The Silicon Review
We are ultimately in the business of removing headaches from our end customers: Richard Waryn
The emerging new technologies are creating strategic opportunities the organizations to build competitive advantages in various functional areas of management including logistics and supply chain management. However, the degree of success depends on the selection of the right technology for the application, availability of proper organizational infrastructure, culture and management policies.
In logistics, information, communication and automation technologies have substantially increased the efficiency of data gathering, processing, analysis and tracking, of large scale goods movement. Technology is a means to enhance business competitiveness and performance. It plays a major role in the success of supply chain management by enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the logistics system.
LDK Logistics Inc is a technology driven logistics management company founded on the principle that exceptional service must be innovative, flexible, flawless, and constantly exceeding expectations.
The company was incorporated in 1991 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Richard Waryn, LDK Logistics Inc Owner/CEO, spoke exclusively to the Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
Originally, LDK was a unit of a larger freight forwarder that was spun off and run by two entrepreneurs from the logistics space. I am actually the 3rd owner. I bought it from a fellow who focused on fully operationalizing the company. LDK has always had a focused niche in White Glove logistics. What that means is that we specialize in doing complex moves of typically high-value materials. So things like large medical equipment that needs to go into hospitals or medical clinics; data center relocations; retail store racking; hospitality installs and much more.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can you learn from it?
One of our biggest challenges has been creating consistency in how we service our customers while ensuring we maintain healthy margins. We learned early on that ‘being the lowest priced company’ is a race to an untimely end. Our customers now understand that they get what they pay for -- first class service that is consistent, well communicated and fully insured. We are ultimately in the business of removing headaches from our end customers. We can do everything from one-off moves to being a fully outsourced solution for our customers.
Q. A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?
I interpret it as acting ethically, treating customers and employees well, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and giving back to the community.
We are one of the companies that have created our niche in the logistics space. We did it through identifying a need among large companies that required white glove services and implemented accordingly.
Q. Is it true that striving for both ‘ethics’ and ‘success’ in a business is a tough feat?
Not really. I do not believe that an unethical business can be successful in the long run.
Customers see through deception pretty quickly and a company that does not respect and implement an ethical culture is doomed to fail in the long run.
Q. If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
People: They are the cornerstone of any successful business.
Culture: Ensuring we have buy-in to a collective vision as well as a surplus of positive energy is crucial.
Technology: Our custom-built enterprise software system gives us an edge in terms of managing the entire lifecycle of a project from bidding to project management to invoicing and interfacing with our customers.
Expertise: Our specialized knowledge of the sectors we serve has given LDK a superior ability to service some pretty complex jobs over the years.
Management: Our management approach is about the empowerment of our people. We are not a company that second guesses our employees or stands over their shoulders. We treat them well. More importantly, we believe in them.
Q. Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
We will continue to service our customers well and develop our technology platform. Plus, we will be acquiring some more companies that have defined strategic synergies with LDK that will enable us to service our customers even better..
Richard Waryn: A Brief Background
Richard Waryn is a seasoned businessman owner and entrepreneur based in Denver, Colorado. He currently owns LDK Logistics. He is also a founding partner of a logistics start-up called DropSpot (www.dropspot.com) that seeks to fully customize the home delivery experience.
Previously, as a private equity professional, he had over 20 years of experience in buying, growing and exiting from a wide variety of early to mid-stage growth companies and large infrastructure companies around the world. He founded Centurion Capital in London in 2003, a mid-market buyout firm targeting deals in a variety of sectors including retail, financial services, distribution and real estate. Mr. Waryn was also a Managing Director of Dubai Capital Group’s private equity activities in the CIS Region where he helped to set up and run a private equity fund group affiliated with Dubai’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. Richard was also the co-founder of several successful emerging market funds including Troika Capital Partners’ $300 million (Moscow) Russia New Horizon Fund targeting private equity investments in Russia; and the €150 million European New Horizon Fund (London) targeting private equity investments in Central Europe and Russia.
Previously, Mr. Waryn was one of the founding members of Emerging Markets Partnership (EMP) in Washington DC where he helped launch the $1.1 billion AIG Asian Infrastructure Fund in 1994, the world’s largest emerging market private equity fund at the time. At EMP, he also worked on the $1.8 billion AIG Asian Infrastructure Fund II and the €550 million Emerging Europe Fund. Earlier in his career, Richard was an Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector part of the World Bank Group. He also served as the senior international finance director at Martin Marietta Corporation and a senior management consultant at Booz-Allen & Hamilton.
Mr. Waryn was an adjunct professor of International Finance at Johns Hopkins University and at the Georgetown University School of Management, both in Washington D.C. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Finance and Economics from Harvard University and a BS with honors from the University of Toronto. Mr. Waryn was the Chairman of the Uplift Equity Investment Committee where he assisted Uplift in sourcing, managing, and funding socially responsible investment opportunities. He also served as a Member of the Supervisory Board at ESCADA AG and headed ESCADA’s audit committee.