"Technology and Training:" Dunavant's Richard McDuffie on the Logistics Industry

January 9th, 2013

In my more than 25 years of experience managing people and processes in the transportation and logistics industry, nothing has changed and impacted the way we do business more than the rapid development and expansion of technology into our day-to-day operations.

Technology has drastically affected virtually every component of my industry, and I am certain, yours as well. From the speed of internal and external communication to the ability to monitor shipments from anywhere in the world, technology has given us the opportunity to be more efficient with costs and time in business procedures.

Saying that, you could have the best technology in the world, but if the user base is not trained to the full capabilities of the technology you invest your capital (both time and money) then it does your company no good. The strategic advantage you had hoped to obtain with the bells and whistles of the latest and greatest technology has been marginalized at best.

In my experiences and observations, we must ensure that the software utilized, especially in the logistics industry, is ubiquitous throughout your operation. The decision of what software is best for you must be a discerned and analyzed process. In my opinion, there is not one logistics system that is ahead of the others.

Technology is a tool, a necessary tool. There is no argument about that. But, it is only as successful to your business plan as the people who are using it and how they are trained. The important takeaway from technology in the workplace is that it is a very important tool but what is more important are the people and processes you surround yourself with in your company.

At the end of the day, how the technology integrates with the processes and people (including the customer!) is the most important thing in utilizing your IT strategy.

The bottom line in all your business decisions that should drive your successes is to hire well, train well and be aware.

See the whole article at the Memphis Business Quarterly.