The official start of the Summer Olympic Games reminds me that competition for these fine athletes is never ending and not just limited to major events. That is, if they hope to medal someday. For example, Roger Bannister is famous for breaking the four-minute mile at the 1954 Olympics in Helsinki, a feat which many people of the time thought was physically impossible. You could say that his continuous effort over many years to employ new training methods, shave seconds off his time and increase his competitive advantage was a victory not just over the physical limitations of the human body but also a triumph over the limiting beliefs of what was possible.
Many of our best customers take that same attitude towards competition. They ignore any restrictive pressures to just keep doing what they’ve always done and instead continuously seek new methods and new technologies to improve their performance and competitive advantage.
Our customer Panalpina Group is a great example of that. They recently received some well-earned recognition for their leadership in adopting 3D printing to the Third Party Logistics (3PL) industry. An article in 3DPRINT.COM provides the details of their new strategic partnership with Shapeways, a company that provides a 3D printing platform.
According to the article, Panalpina is interested in employing 3D printing in their Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS) business. LMS is described as providing manufacturing, assembly and testing, distribution, installation and repair, among other services. Clearly, Panalpina does not see itself as being restricted by the old “trucks & sheds” paradigm of what is possible or appropriate for a logistics company.
Mike Wilson, Global Head of Logistics for Panalpina, calls out the advantages of 3D printing and is quoted as saying, “Because the value for the customer is added at the end of the supply chain, the brand owner can keep inventories, as well as the cost of transportation and obsolescence, to a minimum. Moreover, additive manufacturing produces less waste than traditional manufacturing methods, which fits perfectly with increasingly circular economies.”
We agree, and I encourage you to read this insightful article yourself. Also, please visit our website to learn more about how JDA is helping 3PL companies become strategic partners to their customers. And remember that just 46 days after Bannister broke the impossible record, his main rival, John Landy of Australia, beat his time. Competition never rests.