Innovator - Pushing The Boundaries With You
Pianos from Eastern Europe are arriving in the U.S. badly out of tune. When APL's Cargo Specialists investigate, they noted that the shipments are traveling through several climatic zones which can quickly make a piano out of tune. APL comes up with an innovative and unconventional solution - using refrigerated containers to ship the pianos. This allows temperatures and humidity levels during transit to be set to match conditions at the factory.
It's exactly this kind of creative thinking that has propelled APL from the beginning. Whether it's opening new markets, pioneering the stacktrain or building cutting-edge information systems, APL has always made a business of pushing frontiers.
"We're always thinking about how to improve things. It's just embedded in our thought processes and in the culture of this company," observes Irene Woo, APL's Information Technology Manager in Hong Kong.
Satisfaction doesn't come easily to Irene, that is, unless she can find a better way of simplifying a process, saving a customer time or offering a new and improved solution.
"You can't just stay in one place and wait for the environment to change, you have to be active in changing the environment.
"A company that never stops thinking, APL has continued to set the standard for IT innovation in our industry, with award-winning e-commerce tools and capabilities such as encrypted electronic bills of lading that you can print at your own offices. These innovations have transformed many of the industry's traditionally cumbersome transactional and information processes, and accorded customers a high level of flexibility and convenience, saving time and money.
At APL, we have always taken the lead when it comes to helping our customers capitalize on opportunities in emerging markets such as China, India, Vietnam and Latin America. As a matter of fact, we've been facilitating trade with China from as early as 1867. We were also the first to ship a container to India in 1973. Being a first mover in such markets attests to our culture of constantly pushing frontiers, while enabling our customers to leverage and benefit from our leadership in these new and fast-growing markets.
Seeing through the customer's eyes is key to successful innovation, says APL marketer Jack Opet, who's made a career of challenging conventional wisdom.
"I've always tried to look at our business from the outside in," he says. "It gives you a different sense of what's important: if I were a customer, what would I want? It forces you to challenge yourself."
Constantly challenging ourselves ensures that customer expectations are not only met, but exceeded - that's how we at APL move business forward.