Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jul-Aug 2016 Contents PAUL GREENBERG
One of my favourite business quotes is by
Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire. "In
this new wave of technology, you can't do
it all yourself, you have to form alliances."
This broad quote I believe resonates with
what I see in the supply chain and logistics
industry. Your industry is as competitive as any
vertical that operates within the broad church
that is Australian retail.
And I have seen players in your space
compete hard, real hard, for their slice of the
pie. While competition is of course the lifeblood
of a free market system, I would respectfully
argue that 'competition at all costs' as well as
competing for a 'slice of a shrinking pie' are
We have all seen examples of this costing
both companies and individuals dearly. The
logistics sector is made up of an enormous
and complex myriad of players. Some big,
some small, some niche, some broad. And
while there are clearly dominant brands, let's
be clear: not one company will ever own this
As indeed, no one retailer will ever own retail,
both locally and globally. While someone like
Amazon is giving it a full go, there are countless
thousands of retailers, no, millions, globally,
who are making a great living, or returns for
their shareholders, alongside Amazon. Many
have indeed joined Amazon using its myriad of
services to grow their own businesses.
So what is my point? I am of the view in this
increasingly technology-led world that we are
entering an 'open source' environment where
customers will have full transparency to the
components of our offer.
There are no more secrets.
While some of us have operated for decades
in a 'cards down' environment, those who
choose the 'cards face up' approach with their
customers will do better in the future. Consider
the command-and-control strategy of the taxi
industry and the late Reg Kermode, with that of
Uber. Which model will enrich its shareholders
more and be more embraced by customers? I
think we know the answer.
In my view this is a time to reach out to
companies and colleagues in the industry, yes,
even to those aptly named 'frenemies' to see
how and where one can forge alliances for the
benefit of the customer, both the commercial
customers and the end users, with a clear focus
on commercial gain.
Online retailers in Australia, whilst enjoying
the growth and adoption by customers are,
frankly, struggling to make sustainable profits.
And it is my view that the game will be won or
lost at the supply chain level. Warehousing and
distribution, long-haul and last mile. We need
to connect capacity with need, supply with
demand, using connected technologies, for the
benefit of the ecosystem.
A 'chain' is defined as a series of connected
links. Can we really say that in the supply chain
sector the links are connected? Sometimes, but
often not. Connecting the dots is the new reality
and the new ball game.
Let's start now.
Paul Greenberg is the founder and executive
director of NORA.org.au. He has been an
entrepreneur and pioneer in the online retail
space for twenty years, and holds a portfolio
of directorships and advisories. He is a
registered psychologist with a keen interest in
organisational psychology. He is member of
the Australian Institute of Company Directors
and the Australian Psychological Society. For
more information email email@example.com or
IT'S NOT THE SIZE OF THE SLICE,
"Connecting the dots is
the new reality and the
new ball game."
IT'S THE SIZE OF THE PIE
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- JULY / AUGUST 2016
Contact: 1300 555 101
Kardex VCA Pty Ltd, Wodonga VIC 3690
• Small Unit Footprint
• High Speed Operation
• Dedicated Inventory Control
• Minimise Manual Handling with 'Goods
• Storage 500kg per Tray
• Clean Stock, Reduced Shrinkage
• Great ROI, Local Service and Support
• Small Item Distribution
• 3rd Party Logistics and Inhouse Facilities
• Work In Progress and Buffer Storage
• Maintenance Spares
• Tool Storage
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