Logistics that cover from lean to green and everything in-between, Logikor's solutions provide complete transport and supply chain efficiency, enabling clients to focus on their core business and gain competitive edge in their industry. The Ontario-based logistics specialist has proven such capability having about 20 years of experience serving the Toyota Group, whose own Toyota Production System (TPS) has become a benchmark for global manufacturing companies. Its extensive training and experience in Just in Time and TPS manufacturing with lean logistics as its core competency allowed Logikor to seamlessly venture into various industries. Originally focused on the automotive sector, Logikor has expanded to information technology (IT), pharmaceutical, high-end fashion retail, aerospace, defence and wind power. Taking pride in its flexibility, it ensures that its solutions are tailor-made to each client's requirements regardless of the company's size. "Logikor was created with the mindset of applying the well-established and flexible concepts of TPS to every other industry out there," says president and founder Darryl King. "The idea was to bring that kind of mindset to all other industries and get value for them where they have missed or not understood what the value might be." This idea has evolved into the sound business model through which Logikor has built its foundation of productivity-enhancing standardisation and robust IT platforms. From dedicated transportation to green supply chain design, the company provides end-to-end supply chain management using a value-added approach instead of a less beneficial cost-plus model. To provide its customers round-the-clock support services wherever they are, the company has also expanded its geographical scope with hubs in Canada, the United States and Hong Kong. "We offer a true end-to-end supply chain management programme to assure clients that no matter where their products, sources or destinations are in the world, we have the resources in place to support them," King says. "We look at what's going to add value to the client because we understand that the more competitive we make them, the more business they will get - and the more we can grow together with them." Adding value through lean logistics Logikor's longstanding ties with Toyota have been a pillar of the company's operations since day one - and understanding TPS is the key to maximising Logikor's solutions. TPS has been such a groundbreaking integrated socio-technical system that it has become synonymous with the Japanese-developed lean manufacturing principle. It is generally defined as the elimination of non-value-added activities or wastes, namely overproduction, waiting, transport, non-value-added processing, excess inventory, defects, excess motion and underused people. Ingrained with the "Toyota Way" of thinking, Logikor's logistics consulting team can analyse a company's production and packaging data to maximise the efficiency of its internal and external supply chain. It uses TPS principles such as high frequency, low lot size, heijunka (the groundwork for creating flow and minimising inventory in the supply chain), jidoka (identifying problems as they occur and at the source) and kaizen (making incremental improvements to reach a goal of eliminating all wastes that add cost but not value). Applying these principles, Logikor helps clients realise efficiency increases, inventory reductions, space savings, improved pipeline visibility and optimisation of the entire supply chain. "We believe that the same elements that apply in the Toyota environment can be applied in any other environment," King says. "We have proven this when we transcended to other industries. In aerospace, for instance, we have demonstrated that we have the capability to add value and change their supply chain functions that work for their organisation rather than against it." One of the key people who developed Toyota's integrated network in North America, King spent more than 10 years managing the carmaker's logistics from daily operations to multiplant integration. His experience provided Logikor an insight into companies' problem areas and bottlenecks, enabling in-depth analyses that translate to tangible efficiency results. Unlike its bigger competitors, Logikor is also able to customise solutions for small, medium-sized and large businesses through its flexible platforms. In transportation, for example, it offers everything from warehousing and cross docking and distribution to freight forwarding, intermodal, air and ocean shipments, trucking and sequencing operations - whereas other companies focus on only one or two services. Such dependability has earned Logikor repeat business and close relationships with Toyota and other major players in key industries. Among these is US-based aerospace and defence contractor General Dynamics, whose stringent logistics requirements leave no margin for error. The company relies on Logikor for all of its shipping in North America, which amounts to as much as 65,000 shipments per year. "The stringent parameters that industries such as technology, aerospace and defence have do not have to be an obstacle to getting results on the logistics side," King says. "We find the solutions that get around these parameters so that we are still compliant yet at the same time obtain the cost savings and other results that the organisation needs." On top of its solutions, Logikor has developed the LOGIKweb interface, an in-house online programme that enables clients to track and trace shipments from point of pickup to delivery 24 hours a day. Designed to support customers wherever they are, LOGIKweb also allows clients to request specific pickup details including the delivery time, exact type and quantity of the cargo, temperature and even specific equipment requirements of the freight. Launched in 2007, LOGIKweb continues to undergo development and upgrades based on customer feedback to ensure that it keeps up with changing demands and requirements. "LOGIKweb differentiates us from competitors because it is a platform that allows us to minimise our own administration. What this means for clients is that they get as close to the best market cost as possible because we keep our prices in line with the market or better," King says. "It allows us to potentially add significant increases in business for both the clients and ourselves without necessarily increasing manpower or team members to support it." From North America to Asia Making Logikor's services more accessible to its growing customer base does not stop with LOGIKweb. Recognising Asia as a major driving force in the logistics industry, the company established its Hong Kong office in October last year. Fully staffed and operational, the Hong Kong hub supports Logikor's clients that are active in the Asian market. "Hong Kong is the gateway to mainland China and the rest of Asia," King says. "It makes a lot of sense to set up a base in Hong Kong, especially since Hong Kong and Canada have strong ties and cultural similarities. More importantly, the expansion benefits our clients from the geographical standpoint." While the Hong Kong office serves mainly clients with existing Asian operations, Logikor aims to bridge more enterprises that want to engage in Asia. From within, Logikor Hong Kong also plans to attract Chinese companies that are yet to be introduced to lean principles. It targets local manufacturers, in particular, to which it aims to provide end-to-end supply chain management. "One of our objectives is to attract not only original equipment manufacturers but any domestic companies that want to stay in the game and get ahead of the business," King says. "The real benefit to the Chinese society and manufacturers will be the long-term competitive advantages of using lean logistics, with which we hope to equip them." The Hong Kong hub will also be responsible for all shipments between Asia and Europe and South America, particularly emerging markets such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Upholding its standards, the company trained all of its Hong Kong employees in its Canada headquarters so they can bring the same added value that Logikor stands for. "We foresee significant growth in the Hong Kong hub in the next three to five years, by which time we hope to have already broadened our presence in Asia," King says. "Logikor is committed to our clients' success and we will continue to support them in Asia to help them become the best that they can be in the markets that they serve. We are 100 per cent confident that we can do that, having a proven track record and history to show that we can make a significant change in their operations." Partnerships for the long haul As Logikor looks into China and the rest of Asia as key growth areas, the company is also opening its doors to new partners that match its standards and quality models. It is particularly interested in companies that are actively engaged in the communities where they operate and thoroughly understand the local market. It likewise looks forward to finding partners that have similar business ethos and values, especially when it comes to continuous improvement and flexibility. "Like us, our partners must be able to have the flexibility to provide what customers need - knowing that as their business changes, we are changing with them to keep addressing the concerns that they have," King says. "We are always searching for allies who are available, who are interested and who are levelling up their performance to what we think it needs to be effective." Logikor also demonstrates its strong belief in giving back to the communities where it operates globally by taking part in various associations and foundations. These include Kiwanis International, Cambridge Hospital Foundation, Rotary International, Mission to Haiti, Canadian Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and Make a Wish Foundation. It also supports minor sports teams and post-secondary education institutions. "All these local and international initiatives are crucial to the growth of our company," King says. "We envision being an industry-leading player in the market wherein Logikor comes to mind when people think about innovation, value and success for their business."