Conquer the Supply Chain with a Small Army
Conquering the world is no small task. Any world leader throughout history who’s ever tried it could tell you that you meet resistance wherever you go, and you find that you just don’t have enough resources to fight all the battles you need to gain total victory. No matter your size, your quest for world domination is an exhausting struggle.
However, history has also shown that even with minimal resources the grandest battles can be won. I’d argue that even with their guns and armor, what truly brought victory to the 900 Spanish Conquistadors who faced 200,000 Aztec warriors was superior strategy.
Your business is no different. With the right strategies, you truly can conquer the logistics industry with a small, dedicated army that utilizes simplified yet powerful technology.
No company can afford to send their staff members to the four corners of the globe to reach all possible markets, but modern technology now provides the tools to create the same effect with far less effort. With web conferences, you can talk to your customers regardless of whether they are next door or in the next continent, and you can deliver a broad spectrum of material through this medium directly from your screen to theirs, whether it’s a PowerPoint presentation, a video highlighting your services, skills, and value proposal, or even a live-streamed tour of your facilities. The power of video conferencing allows you to be in the room with your prospects and customers no matter where you are in the world. Having the ability to scale your business quickly allows you to reach new markets without having to over-stretch your payroll, and minimizes the cost of travel at the same time.
While high-speed web technology is the superior weaponry of the logistics business, the same can also be said for training your own army. With the power of the web, you no longer need to assemble your staff in a central location, which inevitably drains valuable time and productivity. Whether you have staff in offices overseas or working remotely from home, e-learning enables you to train your team with the minimum of inconvenience, and at a significantly reduced cost. Software companies may be driving this approach, but the industry itself finds ways to educate staff in new processes and procedures, from how to use new software or effectively load a container, to how to comply with the latest changes in customs regulations. E-learning is the fast and direct way to educate anybody to do anything. Simply type “How do I….” into YouTube and see the multitude of videos dedicated to showing people how to do something new.
Now that your staff is equipped and trained, scalability becomes the most important factor to consider when looking to grow your company. Gaining a victory here means expanding as fast as possible, all while minimizing capital expenditure, head count, and risk to your business. (Perhaps not as difficult as conquering the globe, but close.)
Training staff via e-learning is the first element in minimizing costs. But once they have the skills, what tools and strategies can you provide to make sure they bring the biggest success possible and contribute to business expansion? More than simply having the Spanish guns and steel, their soldiers knew how to use them, when to attack, and when to defend. Because the Aztecs fought 100 percent of the time, it could be said the Spanish were the more productive company in the end, despite the smaller workforce.
You should look to utilize everything at your disposal to ensure your staff work smarter, not harder. Your software—whether that’s your email client, CRM, or freight software—should help you automate your business and remove the manual task burdens that prevent quick and efficient business. Let your highly skilled staff play the highly skilled roles, and let the computer complete the extra work in between, such as automating emails and updating track-and-trace data.
Allow your software to guide your staff to what tasks come next, so the high priority items rapidly rise up the task list. Ultimately, you will provide your current clients with the high quality service and experience they have come to expect, which sets the standard of excellence that attracts new clients as your business naturally scales from there.
Be smart, train smart, and use the best tools, and you really can conquer the world with a small army.
Darren Matthews is a business development analyst for WiseTech Global, a developer of cloud-based logistics software solutions based in Australia.
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