Q: One obvious change in world of banking logistics has been the implementation of branch image-capture and a reduced need to transport checks. How has AEXGroup adapted to that change and what logistical needs do banks value now?
JD: We’ve been working with banks since the 80’s, so we’re used to change. One thing we’ve learned is to be flexible and accommodate our clients business model – not the other way around. When branch image-capture reduced the amount of checks being transported, we had to look at the whole system and see where we fit. Things shifted from a security and compliance needs to network needs, and we saw an opportunity in that. Banks still needed a lot of services – inter-office mail, marketing materials, office products – and our network became a huge asset to them. A lot of banks are seeing a real cost-savings in outsourcing courier services today. The cost of owning a private fleet is more difficult to sustain. Because of how AEX integrates with our clients, and because of our large network of coverage across the Mid-Atlantic, we’ve been a really logical choice as a partner in the past few years.
Q: So banks are outsourcing courier services, but what they really want is someone who “feels” like a private courier?
JD: Exactly. That’s the real business now. So at AEXGroup we’ve recognized a competitive advantage in integrating better than anyone else. At Susquehanna Bank (SBI) for example, we’ve actually created their own labeling system recognized by our software. A branch manager at Susquehanna can print out a SBI label that looks every bit like something that would be routed internally, then an AEX truck picks it up and routes it where it needs to go. That’s seamless, and that’s the way you need to integrate into customers operations today.
Q: But you’re still not a private courier, you’re delivering for companies in a wide range of industries. So how are you learning what’s best for banks and helping them improve?
JD: Well, we’re a logistics provider, not a bank. We don’t tell banks what rate to lend at or who should be approved for mortgages, but we sure do know a lot about logistics. We always look at our customers business model and find areas for improvement. Take Wells Fargo, who we’ve worked with for ages. They were using Fedex to transport checks to be destroyed, and they were paying standard rates for it. That’s crazy! We added document destruction as a service and reduced that cost dramatically.
Q: In the banking industry, what are some of the most tangible things a logistics partner brings to the the table and what impact do they have to the bottom line?
JD: There’s really two answers to that question: the right logistics partner should help you work smarter and save money. We kill two birds with one stone by having the best network. Because we cover such a wide area and deliver the same time every day, our costs are incremental instead of fixed – like UPS/Fedex. There’s also strength in our flexibility for our clients. Scheduled delivery times mean less interruptions for our customers, and a better overall experience. I really think that you have to care about your customers business to succeed, and that’s exactly what we do.