This summer, Bill Goodgion, President of Ascent Global Logistics, will be a featured panelist on the 'What defines a logistics business in the 21st century?' discussion at the EFT (Eye For Transport) 8th Annual North American 3PL & Supply Chain Summit in Chicago.
In preparation for the event, Bill recently answered a series of questions relating to strategy, policy, the future, technology and various other topics. Check out the below excerpt from the exclusive interview with EFT.
EFT: Customers look to their 3PLs as a source of innovation. How are you helping your customers innovate?
Bill Goodgion: It is really all about helping clients optimize their supply chains. We have numerous solutions that address different problem areas. We have a variety of solutions that help clients with rate, route, mode and carrier optimization. We can provide them with deeper levels of business analytics. We can assist with trade and regulatory compliance. By helping them improve and enhance their supply chains, they are able to focus their energy on their key strengths- creating, marketing and selling new products.
EFT: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for 3PLs?
Bill Goodgion: Technology. But I view it a little differently. I do not see technology in and of itself as the differentiator. As I mentioned previously, I view technology as a means of enabling and empowering our people. Technology deployed without the right strategy does not create disruption.
EFT: What new ground-breaking technology will have the biggest impact on your operations in the next 5-10 years? (3D Printing, AI, Blockchain, Drones, Driverless Vehicles, etc.)
Bill Goodgion: Longer-term possibly all have some level of impact, but in the short-term I find blockchain most intriguing. I wouldn’t say I am sold quite yet, but I am investing time researching and talking to others to better understand how we might use in our business environment. With all “disruptive” technologies it is easy to jump on the bandwagon and want to believe the hype. In the end, it is about cost effective results. I am interested to see how the partnership between Maersk and IBM to provide real time exchange of events and documents to numerous parties really improves things. I also understand that Walmart is in the middle of a pilot project
to track and trace pork produce in the U.S and pork in China. If truly successful, it is possible that there could be numerous applications that I envision could drive improved efficiencies in our communications with customers and service providers.
EFT: How do you ensure that strategic relationships are maintained despite a very competitive market-place and pressures to keep prices rock-bottom?
Bill Goodgion: It all starts with discovery and the solution design. You have to understand your clients business and what their long-term strategy is. Cost reduction is a given but we want to invest the time up front to understand their value drivers. It may sound novel but we also focus on our daily interactions with our clients. We want our people to talk with our clients and not just email them. Build relationships, ask questions, and offer insight. Then, we follow with formal business reviews to discuss our performance and talk about strategy.
Will you be in attendance at the EFT 3PL & Supply Chain Summit in Chicago next month? Contact us today to setup a quick meet-and-greet.