An interview with Monica McCombs
What are some things that Northlink has done in the last year that has helped shape the supply chain?
Creating a foundation right now that will drive our logistics company for the future.
What does the Northlink believe to be the key challenges facing customers in the year ahead, and how are we working to meet those challenges?
Market conditions have been a really big challenge. Not enough trucks or drivers, supply chain challenges in the ports, port conditions, weather challenges, etc. We are working to mitigate these things.
Describe what Northlink does today?
Our tagline is "simple, reliable, and transparent". We wanted to create a company that manages the inbound logistics for the Harbor organization, as well as other suppliers, in a simple and reliable way. These words aren’t commonly found, therefore our terms are so important to us. We want a partnership, which currently doesn’t exist. We want to create a part of the org that’s trusted. So as we work with other parts of the business and customers, we’re known for the Harbor values.
Currently have 3 team members, Northlink manages internal harbor loads, first five periods 2.3m in spend, managing 6m in logistics in 2022
The freight industry has been very challenging lately with an all time high fuel and cost in moving freight. We feel as an organization that we want to control our own destiny as much as possible.
Where do you hope to take it in the next 12-24 months?
We are looking to expand services, to be a 3rd party logistics company for key suppliers (like mars Wrigley, etc), create new business models, manage more of our freight and ultimately have our own assets, and be a full blown trucking company.
How is Northlink different from other Logistics companies?
- Simple, reliable, transparent
- Partnerships with suppliers too
- Harbor values
- Partner with noncompeting distributors (like shamrock)
How does Northlink help Harbor Wholesale & Harbor Foodservice? Other companies?
We have a team of internal industry experts, so we’re able to find efficiencies and leverage all of our operating units. If done independently, we wouldn’t be able to collaborate and coordinate volume. Our size and scale bring better service, more opportunities, and lower cost. We bring these efficiencies to our branches.
Anything else to add?
The unique thing about Harbor is that we collaborate, big collaboration effort and visibility. Visibility to help teams make better decisions. CKE (Carl's JR) and managing their freight, helping profitability. In a year with so many supply chain disruptions, we were able to help contribute and provide better service levels to our customers than our competitors.
The team has done an amazing job of creating a company while limiting disruptions to the organization, with a very small group of people. And doing it remotely! We have two President’s Club winners on the team. We are a small team that’s carrying a heavy load, but we have a wide range of skills, abilities, and a really good balance.