January 2001 | Commentary | Checking In

Carpe Diem Logistica

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For purists, 2001 is when the new millennium really starts. For this magazine, 2001 marks the beginning of our 21st year of publication.

It also marks the beginning of the third decade of championing the inbound approach that advanced the idea of traffic management from its humble, if not important, beginnings to an engine of supply chain change. That is a philosophy that you put into practice—one of transforming inventory into information that advanced the fortunes of many enterprises. Some even credit the practice with advancing the fortunes of America itself.

Starting as an idea that could help purchasing managers be a little more efficient—specify the carrier that is delivering the goods—the concept seemed innocuous enough. Today many wonder why it wouldn't be normal to do that. Perhaps they have forgotten that government regulation and business operations largely devoid of technology made it difficult for many inbound specifiers to practice inbound logistics. That humble idea, once tried, opened vistas of efficiency and savings that swept away government regulations and motivated many to invest much time and treasure in technology.

Results? Business managers could look backward and view the supply line as inventory under their control, even though they had not actually paid for it yet. Inventive traffic, transportation and purchasing managers quickly saw the power in that changed approach to managing transportation.

For some is was only specifying core carriers to combine inbound with outbound shipments, simplifying the process and earning lower rates.

For others it was a way to bridge the divide of their company with vendors and customers, pooling and sharing resources created by that link for the benefit of all.

For yet others it was an opportunity to apply nascent technology to the task of replacing inventory with information, thereby marshalling their company's resources better—to be able to invest, compete, perhaps just survive. This important evolution in logistics was achieved by individuals like you, empowered by this new idea, the hard way, one company at a time.

Empowering the Logistics Individual

And so it is no accident that the theme of this year's Logistics Planner is "Empowering the Individual." In our lead feature, you'll find that this Internet age has given each of you a way to leverage your inbound approach into a power to transform your process like no other time in history. The technology may be revolutionary, but in a logistics sense, the change you are crafting with it is distinctly evolutionary. How so?

Because you are building new ways of doing things by drawing on what you know about sourcing, transportation and logistics—the basics. The choices may be bewildering, the risks great, but the benefits are greater so do not waver. You are empowered like no other time in transportation history.

Carpe Diem Logistica—Seize this logistics moment.

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