CEO Insights: Visibility and Exception Management Now Top of Mind

Q&A with Bob Shellman, President and CEO, Odyssey Logistics & Technology

Q. From your unique perspective, what did you see as the biggest logistics and supply chain challenge brought on by the pandemic?

A: COVID-19 quickly introduced unparalleled complexity to logistics and supply chains as the industry scrambled to meet surging demand across the globe. This complexity required organizations to become savvier, embrace new technologies and rethink how their supply chain should look and act. Many organizations planned for “what if” events and created a Plan B to get shipments to locations across the globe. We expect this complexity to continue in 2021 and result in some permanent changes for logistics and supply chain.

Q. As we move deeper through recovery, how do you suggest managers now need to approach their logistics and supply chain strategies in 2021? How must tactics change?

A: In 2021, managers MUST be open to change. The year 2020 pushed our organizations into new territories, and those that embraced the changes found success. For example, new technologies such as automated vehicles, visibility and blockchain are just a few solutions the industry will continuously improve as it adjusts to the ‘new normal.’ Additionally, managers will need to explore additional modes of transport. Incorporating airfreight, intermodal and trucking into your plan will help with network optimization while saving money and time.

Q. How is your organization positioned to help logistics and supply chain managers through recovery?

A: Organizations with diverse and complex transportation needs rely on Odyssey’s technologies to deliver thorough, high-value logistics strategies. Our deep expertise, leading technology and extensive network helped us provide best-in class logistics services to shippers throughout the pandemic. Odyssey provides managed logistics services, intermodal services, international services, specialized truck services and advanced technology solutions including our cost-effective transportation management web tool. We also conducted network optimization studies for shippers to develop strategies to drive performance and improve bottom-line results.

Q. What would you say are the most important lessons that the logistics and supply chain community has learned through this challenging year?

A: Visibility and exception management became top of mind for the supply chain in 2020 and continues to be a high priority. The global volatility that the logistics and supply chain community experienced in 2020 resulted in a ‘new normal’ for managing complexity and spurred new initiatives for shippers to enhance their business models, implement new technology solutions to improve visibility and heighten customer services levels in response to the ‘Amazon Effect’ infiltrating the B2B space.

Original article published in Logistics Management. Click here for the original article.

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