Leaders needed

Menlo Logistics' Gerald Kyle has learned valuable lessons from his experiences in implementing logistics outsourcing. An outsourcing start-up succeeds only when the client company maintains a committed, high-level, active role in the implementation. "The client's project leader must be flexible, good under pressure, and able and willing to make decisions quickly," Kyle insists. "Decisions cannot be made by committee rule. The project manager has to be the decision-maker on the firing line or know where to go to get decisions made quickly." Ultimately, these third-party logistics (3PL) conversions are studies in change management. "By outsourcing, the customer is going through a big change in its supply chain," Kyle concludes. "If it is not that adept at managing change, we do whatever is needed to support it." Logistics-outsourcing start-ups are stressful for all parties. Despite this, Kyle says, "There's nothing finer than seeing a start-up go well."

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