Martin Lee, Business Development Executive for WiseTech Global, explains how taking advantage of new ideas impresses customers and keeps competition guessing.
All organizations rely on a constant flow of new ideas to keep themselves fresh and competitive. But companies in the logistics sector too often build barriers and cling to the old in an effort to maintain secrecy over client lists and rate cards. In the process, they restrict their ability to retain current customers and find new revenue streams.
As Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Being open to new ideas and influences helps you progress and survive in a fast moving world. Critically, this mindset also keeps your current customers engaged through your insight, knowledge, and innovation. And it keeps your competitors guessing.
Through my many years within the logistics industry, I’ve been intrigued by the secrecy that surrounds most companies. I fully understand the need to keep customer relationships and rates confidential. What I don’t understand is why this secrecy is allowed to have such a negative impact on the business.
This closed culture means firms are operating with blinders on. They see only one direction: only what they do now and what needs to happen now. Instead of seeing the new ideas arising all around them and working together, they continue to trudge along the same course, to do what has always been done. From a software perspective, this means stitching patchwork functionality onto aging, unreliable systems.
The first step is to break the barriers to innovation, to realize that while companies are all different in some way – whether in personal style or commercial approach - they are mostly, fundamentally the same. The next step is to convert that understanding into business efficiencies and success by leveraging ideas from the collective experience of those in the industry.
It puzzles me why companies make things difficult (and expensive) by creating software platforms tailor-made only for themselves, when all they really need to do is to efficiently roll out the latest proven solution and configure just the fine points to provide the value add that will empower them to stand out from the crowd.
Being open to new ideas brings benefits that far outweigh the extreme effort it takes to keep staggering forward with outdated methods.
Global software developers with vast user bases have unrestricted access into all areas of the logistics sector. They hear and see everything, and from that broad perspective, they design solutions that fulfill both present and future industry needs. Perhaps most importantly, they know their customers need to be both unique and the same.
Remember your large pool of talented people – at all levels of your organization – that are often an untapped resource. You gain so much from building a culture where the expression of ideas is openly encouraged and appreciated. In the right environment, your people can provide a constant flow of great new ideas. Formal and informal channels of communication – even an anonymous ‘suggestions box’ – will ensure every employee can contribute to process improvements. Listen to what problems they face and how they believe these could be resolved. Are they different from the problems you have encountered in your career? Incentives – small or large – and ‘credit where credit is due’ must, of course, be embedded in this collaboration.
You don’t have to be Einstein to come up with original ideas or attempt inventions outside your scope of expertise. Keep an open mind to innovation. Listen close to new developments. The ideas and inventions are already out there, waiting to be found. It makes more sense to call on outside expertise to deliver proven software systems while you concentrate on real world networking and growth. Find the solution that brings the productivity you need to stay ahead now, and well into the future.
Martin Lee is Business Development Executive for WiseTech Global
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