2022 Champion Award Winner
PROFILE OF A CHAMPION: Vector Global Logistics
Changing the World through Supply Chain
Vector Global Logistics, and its Co-Founder and Managing Director Enrique Alvarez, were nominated and selected for the goBeyondProfit Champion award by fellow Georgia business leaders for their dedication to leveraging logistics to change the world. Vector’s global network responds to local needs as well as humanitarian disasters, most recently aiding the residents of war-torn Ukraine.
“We are trying to inspire other companies to adopt a similar mentality,” says Enrique Alvarez. “To see that going beyond profits is really what’s going to not only change the world, but it’s going to make your company more profitable.”
Excerpts taken from the interview with Enrique Alvarez, co-founder and Managing Director, Vector Global Logistics
The Case for Purpose-Based Culture
The reason it works is because we talk about culture all the time. Culture, for us, is front and center and literally, we talk about culture all the time, in our staff meetings, in our just regular phone calls, and we use culture. So, for us, culture and our values and our purpose are not something that we say we have. It’s not something that we have a poster somewhere in our office. We use it for hiring. We use it for selecting clients. We use it for selecting suppliers. And so, when we talk about culture, it’s very, very alive in the day-to-day things that we do.
Supplying Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine
As of now, we have shipped over 500,000 pounds of supplies, not only to help people inside the Ukraine, but also for the millions of refugees around the Ukraine. We’ve sent everything from hygiene products, flashlights, tents, sleeping bags, etc.
But I think one of the most important things we have done is open the dialogue among different organizations. We are working with competitors, agents, the governments, and clients that have been donating products left and right. Trucking companies have been donating trucking moves for us, the steamship lines have actually jumped in and helped us with some of the rates to send containers to the Ukraine.
Trend or New Reality?
I get from some of my peers that the idea of having a purpose-driven business and a very flexible work environment where people really get back their time to manage their own lives could be considered a trend. I think it was a trend before but now, this is just the new status quo. Honestly, I think that if you don’t change quickly and realize what this is all about, I fear that you’ll not be in business for long.
So, I think focusing on purpose and values, going beyond profit and wanting to maximize something other than shareholder profits is the right thing to do. But know that it is also a profitable strategy. We’re not doing it because we’re a charity, we’re a for-profit business, but this is part of our competitive advantage, and it’s also one of our more strategic imperatives as well. The reason why I say that is because purpose is here to stay. So, if you want to have access to a top-notch talent pool and want to hire the best employees out there, this is important to them.