Teoh Company Logistics is no stranger to the business of logistics. One of the main local partners of international brands such as DHL and Ceva Logistics, the company’s impeccable on-time performance, efficiency and care makes it the preferred choice for many specialized consignments delivery. Delivering cosmetics is the company’s major business, but it also has contracts in delivering medical equipment and other consumer goods for major hypermarkets and supermarkets. Managing Director Alvin Teoh speaks to Top 10 of Malaysia on his company’s business expansion, upon taking over from his father some 18 years ago.
Logistics is a sector rife with shifting demands and last minute changes. Nevertheless, with 30 years of experience, Teoh Company Logistics has evolved to manage high expectations and changing conditions with professionalism and accountability.
“In the current market for logistics, customers increasingly ask for value-added services in competitive pricing. We are unique in the sense that we are not merely a transporter. We actually handle many steps of the supply chain including segmentation and packaging, providing warehousing services and record keeping. In other words, we are a one-stop service provider in logistics,” explains Managing Director Alvin Teoh.
Teoh Company currently has over 40 clients and a fleet of 60 vehicles consisting of trailers and Fuso lorries of a variety of tonnage. Its long haul delivery services cover Peninsular Malaysia and the company has a similarly wide network of partner logistic service providers. Additionally, it has warehouses in Klang Valley to provide storage in support to logistics services.
“I inherited my father’s business, which at that time was called Teoh Company. It had been operating for 12 years with just two lorries and one contract – Johnson & Johnson,” says Teoh. “I wanted the company to grow, so naturally I had to do many things differently.”
He started writing proposals to investors and banking institutions with a limited command of English, and went out to canvas for more businesses. On both fronts he was rejected many times. The turning point came in 2000 when EXEL LOGISTICS, a foreign company, heard about Teoh’s services for Johnson & Johnson and contacted the company. A partnership was struck and Teoh Company started on a journey to becoming the first choice of local logistic partner for international brands, upon overcoming a few challenges initially.
In delivering cosmetics whilst partnering with EXEL LOGISTICS, Teoh had just six lorries to handle high volumes. Furthermore, he had to train his crew to understand the complexity of cosmetics delivery such as temperature control and handling. Upon achieving this and seeing an opportunity to expand, Teoh was faced with a shortage of capital. Trying to obtain additional funds from the banks on his own was an exercise in futility as the company was still small back then.
“Fortunately for me, my partner in EXEL LOGISTICS was willing to help me write a proposal and introduced me to a banker. I managed to get a loan and expanded the business. I worked very hard for 5 years to make sure the loan was repaid on time and after that, banks came to me offering credit facilities. I didn’t have to go and knock on their doors anymore,” says Teoh with a smile.
Simultaneously, the owner of EXEL LOGISTICS was selling off his company. It turned out to be a good thing for Teoh as DHL acquired it and maintained partnership with Teoh. As business stabilized, Teoh modernized operations by earnestly adopting technology, and using specially developed software, he is able to monitor his drivers’ performance. From tracking the vehicles’ location, speed, idling time, down to immobilizing the vehicles, he ensures consignments are delivered within the guaranteed timeframe. Moreover, proofs of delivery for his clients were retained for up to 3 years thanks to the Document Management System he uses. Teoh says that in the past he needed 3 staff to monitor the fleet’s status to ensure it is serviced on time and its legal documentations are updated. Today, Teoh Company Logistics which was incorporated in 2010, has only 10 staff members in office and 5 based at major clients’ sites. The company is also ISO 9001-certified and a winner of Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand Award in 2015.
Moving ahead, Teoh says his company will continue to provide excellent services to existing clients though market conditions are currently challenging. He believes it is important for the company to save cost and is now considering servicing the company’s vehicles service on an in-house basis.
“Market conditions are quite tough now, but logistic services are indispensable for businesses. To remain in the market we cannot rely on price-cutting measures, but on our commitment to give quality service,” he says. “We want to maintain standards and quality rather than cutting corners.”