The Road To Digital
Change doesn’t happen on its own and just creating a small team to lead change isn’t always sufficient. Which means that companies need to foster environments that encourage innovation. Here are five strategies used by the interviewed digital freight experts:
1. Culture of Innovation: Coming to AllCargo from PayPal, Patel arranged a Silicon Valley immersion week for key employees in an attempt to encourage innovation. Given that rapid innovation will occasionally fail, others have embraced inevitable failure. At Twill Logistics, Stovring goes as far as having his team regularly select a “failure of the week”, using it as a learning experience. According to Geodis’s Martin-Neuville:
Key to managing these changes is the capacity for an organization to accept failure through a permanent trial and error process. Must win is replaced by Must Try.
2. Customer Obsession: Freight is a service-based industry so it’s no surprise logistics providers are leveraging technology to make life better for shippers. One expert views the future of digitalization as increasing the scope of value-added services, using a broader range of services to increase customer satisfaction. This is actually a mindset shift for an industry that Stovring says traditionally makes decides based on internal business needs, not customer needs. Instead, Twill Logistics adheres to an agile methodology that enables short bursts of customer-driven feature development, production and improvement, making rapid changes to improve the customer experience. Patel continues that vein of thought, letting customer needs dictate development:
“One has to think outside in from a customer point of view to guide the objectives of the digital transformation processes
3. Cross-Functional Teams: Steve Jobs redesigned Pixar’s offices to encourage casual interactions between unrelated teams. This idea crossed the chasm from high-tech to freight, with companies leveraging multi-unit teams to prioritize the range of digitization efforts. improve ideation and garner business unit buy-in on complex rollouts. For Stovring, even cross-functional teams aren’t enough; he calls for attracting people from outside of the industry in order to think out of the box (a thought obviously echoed by AllCargo, which hired Patel from PayPal).