As technology evolves and entrepreneurship flourishes, the logistics industry is seeing the impacts of a changing global market. A new breed of startup logistics companies is shaking up the industry, incorporating data science, machine learning, AI, and other advanced technologies to build new business models and improve upon old logistics processes. But even beyond technology companies are embracing innovation at every level to transform the industry in ways both large and small.
Attract the Right Talent
If you want to position your company to succeed in this new environment, start by ensuring that you are attracting the right kind of talent. For example, you might consider adjusting your key performance indicators (KPIs) to reflect a new commitment to innovation; by building it into your company’s DNA, you will communicate to all of your employees and any potential new hires that you are serious about going beyond the status quo. For that change to stick, you must be open to new ideas at every level of your company, and you must encourage out-of-the-box thinking and risk-taking. Those changes could keep your valued employees who have an entrepreneurial spirit from jumping ship and starting their own ventures. After establishing your new innovation-friendly policies, you should factor that into your hiring process. If your team’s strengths are in traditional transportation methods, consider hiring someone with a degree in technology, or with a track record of improving business processes, even if they have worked primarily in other industries. Rather than searching for someone with a background that matches the rest of your team, aim for a diverse set of dynamic employees with varying histories, each of whom can add value in unique ways.
Go Fishing in New Waters
From a recruiting perspective, startup companies are often an ideal place from which to source up-and-coming talent. Employees who join startups are usually highly passionate and highly motivated, but the “startup life” is not for everyone -- it’s not often lucrative in the early years, and according to Forbes, nine out of ten startups will fail. Established companies that are committed to innovation and growth offer the best of both worlds to eager workers who crave both job security and a way to make a big impact on the industry. With a little market research and a genuine desire to help your company grow in this new climate, you may be able to reel in high-potential candidates who will make a long-term investment with your company.
Hedge Your Bets
Not convinced that these startups are onto something big, or that technology and other innovations will disrupt the industry at its core? The truth is, there is no downside to keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry. If you’re not ready for autonomous robots, self-driving vehicles, or predictive data analytics, start by having round-table meetings with your managers and other staff to discuss new ideas for improvement, or network within the startup community and examine what problems they are attempting to solve. Whether you choose to implement small changes, go for the gold with sweeping new innovation policies, or simply keep an eye on what’s happening in the market -- information is power as the logistics industry changes and your company adapts.
With an infusion of fresh talent and a commitment to fostering innovation, you can ensure that your company will not stagnate in this generation. Don’t be the company that clings to its fax machine -- embrace the exciting new challenges that logistics innovations have to offer, and help position your company for long-term success.