451: Unlocking 3PL Growth with Joe McIntyre of Twelve48

Joe McIntyre, the founder and principal of Twelve48, joins this episode of The New Warehouse to discuss the logistics and fulfillment world. This episode delves into McIntyre’s extensive experience and the innovative approach Twelve48 takes toward optimizing 3PL and brand relationships. Be sure to tune in to explore McIntyre’s journey through the industry, the inception of Twelve48, and why football great Mike Singletary may have a bone to pick with him.

The Journey to Twelve48

McIntyre shares his career trajectory, emphasizing the importance of partnerships and the dynamic power swings between shippers and carriers. “I had a role very early in my career doing carrier partnerships and performance,” McIntyre recounts, highlighting the buzzword ‘shipper of choice’ and its influence on his career path and the founding of Twelve48.

Reflecting on his stint in HR, McIntyre articulates its profound impact on his approach to operations. McIntyre stresses how this experience reshaped his understanding of operations and employee management, subsequently improving his effectiveness in leadership roles.

How Twelve48 Bridges the Gap for Successful 3PL and Brand Relationships

McIntyre discusses the challenges brands and 3PLs face in forming productive partnerships. “Not fully knowing who they are and therefore knowing who they need,” he notes as a standard stumbling block. In the crucial growth phase, retailers often grapple with transitioning from a scrappy, all-hands-on-deck mentality to a structured operational approach. While they excel in brand building and marketing, their supply chain and operations inexperience can strain the dynamic relationship with 3PLs. 

Effective communication and understanding forecasts are vital, as a retailer’s decisions significantly impact the 3PL’s capacity to manage labor and serve other clients. Conversely, 3PLs must clearly articulate their capabilities and set realistic expectations to ensure alignment with the retailer’s needs. Bridging this gap requires mutual effort, education, and a shift from viewing the relationship as merely transactional to a strategic partnership. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and communication between parties to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.

Key Takeaways from Twelve48

  • Value of Partnerships and Relationships: Joe discusses his early career in large retail and the importance of carrier partnerships and performance in the freight market. He emphasizes the concept of being a ‘shipper of choice’ and how providing consistency, even if it doesn’t always mean getting the lowest cost, was a critical lesson that influenced his career and the founding of Twelve48.
  • Impact of HR Experience on Operations: Joe reflects on a pivot in his career when he moved into an HR role, focusing on employee relations at stores and warehouses. This experience was pivotal for him, providing a new perspective on people management and its critical role in operations. He learned about leadership development, the importance of creating a positive work experience, and how these factors directly impact operational efficiency and success.
  • The Genesis and Mission of Twelve48: Joe describes the hypothesis behind starting Twelve48, driven by his encounters with brand owners who were phenomenal at product and brand development but lacked operational experience. He saw an opportunity to match brands and 3PLs and prepare them to make informed decisions. This mission was based on the observation that many great brands and 3PLs fail to connect effectively due to a lack of understanding and preparation.

Listen to the episode and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Guest Information

For more information on Twelve48, click here.

To connect with Joe McIntyre on LinkedIn, click here.

Check out the podcasts below for more information about 3PL and Brand Relationships. 

428: Speeding Up Grocery Fulfillment with Adam Gurga of Cimcorp

426: E-Commerce Fulfillment and Growth with NFI

418: Navigating E-commerce Fulfillment with Radial


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© The New Warehouse.
All rights reserved.