Innovating with Lean Staffing

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to open our minds to new ideas.  New ways of working.  New ways of connecting.  New ways of marketing.  New ways of selling.  New ways of hiring.  And new ways of growing.  Disruption has a way of doing that, and the nimblest organizations are able to pivot in changing environments and win.  

In the midst of a global pandemic with remote work becoming not just preferred but, in many cases, mandatory, virtual workspaces and work-from-home situations quickly switched from a business owner’s biggest fear to a proven model of productivity and efficiency.  This change in perspective created an opportunity to save money and hire the best talent regardless of where prospective employee resided, whether within or outside of the United States.   

This transition opened up new possibilities for logistics companies across North America to reconsider their strategy for scaling their businesses in a post-COVID world, which is why Lean Solutions Group continued to grow.  For the past eight years, we have supported our clients with an incredible pool of bilingual, highly talented and highly motivated professionals from one of five amazing cities in Colombia with our innovative nearshore staffing model.  In an unpredictable year like 2020, Lean grew to over 2,000 employees, all of which are successfully working from home, although we can’t wait to get back to the office to show off the energy and culture within our amazing facilities.   

The nearshore staffing model is named after the fact that most Colombians understand the American culture, speak great English and are excited to work with North American countries, even though they are a couple thousand miles offshore.  Many of our team members spent time in the states as kids or went to college in an English-speaking country, improving their speaking & writing skills, and understanding the American culture of sports & entertainment.   

As a result, this partnership business model takes the best aspects of traditional outsourcingbut with more management control and the highest levels of IT security.  Best of all, it’s significantly easier to establish this model than it is to set up a new office within the states.  Most importantly, because of our experience in the transportation & logistics industry, working with over 150 clients, including 9 publicly traded companies, all of our employees are highly trained in transportation & logistics.   

The Lean story began some 25 years ago with our Founder and CEO, Robert Cadena, who grew up on the northern shore of Colombia in the quaint, tourist city of Cartagena.  In coming to the states for college, he began his transportation career working on a loading dock and eventually started his own LTL brokerage.  In an effort to maximize his margins and bring economic opportunity to his hometown, he set up his back office operations in Cartagena, training his team to handle the myriad of issues that arise in logistics.   

In time, his company was acquired by a larger broker looking for an LTL offering, and in doing its due diligence, recognized the value of having back office operations in Colombia with professional employees providing quality customer service.  That’s when the light bulb went off and Robert realized this model would be valuable to other brokerages as well.   

In partnering with David Bell, Lean Solutions Group was formed  in 2012, and the nearshoring model began to gain traction among logistics companies, including some of the largest freight brokerages and 3PLs in the industry.  In the past two years, the focus has shifted to include new offerings based on customer requests, including IT developers and tech-based projects through Lean Tech.  In 2020, Lean began offering sales & marketing support through Lean Sales and Lean Marketing, with customers recognizing the value of building a partnership with a company that truly understand every aspect of their business.    

About The Author:

Let's Talk Supply Chain Innovating with Lean Staffing 1Trey began his career as a high school physics teacher & coach, also spending much of his time working with students as a youth pastor. In 2010, he transitioned to a career in sales, cutting his teeth in door-to-door office supply sales for 15 months before accepting a sales position with a transportation tech company in Portland, OR. Trey enjoys coaching teams to be great, as well as speaking on sales & marketing strategies, leadership & organizational structure, and technology. When he’s not helping companies grow, you can find Trey spending time with his family, traveling, renovating his home, playing golf, working out, reading & playing music.

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