We had the good fortune of connecting with Lori Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lori, what do you attribute your success to?
Surrounding myself with a great team is definitely the most important factor that has attributed to my success and the overall success of the company. I can honestly say that I am nothing without my team. In order to deliver phenomenal customer service, you first have to hire great people who love to help. I rely heavily on the strength, dedication, professionalism and savviness of my team to maintain our success. This has helped us achieve phenomenal growth over the years. At the end of the day, you can have a great idea, product, vision or business plan but if you don’t have a solid team behind you then you will struggle to succeed. To me, corporate culture is of the utmost importance. I am passionate about creating and maintaining a special work environment. We have a “special spirit” at Parcel Pending. We view and treat everyone as special individuals. Each team member brings a special skill set, personality and spirit to the table and we work hard to honor that. Our company culture truly speaks to our commitment to recognizing that every package is special, every recipient is special and every property is special. We’re a customer focused company and our employees are central to our success.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I worked for 13-years at The Irvine Company, a leading real-estate investment company and master planner based in Irvine, Calif., serving in various senior positions, including SVP of property operations. At The Irvine Company, I was responsible for the operational oversight of the company’s entire multifamily portfolio, consisting of 1,200 property management associates operating over 44,000 apartment homes. While at The Irvine Company, I regularly walked-through many of their multifamily communities. Initially, package delivery was not a major issue. It used to be that property managers only took a few minutes out of their day to manage a small amount of deliveries for residents. However, as time went on and online shopping became increasingly popular, I noticed that property managers were struggling to devote enough space, time and money to properly manage the major influx in resident deliveries. At the same time, residents were becoming increasingly frustrated with having to pick-up their packages during office hours, disappearing packages and tracking packages that never arrived. I knew there had to be a better way and set out to find a solution. I founded Parcel Pending in 2013 to provide seamless package management solutions to multifamily communities. In 2019, Parcel Pending was acquired by Quadient (formerly Neopost), the global leader in parcel, mailing, customer experience and business process automation solutions. Parcel Pending by Quadient, with an average of 2 million packages successfully delivered monthly, offers a wide range of solutions that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages and online orders for residential, commercial, retail and university properties in the United States and Canada. I think one of the biggest lessons I learned early on was the importance of communication. I remember my operations manager approached me one day to discuss what kind of carpet I would like for our new office. Since I was running a mile a minute trying to get the company off of the ground, I dismissed the conversation and said he could handle it without my input. At the time, I didn’t think carpet was a big deal but oh boy was I wrong! I walked into the office a few days later and was unhappy with the awful blue carpet that was installed. Since I spent the majority of my time at the office, I knew deep down that I needed to change the carpet to something that I would love. So, we ripped out the blue carpet and installed a modern grey carpet. It was a costly mistake but also an important business lesson. I learned to slow down, ask questions and pay attention to every business detail and step. It really is all about talking less and listening more. To this day, I have a framed sample of that blue carpet in my desk drawer to serve as a reminder to myself to take the time to ask thoughtful questions and slow down. You’d be surprised at how your business decisions can change when you take the time to think things through. Parcel Pending removes the chaos of package management for multifamily, commercial, retail and university properties by assuming all customer service responsibility for package delivery, notification and retrieval. This means we simplify and secure parcel deliveries for residents, employees, shoppers and students nationwide! What sets us apart is our best-in-class customer service. Parcel Pending stands out amongst its competitors due to our unmatched 24/7 service teams that are dedicated to explaining how the lockers work, trouble-shooting quick turn-around times, and making sure the end result is above satisfactory to all parties. Our specialized departments focus their time and efforts by going above and beyond reaching out to their contacts and ensuring everything is running smoothly all day, every day. We pride ourselves on making everyone’s lives easier, one package at a time. In addition to phenomenal customer service, we are also committed to offering the most technologically advanced parcel lockers. That’s why our product line has expanded from indoor lockers to outdoor and refrigerated (the first in the industry!) lockers. We are always pushing the envelope when it comes to new features and strive to provide state-of-the-art lockers that suit the needs of our diverse audiences.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Orange County so I would suggest a day in Laguna Beach or Dana Point, In Laguna Beach, there are many different beaches with beautiful views to choose from and also delicious gelato at Dolce Gelato, I also enjoy the Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach. For Dana Point, I would walk along the harbor and see all the boats and people watch.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was first starting out, I was stuck multiple times on many major business decisions so I reached out to different people depending on where I was stuck. One mentor, the former president of The Irvine Company, was so helpful when I needed him. I knew I could call him to pick his brain, ask his opinion and I would get complete and honest feedback. I’m forever grateful for the support I received. The interesting part of my journey was that I came from 30+ years in corporate America, I never raised money and I never built a company from nothing. Had I not had mentors and advisors, I wouldn’t have made it happen!