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The Creative Pack with Founder, Danielle Kidney feature #97 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #97: The Creative Pack presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on The Creative Pack

For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the chance to interview The Creative Pack and Founder, Danielle Kidney.


THE PACK (noun): a group of creatives, hunting for the best design solutions & working together in a close knit team.

 

They love working with clients both large and small, getting to understand their individual needs, not only do they enjoy it, but they are good at it too!

 

They are a clever pack of creatives with a natural instinct for food and beverage packaging – free from ego and an excellent source of industry know-how. Their clients are National Brands, Private Label Programs, and Natural & Organic CPG leaders looking for a fresh path forward.


London to US and back

Danielle's journey began in London where she was born to an American Father and British Mom. She obtained a design degree in London at Brunel University in industrial design and technology. Always interested in business of design, she studied abroad in San Francisco for a semester. After graduation she worked for a packaging and branding agency that did private label work for Tesco, the third largest retailer in the world. In 2006, this agency brought her back to the US as they decided to launch their US venture, Fresh and Easy.


She was part of the design process and ultimately was part of the operation for over almost eight years. The company decided to close the US operation which left Danielle at a crossroads. She had the experience in the industry, did she want to join another agency or was this her opportunity to create her own path?


One door closes

Danielle decided to bet on herself. She created her own agency that started with herself and two other designers. Having the experience of helping open the US arm with her previous employer allowed Danielle to complete every task needed to open a business. She shared that was imperative for providing a seamless transition as she founded her own company. However, it didn't come without any risks, she had her own personal investment that was a concern. But in her opinion and the feedback she got from her support system, she knew that this was her chance to do things her way and see her vision through.


February of 2024, The Creative Pack will reach a decade in business!


The focus of her firm is their expertise in the food and beverage industries. Danielle stated that while there are so many design agencies, what sets their firm apart is the connectivity and relationship building with clients. She explained, "Compared to big firms, we allow every client to meet with us. Meeting the team that you'll be directly working with goes a long way in building trust." Unsurprisingly, The Creative Pack has clients who are still with them, signing on at the very start.


Danielle reflected on a huge milestone that the company hit this year, when they moved into their own commercial design space. But unlike the previous spaces, she owns this one. The summer of this year was when The Creative Pack hit that incredible accomplishment. Danielle told us that it had been something she had dreamed of for many years, but the timing was right this summer and she is thrilled about the opportunity it brings to their team. As they enter the new year, Danielle said the biggest goals are continued growth for her, her team, and the firm. She has booked podcasts, keynote speaking engagements, and being a mentor on emerging brands in accelerator programs. With her nearly two-decade experience, Danielle has realized that there is a lack of female leadership in her industry, further proof to be so proud of reaching 10 years in business next year. She also has made a commitment to continue not only supporting but empowering her team. Danielle shared she is a mother of two and in total the entire team has nine children in total. Providing an inclusive culture that still allows females to grow in their role is crucial to Danielle.

Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
Educating clients

In her opinion, Danielle believes that the US markets are behind on advancements as compared to markets in Europe, Asia, and even Canada. She did say that there has been some real progress over the last couple of years, but educating clients about possibilities is one of the challenges her agency faces. Getting them to understand the innovation with food and flavors, but also packaging is just a small component of the expertise her and her firm bring to the table. Another area she believes our markets are lacking is sustainability initiatives. While there has been a big push in recent years, Danielle believes it hasn't scratched the surface yet to the true possibilities.


The Creative Pack goes above and beyond in their design process by advocating for best in class whether it is the product inside or the packaging on the outside. One approach that The Creative Pack utilizes is their competitive review. Danielle and her team present brands that the client would maybe never experience including international brands to try and unlock the true potential of their vision. Providing inspiration for clients to envision future developments for their design and product is the belief behind this review. Danielle continued, "Our viewpoint has always been, design something that will not just stand out on a shelf but last a number of years in the current design."


Creative alignment

Working with their clients, Danielle explained how watching companies grow and evolve and being part of that process is so rewarding. Providing their guidance and expertise helps brands continue to expand on their growth. Whether it is a startup, emerging brand, or established company, The Creative Pack is positioned to help steer the ship for continued growth and success. Danielle credits the good culture of their team as a driving influence for their sustained growth and production. Their level of success is a direct correlation to their great retention. As a result, she told us that referrals and word of mouth has been a great driver for their continued growth.


When creating and developing a design for a client, Danielle said that there isn't one solution for every brief. Their goal is to present their translation of the client's vision, but then discuss what was missed. As she explains, a specific challenge is everyone uses vocabulary with different meanings, which is why her team will use visual examples as well to hopefully unlock their vision. The key for The Creative Pack is honing in on essence of brand and how to deliver that visually for each client. Having such long-lasting clients despite going through changes, is a sense of pride for Danielle. She credits her team for constantly adapting their business to meet changing needs of their clients and the industry. She elaborated, "We have examples of working with companies, they go through new leadership, and yet members left at the company vouch for us to continue working with our agency. When other people speak highly on our behalf, it is incredible validation and flattering. It is proof that we deliver what we say we will do."

Culture of building

Danielle said that where every day is different with constant new challenges, she credits being agile, nimble, and thriving in an environment while learning daily. She credits her thirst for knowledge as a key contributor. For her being the Founder, she must lead by example. One way she strives to do this is by challenging her team to step out of their comfort zone. She hopes she is inspiring others to do so as she is with her upcoming year.


Running a company is a rollercoaster, Danielle explains that the highs are very high and very rewarding, but the lows are often taken very personally. Being adaptable is a necessity not only for the business, but her as a leader as well. She told us her growth as a leader is a constant work in process and she credits back to her old lessons she had learned. "Initially when a client didn't like a design, we would assume we were wrong, we didn't deliver. Over time and through experience though we learned it was more just understanding that we weren't aligned. That was a big breakthrough for us.", Danielle shared.


Her work at The Creative Pack, Danielle said that every milestone they achieve she tries to step back to take a moment and appreciate how far they have come. She said sometimes she relies on her support network to remind her, but she never loses sight of her appreciation for what she has built. Daily she considers herself very lucky to have the ability to create and let her vision to come to life and doing so with her team. Danielle shared, "There is so much joy I feel that comes from seeing people thrive, seeing career growth, seeing happy clients, seeing successful projects that we've helped launch on shelf."


Piece of Advice

The conversation with Danielle ended with her sharing her piece of advice.

"Knowing your value. Know your expertise in the field. When you can create alignment with values, it leads to a magical place. We are still learning how to sell the value we bring. Steer the business to working with people who have same values and have the correct synergy."


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank Danielle Kidney, Founder, of The Creative Pack for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with The Creative Pack by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the The Creative Pack journey with their social handles below!


Together Talks with The Creative Pack feature #97- presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with The Creative Pack feature #97

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!


Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.


Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.


Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.


Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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