Small Business - The Inspiration for Shipwire
In 1997, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Shalikashvili, issued a ground-breaking position paper. “Vision 2010,” as it was called, described the future of the military in the post-Cold War world. Regarded then and now as a landmark statement, the paper tried to enumerate the future of the armed services in a new world where, in contrast to the past, when there were a number of hard targets, including, principally, the Soviet Union, the enemy was now ambiguous and the need for mobile logistics and shipping capability greater than ever before.To be sure, General Shalikashvili and the other authors of that report devoted a considerable amount of attention to the vital role of logistics in the new post-Cold War world. Sounding like the logistically astute CEO that he was, Shalikashvili envisioned a future of “total visibility of all people and materiel, so as to instill confidence in the troops with definite information about when and where goods would be delivered [my italics].” The logistics guesswork and improvisation of the past was unacceptable.
The CEOs of Wal-Mart, Dell, as well as others are giving the same lesson to American business. On the morning of September 11, 2001, these corporate generals knew where all of their trucks were, which ones were stranded, which couldn’t get through customs, where their containers were, which stores were closed, which malls were closed, which tunnels were closed, and so on and so forth. Even with FedEx grounded for three days, these companies were still able to deliver the goods.
Shipwire.com is my tribute to the vision of General Shalikashvili. It is intended to give small and mid-size businesses the same capability as a Wal-Mart or Dell. That is, to borrow his words, the “capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of [shipping] information while exploiting or denying an adversary’s ability to do the same.” As emerging companies look for new ways to expand their markets, as well as reduce the cost of doing business, they will inevitably find that how efficiently they manage their shipping is the key to victory on the contemporary business battlefield. (Posted by, Damon, CEO)