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How are Olympic athletes and your company alike?

With the Summer 2016 Olympic Games wrapping up in Rio last week, you have surely seen the determination, triumphs and pride that athletes have for their country and sport. In total, United States athletes stood on the podium 121 times, with 46 of them coming in at the top for gold! Becoming an Olympic athlete and competing against the best in the world is a dream for most athletes.

Some of the most incredible moments to witness at the games are when the cameras pan to an athlete’s family in the stands, showing how proud parents, grandparents, husbands and wives are to see their loved ones triumph. Watching gold and silver medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents squirm nervously as she flips and twists throughout her floor routine, or seeing Michael Phelps’ wife and young son jump up and down with joy as he collected his 28th Olympic medal perfectly exhibit the pride involved in these games!

As you see the parents, broadcasters tell stories of how they coached their kids when they were younger or helped out with training for many years. How often do you think that the athlete’s parents are still their coach? Not very often. When an athlete gets to a certain point, the only way to get better is to have an expert coach critiquing their every move. The finger placement on Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore’s jumpshot or curve of University of Minnesota Alumni David Plummer’s shoulder for his backstroke had to be perfect in order for them to win the gold medals that they did. An expert coach showed them that, but do you think for a second that their parents were any less proud because they didn’t? While the parents are experts at being parents, the coaches are experts at getting the most out of athletes.   

Why am I talking about Olympic athletes in a blog about logistics and the supply chain? First, because the Olympics are pretty great. On top of that, I’m looking at what gets these athletes performing at such high levels. During post-competition interviews or after exiting the podium, every athlete thanks their parents, family and coaches. Their parents and family are certainly a great support system and are proud, but every practice, little adjustment or change in their event comes from their coaches. Getting the athletes to peak efficiency, perfect timing and flawless delivery is the job of the coach. Your supply chain is no different. We’re the coach.

The pride that family members feel while sitting in the stands, you feel that with your company and just like an athlete’s parents are experts at being parents, you are an expert at your core competency. Instead of focusing on logistics and how to make your supply chain more efficient and accurate, leave that to an expert 3PL so that your company can perform like a top Olympic athlete. While finger placement during a shot or running faster might not be what makes a 3PL more valuable for their clients; accurate picking, label application, real-estate location and efficiency are important and can make a supply chain run more effectively. Finally, we may not win gold medals, but keeping your customers happy and getting the job done right for you makes us feel like we are standing at the top of the podium.

Have a wonderful day!