Hype vs. Reality: Sifting Through the Noise

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If you were looking for a “fun and informal” presentation, Brad Hollister, CEO of SwanLeap, led one about “Hype vs. Reality: Sifting Through the Noise” in the Transportation & Logistics Theater on Tuesday. This session looked at some of the ideas that are either being explored, discussed or even debuted at MODEX 2020 that are great ideas, but are a far cry from “what we see at home” and maybe a bit far-fetched too -- at for some companies and at least for now.

“We all want the same things,” said Hollister, “happy customers, low costs, no headaches.” But, reaching that goal means something different for each business. 

The first step would be defining the technological terms being used in the supply chain industry.  “We all need to come together and agree what these terms mean,” said Hollister, such as routing guide, blockchain, control tower and disruption. Unless everyone is defining it the same, it isn’t possible to get a true picture of its feasibility. Take “control tower,” for instance.  Many companies have different definitions for this term or use it for different positions and functions. 

Then, it is necessary to figure out what is “noise” for your company and what should be reality. “You have to understand what your problems are,” said Hollister. And you have to be prepared to encounter more. “Until you start to identify meaningful improvements in your company it is not always clear what is underneath.” He recommended having a lot of conversations to figure out if an idea will lead to “measurable improvement.” You also have to be ready or “the biggest challenge”: “Yeah, but…” It should be “what if,” instead of “yeah, but,” he explained. 

“Our industry is moving quick and we have to do something,” said Hollister. “We don’t have to do the perfect thing, but we have to do something.”  He encouraged everyone to get started right away.  Define, build buy in, then start! “I don’t feel we have time to wait on anything. We have to execute today. All of us…  But, don’t go before you know. But once you know, go. The clock is ticking!”


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