Metro Atlanta has a long history in supply chain. Founded as a railroad town, goods from around the nation flowed through the city, and the region is now pioneering approaches to a new digital supply ...
Metro Atlanta has a long history in supply chain. Founded as a railroad town, goods from around the nation flowed through the city, and the region is now pioneering approaches to a new digital supply chain. The Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Grow Leadership Council took up the subject during a recent fireside chat with Coyote Logistics, Roadie and UPS.
The Grow Leadership Council, led by Sandra MacQuillan, chief supply chain officer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, hosted a conversation with Jack Twyman, vice president of fleet solutions, Coyote Logistics; Mark Gorlin, founder and CEO, Roadie, Inc.; and Derrick Johnson, president for the South Atlantic district, UPS, about their companies’ growth and “last mile disruption.”
Twyman highlighted the youth of Coyote Logistics and their acquisition by UPS in 2015. Coyote Logistics aids UPS in scheduling shipments to maximize the use of empty trucks, automating this scheduling digitally, and making the company a heavy-hitter in the digital supply chain market.
Gorlin introduced Roadie, a crowdsourcing company that employs existing drivers to deliver packages point-to-point along a route they were already planning on taking.
“Over 120,000 people across the country drive for us,” Gorlin said. “These cars are already on the highway; we’re just connecting the driver to the consumer to make delivery faster.”
Johnson explained how companies like Coyote Logistics and Roadie help UPS make the last mile of the supply chain efficient and cost effective.
“Our current challenge is to ascertain what consumers are associating with our brand,” Johnson said. “We’ve been around for over a hundred years, partnering with companies like Coyote [Logistics] and Roadie to help ensure that UPS is continuing to evolve and grow.”
MacQuillan spoke to how supply chain companies, in particular, are using their position and influence to not only innovate within the marketplace but also to disrupt, saying that “disruption should be embraced.”
“UPS is constantly innovating,” Johnson said. “Innovation is incremental and happens over time; disruption seeks to turn the industry on its side and makes room for a dynamic, divergent way of thinking. It isn’t meant to simply improve; it endeavors to do things completely differently.”
“The most disruptive thing happening in our marketplace is the idea of synthetic densities,” Twyman said. “How much more cost effective is it to deliver fifty packages to one place—a drop-off point, for example—instead of delivering them to fifty different places? If innovation is progressing faster outside of your organization than inside, you’re on a downward slope.”
MacQuillan followed the fireside chat with a brief question and answer session centered around the challenges that each company faces while trying to disrupt the marketplace and the importance of maintaining balance between providing services that clients want and the ever-increasing cost of supply chain logistics.
“Our biggest challenge right now is figuring out how to adhere to the preferred method of communication regardless of consumer size,” Twyman explained. “Sometimes clients are two-person teams and sometimes they’re entire corporations. We’re trying to figure out how to make our operations cost-effective at every capacity.”