Building & Maintaining Successful Partnerships: A Q&A with GoBolt’s Strategic Account Partners

A two-part conversation with GoBolt’s own Christian Gagné, Dhruva Iyer and Justine Reynolds on building, and maintaining, successful brand partnerships. 

Third-party logistics (3PL) providers are essential in the supply chain, offering outsourced logistics services that enhance a brand’s overall efficiency. From warehousing and transportation to order fulfillment, and distribution, 3PLs play a crucial role in modern supply chain management. However, successful partnerships with brands don’t just happen. They require intentional and ongoing effort.

For this roundtable interview, we gathered several of GoBolt’s Strategic Account Partners to discuss what factors contribute to the success of GoBolt’s brand partnerships and what helps the company build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with its global brand partners. 

First, let’s meet the team: 

  • Christian Mathews-Gagné, Senior Enterprise Account Partner at GoBolt: With a background in customer engagement and scaling services, Christian supports GoBolt’s largest, most-environmentally conscious partners with the intricacies of parcel and big-and-bulky, last mile deliveries. Much of his work focuses on building electric vehicle programs tailored to meet the unique sustainability goals of GoBolt’s brand partners. 
  • Dhruva Iyer, Account Partner at GoBolt: Beginning her GoBolt career in operations, Dhruva now cultivates connections across dozens of GoBolt’s brand partners spanning the travel, fitness, furniture, and food service industries. Beyond this, Dhruva acts as a cross-functional project manager helping brands execute their strategic initiatives, implement effective operational structures and identify revenue growth opportunities.
  • Justine Reynolds, Senior Enterprise Account Partner at GoBolt: In three years at GoBolt, Justine has honed in on her ability to craft best-in-class experiences for brand partners and their shoppers. Today, she leverages her experience serving as customer support representative, account coordinator and account manager to build, maintain, and elevate GoBolt’s strategic partnerships with leading global brands.  

Here’s what the trio has to say about the key to GoBolt’s brand partnerships: 

Christian, let’s kick things off with you. Can you tell us about GoBolt’s general philosophy when it comes to fostering successful brand partnerships? 

Christian: The general mantra we strive for at GoBolt is logistics simplified. We embody this internally and externally. From a merchant success perspective, our team wants to convey our obsession with customer success. This comes with a lot of internal groundwork, but, by design, it looks simple and straightforward to our merchants — which it is for them. We work to ensure our merchants feel supported and act as that cross-functional linchpin to deliver their success. 

Dhruva, expanding on that, how does GoBolt differentiate itself from other 3PLs?

Dhruva: We work incredibly hard to provide merchants with unique solutions and value. Each solution we offer is customized to fit our distinct merchants’ needs. This sets us apart from other 3PLs. We also place a strong emphasis on collaborative innovation. We firmly believe that GoBolt and our merchants are genuine partners and integral members of a team. 

At every step of our relationship, we are committed to incorporating their insights, ensuring the solutions we create are tailored to seamlessly meet the needs of our mutual businesses. 

Justine, What factors are important for a 3PL and a brand to be on the same page about? And why is it beneficial to set expectations early on?

Justine: When brands are evaluating potential partnerships and making decisions on who to entrust with their business, it’s crucial they consider the people behind the scenes. At GoBolt, we prioritize our merchants by putting faces to names, understanding their businesses, and collaborating to comprehend, and address, pain points and goals. We approach partnerships with a high level of flexibility and a strong commitment to working collaboratively with brands. 

This naturally leads to better alignment across our shared teams and a drive to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and promptly address any issues that may arise. With our exceptional implementation team guiding the process from start to finish, our team delves into each brand’s unique SOP requirements, because no two brands operate the same. Our emphasis on flexibility and willingness to dig into the details at the sales, implementation, and account management levels, is a strength of GoBolt’s that leads to successful partnerships. 

How else does GoBolt ensure strong collaborations with partners from the start?

Christian: In the first 30 or 100 days of a partnership, we’re focused on establishing a playbook, implementing SOPs, and defining early on what success looks like. 

During our regular check-ins, we prioritize data-driven discussions before turning our attention to deeper strategic topics. It’s crucial we align on metrics linked to brand partners to ensure effective communication and clear expectations. Then we can look beyond day-to-day numbers at the broader picture of success and explore a more strategic partnership. 

Why is it important for brands to have flexible logistics solutions? 

Justine: From the outside looking in, it’s easy to assume that brands share similar requirements in how their packing is done or how they want their reporting executed. You’ll find very quickly that every brand has unique needs and their own way of doing things. For example, small details like custom packing notes or branded packaging are essential to our brand partners and create a special unboxing experience for their customers. 

At GoBolt, we’ve become experts in crafting custom solutions because, despite brands having similar desired outcomes, the processes behind achieving these results can vary significantly. Our team recognizes no two brands are the same. Our approach to logistics avoids implementing a cookie-cutter model that can severely limit our merchants’ uniqueness. GoBolt’s flexibility not only keeps each day interesting but consistently yields positive outcomes aligned with our partners’ goals.

Dhruva: This practice also extends to our last mile offerings. Our team works diligently to tailor last mile delivery services to meet the specific needs of every merchant and their customers. For instance, when we’re handling appliance deliveries, our team adheres to the standards set by the appliance merchant, be it hookups, removals, or drainage. Similarly, for furniture merchants, we ensure that the merchant’s SOPs are aligned with their on-site vision. We recognize that when our delivery teams are on the road, they not only represent GoBolt, but they also represent our merchants at the customer’s home. We don’t take our role lightly. 

What channels or means of communication does GoBolt have in place to ensure its brand partners always feel supported?

Christian: GoBolt ensures constant support for our merchant partners through a multi-faceted communication approach. In the onboarding phase, especially as merchants transition from sales to technology integration and scoping exercises, GoBolt prioritizes face-to-face communication. So, they’ll get touchpoints with a dedicated salesperson then are seamlessly handed off to our implementation team that walks merchant partners through playbooks, SOPs, and the collaborative process of a successful commercial relationship. This process involves the coordination of our technology and operations groups, and eventually for our more strategic merchants, individuals like Dhruva, Justine, or myself can easily step in as post-sale operators with all the momentum behind in the partnership already.

For merchants with less day-to-day interaction, our expansive customer support network comes into play. Over the past year, we’ve enhanced our centralized support system to streamline requests directly to the appropriate site and operator in real-time. We cut out the unnecessary middle person. So, whether a merchant operates in LA or Toronto, we are facilitating direct communication through solutions like Zendesk that allow them to promptly connect with the right on-site operator. 

Achieving this holistic communication flow requires merchant collaboration. Through it we can create multiple touchpoints and foster a sense of availability and support from the GoBolt team. 

There’s more to our conversation. 
Coming soon: Check back for Part two of our chat with Christian, Dhruva, and Justine as we continue our journey through the multifaceted world of successful brand partnerships.

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