coop’s referral programs can be of great financial advantage for the members. The Coop’s Referral Program gives the agents 25% discount on their first yearly membership fee for each agent that they recommend who gets accepted as a member. All members need to do is refer trustworthy agents and they get to obtain 25% discount of their membership fee if that agent eventually becomes a Coop member. They can avail of up to 4 discounts of 25% every year implying the possibility of paying zero membership fee for the coming year! Additionally, members who want to represent more than one location within a country get to pay just 50% of the posted membership fee for every additional branch.
Q. What is the most important objective of the sales team?
A. Simply put, the most important job if the sales team is to increase the number of members within the network. To this end, we constantly undertake many promotional projects and get in touch with trustworthy freight agents who could be our potential members. Additionally, we are not on the lookout for the largest forwarders in each city. What we try to find are the most reputable, well managed and financially solvent companies that also have a substantial business volume and a good credit history with their partners.
Q. What do you like about working at The Cooperative?
A. The friendly office environment fosters creativity and allows me to try out new approaches towards aspect of my job. Thanks to the constant help of my colleagues and the encouragement of the management, I think of my workplace as an extension of my family! Despite all the challenges of my work, I find it very interesting and constantly trying out new techniques to expand the outreach of our network.
My teammates are always there to help me with the task of reaching out to quality agents and offering the best customer services. The frequent board meetings and discussions help me to brainstorm and find new ideas to enhance our services and outreach. The Coop offers a proactive work environment that permits me to be innovative and creative. Over the years my colleagues have eventually become like a close knit circle of friends who work together with one common objective: to better serve our agents and to enable independent freight forwarders to become truly global.
Q. What are the values that motivate you?
A. Honesty, originality, and the wisdom to make important decisions are some of the factors that allow me to be good at what I do. In my opinion clear communication, operational integrity, and an aptitude for problem solving are crucial for expanding our network. Above anything else the agents need to feel that we care for their business. The success of our network is directly related to the success of our member companies.
What matters in my line of work is to show my clients how we really care about them. At the end of the day it all boils down to trust and it is this trust of our members which keeps us moving forward. In this context I would like to quote American business author and management guru Michael LeBoeuf -“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy,”- and this exactly is my work motto!