Insights & News

Innovation in Your Supply Chain Starts with the Little Things

Person holding hand drawn Innovation sign with charts and graphs

Posted On October 16, 2018

Innovation in logistics, transportation, and warehousing dominates the home page of every major supply chain news site.

That’s no surprise, given how exciting, groundbreaking, and important many of these innovations are. We’ve written extensively on the Flat World blog about driverless trucking and how important technology is to addressing long-term driver shortages and constantly rising rates. Trucking isn’t the only innovation-related topic we’ve addressed in this blog, though; blockchain and innovation in warehousing have also been covered by the Flat World blogging team.

However, it’s important to remember innovation isn’t just huge, groundbreaking, world-shaking technologies. The Webster’s dictionary definition of innovation is simple: Innovation is the introduction of something new.

In other words, innovation doesn’t have to be a robot truck making its way across America without a human behind the wheel. It also doesn’t have to be the truly revolutionary changes that will happen when blockchain reaches its full potential in the supply chain space, or even something as (relatively) simple as incorporating autonomous robots in your warehouse.

Autonomous robots, trucks, and blockchain are innovative—but innovation is far more than just the important technologies of the moment. Innovation is a way of thinking. Being innovative means being focused on constant improvement, challenging the status quo, and being willing to try something different if the current way of doing things isn’t achieving the results you hoped for.

Innovation is embracing change, excellence, and a new way of doing things.

In supply chain management, innovation can be as simple as working with a partner like the Flat World family of companies after years—or even decades—of trying to achieve optimal results using only your internal shipping department.

(That’s not to say shipping departments themselves can’t be a source of innovation. We’re proud to call ourselves a partner to some of the most innovative shipping departments and shipping leaders working across a wide variety of industries.)

It’s also easy to think innovation means a complete rethinking of the way your company approaches supply chain management. But in every company, innovation is usually incremental, not revolutionary. Often the most successful companies are ones that build on a strength—like the great products they manufacture—by improving the ancillary processes and procedures supporting that product.

What does that mean?

It means that what is standing between your company and greatness isn’t always a new or better product.

It might be a slightly improved or even entirely new approach to supply chain management.

Fortunately, the Flat World family of companies can help bring innovation to a wide range of your supply chain, transportation, and logistics management processes and procedures. Flat World Supply Chain can help you build a more efficient, effective, and visible supply chain. Flat World Hospitality brings a new and innovative approach to project management in the hospitality space. Ram International is here for all of your international freight forwarding needs. Ram Custom Crating has brought a new level of customer service and innovation to custom crating. Prologue Technology is led by a team of transportation management innovators who can help you create the high-performing supply chain your company needs.

Big innovations like blockchain and advances in artificial intelligence will fundamentally reinvent supply chains in the coming years.

But you don’t need to wait to implement a more innovative approach to your transportation management. In the coming weeks we will feature examples of innovation we’ve helped our clients and customers implement in their supply chains by partnering with the Flat World family of companies.

In the meantime, let us know how we can help make your shipping department more innovative and cutting edge than ever before.