Urbantz general manager for UK, Ireland & Northern Europe Byron Dunne answers Linkline’s ‘Five on the Fly’ about some the challenges and future of his sector.
What have the challenges been in your sector?
Tradition and more importantly lack of risk taking. The logistics industry is very traditional and to an extent risk averse. Many of the more important roles within the larger organisations change hands between the same people. Thus a very challenging environment to implement change as naturally these profiles bring the knowledge and tradition they have been used t,oo from one company to the next, thus inhibiting change.
This is a major roadblock for innovation as not many of these individuals have the experience to implement game changing strategies, and when they do they put the job on the line as margins are tight, volumes are growing and resources are restricted.
How did you/the organisation adapt?
Education. We are in contact with C-Level Logistics and Supply Chain management throughout Europe. Opinions differ in each country together with legislation. Certain countries are very open to finding and testing new strategies to stay ahead of the game, or at least keep up with the game, others are experts at identifying problems, complaining about them and not executing any plans.
We try to find common ground by advising these individuals and providing them with the technology they need should they decide to execute a plan of action. The media has created a lot of noise about what is trendy and what sells clicks, but the reality is that the majority of what the press predicts as the future of last mile is not relevant for the next 5 years. It’s important to cut through the noise, stick to the vision and push for change.
What lessons did you learn/ are you learning from this?
The last mile goes well beyond the walls of the Supply Chain and Logistics offices. The customer is having more and more influence on what the future of logistics will hold.
Logistics is no longer an isolated department that sources goods, operates fleets and manages operations. It has now become one of the most important elements in creating a brand, maintaining customer relationships and ensuring sales
What advice can you give based on your experience in this area thus far?
Embrace new ideas, new innovation and take some risks. Amazon has built a more efficient supply chain than the vast majority of traditional retailers and transport operators in the space of 10 years. It’s not magic, it’s forward thinking, disrupting and innovating that has put them where they are today.
What does the future hold?
Urban logistics is changing rapidly. Consumer behaviour is also changing rapidly. Logistics processes, strategy and technology are not changing as quickly as they should be. The future is quite bleak for companies that are not embracing change and they will be left behind.
For more information about Urbantz please visit their website www.urbantz.com
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