The Following is LNN's Press coverage of the Eye
For Transport Convention in Chicago in June, 2015.
Copyright Logistics News Network, llc.
Be skeptical of the "truth" was one message at the June 2015 Eye For Transport Summit at the beautiful Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel near Chicago’s north loop. Over three days, the conference featured four Forum tracks, with over 70 presentations, workshops, and panel discussions. And a definite exhibitor’s evolution was evident.
While transportation firms and traditional Third Parties were in attendance, integrated market specialists also presented offering end to end supply chain planning with time to value revenue enhancements. What this means is that logistics division is a solid finance division cross-silo operation.
Other 3PL vendors included several global IT firms and data synchronization specialty software firms. Additionally, there were packaging and staffing services, supply chain management companies to outsource everything, warehouse management systems, and a drone based trailer yard inspection company.
Within modern logistics practice, change is inevitable but corporate growth is optional. This can be seen in the American retail store decline, where senior management decides to close 100 stores rather than update their supply chain practices. Corporations cannot cut their way to success. Instead, they need to transform the way they do business. But mature corporate sovereigns fail to understand that anything new five years ago is already passed its peak. What is uncomfortable now will be normal for the next generation of middle management.
In future logistics practice, decisions will need to be made in days, not weeks, to compete. And this can only be done with immediate access to quality information. If you are invested with a corporation that needs a board meeting to implement an agenda line item, your stock is headed down. Because, as everyone who has ever been there knows, when it is all said and done, more is said than done.
Unfortunately, people don’t embrace change. Many vote against process innovation because they fear authority erosion. So, those corporations that move ahead will be the ones where the culture embraces change, rather than trying to optimize what they already know. In too many American companies, leaders must face down laggers. And, regardless of size, twentieth century companies can disappear.
Hand held Devices vs. Retailers
It was stated that there are currently 2.5 billion Internet users. Nowadays location based services pinpoint demand. And mobile device data is becoming the supply chain oil in that it enables analytics with real time data. The Millennial Generation has never been trade name loyal. It was stated that if unhappy, 59% of consumers will try a new brand to get better customer service. And that 82% will substitute and switch brands due to a stock out. All have smart phones; and touch screens are everywhere.
"Buy now with one click." Nowadays retail is nothing more than multiple touch points. With handhelds, you sell anything to anyone anywhere. And while E-commerce represents less than 5% - it still outstrips GDP. Its sales were US$638.6 billion in 2013. The logistics language surrounding this is: product, price, promotion and place coupled with a product strategy-focused vulnerability.
Every company is dependent directly or indirectly on consumerism so design your supply chain from the customer backwards. Transform linear supply chain thinking to systems thinking. And observe the decisions made by Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Alibaba.
Can you find the competition’s vulnerability in time to act? The top line moves the bottom line. Everything gets done through a process orientation. Supply chain management is the key to profitable growth: scope, configuration, activity, transaction, and workflow.
One proposal was to manage the organization horizontally and vertically. That, unless the product life cycle is past, modern corporate turnarounds are based on logistical overhauls, not product upgrades. Your supply chain network is a corporate asset. Act on your return on analysis and improve your image to the customer.
Break the rules to change the results. Innovation must supersede the original model with a leadership that insists on a transformational cultural maturity. Make improvements to employee competence and confidence. Millennial employees are more open to change. Create a common future vision. Promote from within and move the employees out of their comfort zones. Or do you have to wait for key retirements?
Complexity means change. For the 3PL’s, it was stated the market grew 7 to 8% in 2014, and that the macro environment drove solutions. The focus included visibility, performance, mobility, collaboration, leveraged solutions, and up selling. Determine how best to make intelligent decisions quickly actionable with data handling and door to door solutions. Attack logistical disruptors head on and promptly.
A reported 92% say their 3PL relationship was successful, but that there was an IT platform gap. And, increasingly these relationships are partnerships: joint marketing, joint business strategy, joint business development with demand forecasting and planning.
Today the 3PL business is a US$1.2 trillion value proposition. But I still have reservations about the "cloud" and logistical security. Remember, the most powerful people in all the world have the secretive title: "Password Administrator." And the Customer Service people are in a state of denial about management’s spot violations to your end user license agreement (EULA).
In motor carrier, flat panel TV manufacturer Samsung has put a camera on their corporate trucks front ends. With four large quarter-picture split screens on the back doors, motorists can now see what is ahead. It appears you are looking right through the truck!
Finally, for truck drivers, watch for augmented reality glasses with "dynamic traffic support" lettering in the windshield. Then beware of driverless trucks coming to a cul-de-sac near you.