Football season is officially underway in the U.S., which means team colors are flying proudly around the nation and grills are pumping out burgers and brats at a dizzying pace.
And as we root for our favorite college and pro teams to make it to the championships this season, we can also take pages from the grid iron playbooks and apply them to our own supply chain practices.
Devise A FLEXIBLE DEFENSE strategy
"The way to be successful is through preparation. It doesn't just happen. You don't wake up one day and discover you're a lawyer any more than you wake up as a pro football player. It takes time."
- Alan Page (Defensive tackle for the Vikings & Bears)
When it comes to your supply chain, there are a multitude of obstacles and challenges that can arise throughout the year. From bad weather and hurricane season to capacity crunches and the Chinese New Year, shippers have to be proactive and anticipate that problems will arise at some point.Even with the best defensive players on your team, there needs to be a well-structured plan in place. The best football coaches know that they have to pick their plays according to the teams they are up against. What works one week may not cut it the next.
To that point, work closely with your team and your transportation service providers. Put plans on paper and ensure that everyone knows what to do and who to contact when a supply chain disruption occurs.
Play Offense And Carry The Ball Forward
In the supply chain world, it often feels like shippers are playing defense the majority of the time. It can be challenging to make progress and push your team further down the field when you feel like you are constantly challenged to maintain the status quo.
The best quarterbacks and coaches, however, are always looking for new opportunities and plays that will help them get a leg up on their opponents. Likewise, shippers shouldn't be timid when it comes to exploring new supply chain strategies or distribution models that could drastically change the way they operate. Remember the saying "with great risk comes great reward."
ShipperProTip: Is your current distribution strategy holding you back? Read our blog post "Pool Distribution: Cutting Costs And Time In The Long Haul" to find out how this unique strategy could benefit your business.
Whether it's utilizing the latest technology for climate-controlled LTL shipping or learning about the capacity and efficiencies that multimodal options can offer, there are numerous shipping strategies and practices that are helping businesses ship more efficiently.
ALWAYS WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM
If there was a number one reason why some teams perform better than others, it would be cohesiveness. Individuals have to learn to communicate with and trust one another before they will ever make it as a team.
Just like a football team, a supply chain has many different moving parts on the field. Each point in a shipper's supply chain needs to work in tandem with one another. When one part is slacking, it will inevitably cause a trickling effect throughout the entire operation.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
- Vince Lombardi (Coach for the Giants, Packers & Redskins)
When it comes to your own supply chain, you need to have confidence in your transportation service providers. Building that confidence will come down to communication. If one player fails to listen to the calls of the team's captain or ignores the signals made by other teammates, they will ultimately put your business at risk.