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The Logistician's Playbook
Routes, Rollout, and Removal of the Blind Side
The Logistician's Playbook
Routes, Rollout, and Removal of the Blind Side
February 3, 2021

he American professional football (NFL) season is coming to a close, leaving only the Super Bowl to be decided, the 55th such championship game. We’ve marveled at the precision, timing, and situational awareness that are characteristic of a great football player. This is also true for a professional logistician, in how both react favorably under pressure to deliver results.

The general understanding of a football player’s job is to decide how best to move into scoring position using a mixture of passing and running plays. Now to address the parallel question, what does a logistician do? As Career Explorer points out,

“The job can be stressful because logistical work is fast-paced. Logisticians must ensure that operations stay on schedule, and they must work quickly to solve any problems that arise.”

Logisticians revolve around a set of activities aimed at procuring and moving goods through their organizations and into the customer’s hands. In practice, these jobs include:

  • Developing business relationships with suppliers and customers

  • Working to understand customers’ needs and how to meet them

  • Designing strategies to minimize the cost or time required to move goods

  • Reviewing the success of logistical functions and identifying areas for improvement

  • Proposing improvements to management and customers

  • Staying current on advances in logistics technology and incorporating new technologies into procedures

View the full list from Career Explorer

We will focus on three key parallels between football and logistics to help illustrate the benefits of an optimized logistician’s workflow as it relates to shipping and distribution.

Routes, Decision Making, & Execution
In football, those who play the position of receiver are most touted for their ability to quickly run a route, a pre-determined pattern down the field intended to help them break free of defensive opposition and catch passes from the quarterback. If successful, receivers can provide their team advantageous field position to score on later plays, or break free to score on their own.

In much the same fashion, the logistician sees their field of receivers, which could include third-party logistics providers (3PLs), warehouse inventory, and optimal shipping routes. Should these routes be run effectively, the next need is for the logistician to have visibility to their options using tools that allow business and situation-specific rules. On the shipping front, decisions can be made much easier with deeply compliant, powerful, and scalable technology. Coupled with the logistician’s expert awareness of price and delivery parameters, this creates a positional advantage to win customer business.

Rollout, Agility, & Implementation
In football, a quarterback performs a rollout to evade oncoming pressure from defensive players and complete a pass or run down field. Similarly, agility by the logistician is crucial to navigating threats and opportunities, given little room for target inaccuracy. It’s also important to replicate the plays that prove successful for the organization.

Rollout can also be compared to the rollout of a new solution. Implementation and adoption are tough subjects for organizations of all sizes, but solutions can be implemented quickly with a roster of integration partners.

Removal of the Blind Side
The blind side is the area of the quarterback’s vision that is blind to oncoming defensive players, often behind their back. How does the logistician protect themselves against these unforeseen changes? Compliance changes, rate changes, customer demand changes. A shipping solution strategy brings this blind side into view and evens the playing field through standardization and widespread visibility.

The Shipping Software Play
Shipping may only be one piece of the logistician’s vast responsibility, but it is arguably the most externally consequential and a large indicator of overall customer satisfaction. These principles of successful football, coupled with a tool for precise decision making and consistent execution, can optimize the logistician’s workflow. Look to ConnectShip for your multi-carrier, multi-platform, highly flexible shipping solution.

More from ConnectShip Blogistics, coming soon.

Ludwig Dischner III, MA, PMP
Marketing and Commercial Project Analyst ~ ConnectShip
Ludwig contributes to ConnectShip in brand development, project management, content production, video animation, UX/UI design and development, marketing research, analytics, business strategy, legal administration, and some musical talents, too. Ludwig is an integral piece of the team, communicating logistics solutions to a wide range of audiences and improving ConnectShip's project management. Ludwig holds a master’s degree in strategic communication and in project management from the University of Oklahoma, after graduating from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in business marketing. He also maintains his PMP certification.