Logistics & Innovation

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Peter Drucker is known for saying,

“[T]HE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS IS TO CREATE A CUSTOMER, THE BUSINESS ENTERPRISE HAS TWO–AND ONLY TWO–BASIC FUNCTIONS: MARKETING AND INNOVATION. MARKETING AND INNOVATION PRODUCE RESULTS; ALL THE REST ARE COSTS.”

This is true as much then as now. As the world awakens to a new reality of how we connect personally and professionally it is important to keep in mind that “business as usual” means not going back to old legacy structures but going back to business fundamentals.

What are we selling (something that adds value to an individual or company – an “innovation”) and how are we selling it (what is the story of and problem being solved – “marketing”).

I think from that you can see why “Innovation” as an outcome is important. But where does “Logistics” fit into this equation…is this solely a “cost” function. Yes and no.

“Yes”, in that while you need marketing to build demand and innovation that leads to something that is sold in that market, Logistics is what is needed to get it there.

“No”, in that while it is a cost function, looking at Logistics as a single function, as opposed to the role Logistics Professionals play in the Global Value Web creates a source of Innovation.

A lot of people have asked me, “Why do Logistics and Innovation go hand in hand?” or to translate, “why is the Logistics Institute offering a Professional Designation in Applied Innovation.

The simple answer is this – all the marketing and innovation in the world is nothing if a customer (individual or company) can’t get their hands on a product. In fact, I would argue that if Innovation drives revenue, Logistics is what drives innovation – and why Logistics Professionals – now more than ever – need to be equipped to lead and innovate.

Innovation is really just a fancy way to say “solving complex problems” and that is a skill that Logistics Leaders must possess. In this day and age, how we build resilience into Global Value Chains is the difference between keeping food on the shelves at supermarkets, PPE in the hands of frontline workers, and the goods and services that keep civilization moving. In short, Logistics Professionals are tasked with decisions that effectively are of “life & death” importance – if that is not a complex problem, I don’t know what is.

So as a response, The Logistics Institute has created a new designation: Professional in Applied Innovation. Like all programs in the time of COVID, it is available 100% online.

It is not enough to simply be “a cost”…Logistics is essential work, by definition it adds value…this means the task is no longer to continue moving things from A to B…the logistics function – and logistics professionals are now frontline innovators.

You are being tasked to innovate – we can help. Learn more about the Applied Innovation Program here.

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