I’ll admit, you have to be of a certain vintage and inclination to recognize the nod to a great show of my college and years thereafter. Every Saturday night after dinner in Willard, my friends and I would gather in Jeff and Robb’s room and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. For those of you who use social media and are fans, the cast from that show is ALL over Twitter, and they’re a fun bunch to follow. They’ve all gone on to some fun stuff as well. If you want the quick Enterprise crew twitter directory, just go here to find Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton (who is a prolific presence on the interwebs).
The point of the riff is to pay homage to a really great article that came out today in Inbound Logistics. As someone whose responsibilities now include staying atop trends in digital and social media and marketing for the B2B sector as well as remaining current in the technology, regulations and business climate for logistics companies, I’ve got two entirely diverse reading loads to keep up with.
(I’m currently reading this book, and have to admit, the number 42 holds some special significance for me. 42 was special for the guy who wrote this, too.)
Two decades in the industry meeting and working with people and hearing their stories of how they came to be in the business tells the tale of “logistics”. People started in warehouses, answered advertisements, had a friend who was working someplace and came to work there as summer help…and they never left. And they’re now lifers. Ask me while I was on the front lines and I’d tell people that if I ever left my day job, I’d do something quiet like be a 911 dispatcher.
The way people found their way into logistics, and the demands of the industry, are changing rapidly. Where there were no previous educational opportunities in school or continuing education while in the industry, a number are popping up in universities as well as with industry associations. The thrust of these is that as logistics and supply chain continues to evolve, the candidates who are needed are going to have different skills and training that will necessitate math and science and IT because as much as it is about moving goods, it will equally be important to understand forecasting, data mining and predictive modeling.
This article by Justine Brown (who I wrote the editors today to congratulate) really nails the issue that companies are going to have with “millennials”, the 18-34 crowd that is notoriously challenging to engage, manage and lead. Knowing a number of people in that age range, I disagree, but maybe it’s just the company that I keep. The point is that while people look to “transportation” as a place to reduce costs and keep seeking greater efficiencies, “logistics” as a science is going to encompass far more opportunities to save money for clients while keeping revenue in the pockets of the great operators who understand it’s not just a box on a rack in a warehouse anymore, but a box and the information that got it into the warehouse and back out again, as well as all the “big data” surrounding it, the client and its environment.