What is “The Logistics Duck Syndrome”? The term describes a company that has the appearance of doing well yet struggles with logistical related issues such as warehousing, packaging, fulfillment, vendors, and transportation. It’s like watching a duck glide along the water seemingly serene and calm, and yet under the water, she is paddling frantically to avert unforeseen dangers.
“The Logistics Duck Syndrome” is borrowed from the term “Duck Syndrome,” coined by Stanford University to represent the problems many university students have with their academic careers.
Logistic decision-makers are no different than students trying to appear calm, cool, and collected and yet on the inside, they are completely stressed out. It’s a “fake it till you make it” mindset. For many logistics decision-makers, they want to be that specialist that solves production and management challenges.
But what price does the company pay?
Attempting to do it all has transformed logistics decision-makers into a position of of unattainable expectations and extremes, which are unhealthy for the business and the decision-maker. Small problems can escalate into warehousing, packaging, and shipping disasters, while the decision-maker attempts to manage their fast-paced and stressful job. This approach is a recipe for disaster.
A company dealing with growth, along with attempting to tackle the more sophisticated logistic issues that go with growing pains, is where the phenomenon of “The Logistics Duck Syndrome” starts to percolate. Many employees, who suffer from “The Logistics Duck Syndrome,” suddenly find themselves playing in a much larger business arena and gone are the days when one or two people could quickly address the day to day business activities.
The logistics decision-maker wants to be able to do it all. Employees try to solve the problem by putting in more time, only to find themselves accomplishing less and less each day. It’s no different from a student keeping absurdly late hours doing homework, wanting the A, participating in multiple clubs and sports, and still expects to go out every weekend to party. Along the way, something will stall or break.
All this leads to anxiety and creating unstable ad hoc—and often harmful—business practices. As a company grows, the stakes get higher. And with growth, there is much more volume, paperwork, and interaction with all the shipping and mailing vendors.
Like a student who thinks their peers can do it all, don’t allow yourself to be fooled by competitors who give the appearance of running smoothly. No matter what you are manufacturing and shipping to your clients, it’s about consistent throughput.
Let us help your company establish cost-saving outsourcing options that produce scalable and attainable goals. Let us help you succeed — because frantically paddling is literally for the birds.