IWLA Tech/Ops Keynote Preview: Change is the New Normal, Flexibility is Key to Stay Competitive

Steinberg Low“An innovative culture is having eyes and ears open and willingness to change and embrace failure,” says IWLA Technology & Operations Solutions for Warehousing Conference (Sept. 24 & 25) keynote speaker Scott Steinberg, CEO of business and technology consultancy TechSavvy Global. “Those are the organizations that succeed.”

Steinberg and his team cover the full spectrum of business, technology, and marketing consulting for Fortune 500 companies and small startups worldwide. He says he helps businesses stay competitive by spotting trends and conducting research. To this end, Steinberg says  technology is now the driving force of competition.

“Companies can roll out a new product concept to production in 30 to 90 days. Companies are more accessible than ever before and the logistics execution has to be just as flexible,” Steinberg says.

IWLA members know this all too well. Client needs and products change at a moment’s notice, and it’s often up to the 3PL to come up with a new solution that can accommodate this rapid growth. And with every new product comes new ingredients, processes, and handling requirements.

What is the solution? Steinberg claims software as a service (SaaS), already ubiquitous, will continue to change how we access and use technology and information.  SaaS allows people to license cloud-based software. Being in the cloud means more flexibility in updating software, changing to a new software, or creating applications with modifications.

“Companies need flexible, more scalable solutions to operate and make decisions at a faster pace. [Flexibility] allows you to gain and shed resources on an adaptable platform. That [platform] is your operations muscle,” Steinberg says.

SaaS technologies may be flexible, scalable, and adaptable, their base in the cloud raises concerns about security. “Cloud is gaining more and more security. It’s not 100 percent but it’s about minimizing the point of failure.”

According to Steinberg, cloud will be the expectation in the five to 10 years. Businesses need to identify the dangers and take measures needed to be more secure.

Culture of Change
Businesses operate in an uncertain world. Steinberg says they need to adapt to the most current needs in order to stay relevant to customers. He suggests that innovation comes from every level of a company. No change is too big or small; it’s about recognizing weaknesses in a system that is already in place.

“Everyone has the ability to innovate and change. Have employees think of themselves as emergency responders, thinking of new ways to go about things instead mindless going back and forth,” he says.

Yes, it’s true: We cannot all innovate all of the time, otherwise we would have no way to tell if innovations were an improvement. Steinberg is a fan of pilot testing and embracing failure at the lowest cost possible.

“Don’t get wrapped up in the latest and greatest technologies. Have a specific well-defined goal in mind and implement in a way to meet that goal,” he says.

Finally, prioritize your technologies not on dollars and cents but usage potential. “Go for the solution that has expandable opportunities for long-term benefit. There’s a hard-dollar cost but there’s also a hard-opportunity cost.”

Want to hear more? Register for the Sept. 24 & 25 IWLA Technology & Operations Solutions for Warehousing Conference located in Fort Worth, Texas to be in the audience for Steinberg’s keynote presentation.

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