People Who Move the World: World Exchange
World Exchange is a multi-generational family business with logistics in its blood. An eye on the future and a respect for the past has led to its continued success in a rapidly changing industry.
In the logistics industry, upstart companies often compete on price and speed, constantly undercutting each other and often overpromising. But World Exchange understands that there’s no replacement for experience.
“You can always find cheap customs clearance, but you’re not going to find the breadth and depth of knowledge that I feel our firm offers,” says David Gomez, President and CEO of World Exchange.
“No matter the complexity of customs issues that are brought to our office, we can handle it.”
World Exchange thrives on challenge. Among the items the team has helped clear through customs are space shuttle debris, fresh air from Antarctica, and even cadaver parts for medical research.
David’s confidence stems from a lifetime in the industry with many years working at all levels of the company. “Logistics has always been in the blood. Tom Bradley International Terminal [at LAX] was literally my playground growing up as a child. As I’ve grown with the company, it’s been a unique challenge and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Tackling Change Head On
David took over from his father Frank Gomez as CEO last year. As with so many family businesses, the transition wasn’t easy but, at 71 years old, Frank felt it was essential.
“Things are changing now with technology. You’ve got to let go and give the younger generation an opportunity to take hold and make things better,” says Frank. “I have total confidence in David. I know in my heart now that he can do it.”
Frank says Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) had been a dream of his since he started the company over 20 years ago, but he was initially resistant to migrating across to CargoWise One. He’s glad David convinced him to make the move.
“We were struggling,” Frank admits. “We have good tools now. We can compete on any level with anyone and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Doing More with Less
CFO Amy Hess says the move to CargoWise One has allowed her to do less menial work and focus on what she loves. “We are able to do so much more,” she says. “There are projects that we are in the middle of that we would never have been able to do before because the software we had just wasn’t capable.”
Hess loves solving problems for her customers and for herself. In addition to employing a WiseService Partner to help with initial training, she says that the online resources available for CargoWise One have been continuously helpful. “We used the eLearning a lot. Once we had the system and we had the training and you could add the eLearning, all together it does make a big difference. And I still access the eLearning, there’s a lot of information there.”
For Frank Gomez, the decision to hire a WiseService Partner was an easy one, consistent with his business philosophy. “In this business, you don’t want to wait,” he says. “If we’re going to take something on, we’re going to go full steam ahead and get it done properly. [Engaging a WiseService Partner] allowed us to hit the ground running.”
David Gomez agrees. “When we actually pulled the trigger and went live that first day, it was really smooth. Compared to previous transitions, my staff felt very comfortable. There’s just so much support that we get from WiseTech that it’s been a night and day difference to where we were at before.”
New Challenges, New Opportunities
The switch to CargoWise One and the transition between generations at the helm have helped usher in a new era at World Exchange. Frank Gomez is now focusing on Problem Solvers, the consulting arm of the business, and David has bold new plans to continue the company’s growth.
“I find logistics such a fascinating realm. There’s nothing quite like it on this planet where humans are interacting with each other through trade,” he says. “We’re, right now, getting some great opportunities to push forward in that realm and to be able to compete with the FedExes and DHLs and Amazons of the world. It’s a really exciting time to be in logistics and I’m just very excited to be able to work with my staff and grab the opportunities that are out there.”
In a family business like World Exchange, knowing where you’ve come from makes it much easier to see where you can go.