The Swedish Defense University asked the CEO of LogTrade to speak in front of parts of the Swedish Armed Forces, Government Offices and some of the largest government agencies in the country. This is what they learned:
When disaster strikes and there is a national or international crisis, the major government agencies must act quickly and rationally. But how do they become good at this? Is there knowledge that can be transferred and applied from the business sector?
A Disruption in the Logistics Value Chain
In the logistics industry, the number of technology-driven startups is growing remarkably today. They are disrupting the whole logistic value chain, and want to digitize everything from freight forwarding to last-mile solutions and warehousing concepts. The presence of these up-and-comers poses two interesting questions the large and established companies:
What is how they are digitizing their industry saying about their size and ability to act? And in what way can this benefit a large and complex organization such as the Armed Forces?
Let us start with the ability to act.
Big are Those that are Big-Minded: The Art of Incorporating the Force of the Up-and-Comers
In the global logistics world, the rise of interesting start-ups can go below the radar of the most established heavyweights, while initiatives such as Amazon’s Dragon Boat give everyone cold feet.
It is a bit strange because the most interesting aspect of the impressive tech- and e-commerce giants, such as Amazon, is not what they can do because of their immense size, but how they can be so efficient and disruptive in spite of their size.
Joris D’Incá and Max-Alexander Borreck put their finger on the subject in Forbes by highlighting how Amazon and Google are competing to form partnerships with the most interesting newcomers. For these giant companies, the art is in treating the new partners with respect so they do “not kill their innovative culture and soul.”
“It does not take more than one single person to form a multi-million dollar industry.”
LogTrade could not agree more with D’Incá and Borreck’s statement. Innovation can never be forced. The giant’s greatness become impressive only when it can manage the force of a new “friend.”
Large does not, therefore, have to equal rigid and conservative. Government agencies and organizations should also consider working with small and flexible teams to find solutions quickly—especially when it really matters. The large tech conglomerates are fascinated by these up-and-comers and for good reason. The reason is:
It does not take more than one single person to form a multi-million dollar industry. This is the way it has always been, of course, it just took a lot longer before.
If you want to confirm the hypothesis, Google one of the following names:
- Tim Paterson—DOS
- John Hanke—Pokémon Go
- Edgarr Kalns—Siri etc.
- Carl Johan Grandinson—Glue etc.
- Peter Neubauer—Neo4j (Panama-Graphs-database), etc.
It is, in other words, close to madness if a large company in, for example, the automotive industry, hires 400 engineers to “catch up with Tesla.” Why should it, when it could let some dedicated and highly educated entrepreneurs from various startups pitch on the company’s challenges instead?
Okay, so less is more, especially today when the possibilities of digitization are just an arm’s length away. But what are these digital possibilities seen from a logistics perspective?
Machine Learning, Logistics, and Help for the Needy
To the Armed Forces, concepts such as reserve stores and logistics are what rails and gears are to trains: fundamental. So are they to a humanitarian organization such as the UN’s WFP (World Food Programme). In a state of crisis, it must be able to find and develop different solutions for how to come to the rescue. Several logistic wonders have already been created in this field today.
What do the latest pioneering logistics solutions look like and what can we learn from them? LogTrade is not sitting on the answers to this question, but we did spur the participants to ask the important questions.
There are, for example, algorithms available today that can predict what a customer will buy BEFORE they have even placed the order.
Some startup investments in our industry develop cloud- and web-based platforms and data-driven platforms. Just like LogTrade, they love transport information and machine learning, and they realize how to capitalize on data transactions in the logistics industry. They can, for example, provide an online retailer with solutions that will increase how fast it can ship goods. It is a superpower that is also interesting for those who want to be able to send out necessities in extreme situations.
There are, for example, algorithms available today that can predict what a customer will buy BEFORE they have even placed the order. This has opened up delivery times, at some stores, that are not like anything the world has ever seen before.
By studying which data categories these algorithms work with, and how they do it, the “predictive” system can be translated to fit your operations. What questions do we want to get answered quickly when a disaster has already struck? Maybe something along the lines of:
How many chocolate bars are there in Sweden “right now,” and where are they?
Where do we need to send the water-delivering robots first?
What other questions can you think of?
When the Clock is Ticking
LogTrade is a small and open digital logistics solution provider that is closely following and also pushing the optimization of the delivery chain. On the 19th of October, our CEO, Fredrik Svedberg, was invited to the Swedish Defense University to inspire others to think and act. This does not mean that we at LogTrade are sitting on any solutions. We are “just” one of many contributors in an industry where the clock is always ticking loudly, and not only during extraordinary circumstances.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.