May 2001 | Commentary | Checking In

What's So Great About Page 43?

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Turn to page 43 of the May 2001 issue, and read part one of Strikepoint, a fictional tale of one man's quest, in the face of a growing product demand, to find a logistics solution and save his company from financial ruin.

Why should you spend your time reading "make-believe?" Because Strikepoint is a celebration of your job. It shows how crucial logistics can be as a change agent, or at least as a way to successfully meet an opportunity crisis. In many companies, logistics is relegated to obscurity. This story highlights just how important logistics is, and how important your efforts are.

Strikepoint was a long time in the making. About 10 years ago, Inbound Logistics editors had the idea to write the "Great American Logistics Novel." Why? Because sometimes fiction is more accurate in its depiction of how frustrating and challenging logistics can be. As editors, we can't always get logistics managers and companies to reveal their inner workings and failings. Eventually, the Council of Logistics Management picked up on the idea and commissioned best-selling author Daniel Pollock to write such a novel, the logistics thriller Precipice.

Drawing upon the success of Precipice, we were lucky enough to interest Pollock in writing a logistics novella exclusively for Inbound Logistics readers. Pollock, a former editor with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and author of the novels Lair of the Fox, Duel of Assassins, and Pursuit into Darkness, spent many months talking to readers and industry experts to accurately depict the challenges, joys, and frustrations of your vocation. Strikepoint was written to celebrate your job in a way never seen in a trade magazine before. We hope you like it.

Strikepoint combines two exciting pastimes—logistics and golf. OK, maybe golf isn't exciting (at least the way I play it) but it is, in essence, logistics at its very core. In this vein, many of the challenges golfers encounter on the course share similar elements with the demands logistics managers face daily.

How? Aside from the actual execution of swinging a golf club, an important part of golf is "course management"—the ability to navigate 18 holes in the most efficient manner possible. This means successfully getting out of trouble with the least amount of damage, playing to your strengths, recognizing your weaknesses, and avoiding situations that might exacerbate those weaknesses. Sound familiar? It should.

Before publication, we asked several readers to give us feedback on Strikepoint. "This is about me!" one reader commented. We hope you'll feel the same way.

The second and third installments of Strikepoint are not yet fully written because we want you to be part of this story. Write yourself in by putting yourself in the hero's position. How would you react? What would you do? Have you encountered similar problems?

Put your logistics expertise to work, let your imagination run wild, and e-mail your suggestions to: gan@inboundlogistics.com

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