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What is “Logistics Duck Syndrome”?

What is “Logistics Duck Syndrome”? The term describes a company that has the appearance of doing well yet struggles with logistical-related issues. This can include problems such as warehousing, packaging, fulfillment, vendors, and transportation. The company is like a duck gliding along the water. She appears seemingly serene and calm, yet under the water, is paddling frantically to avert unforeseen dangers.

“Logistics Duck Syndrome” is borrowed from the term “Duck Syndrome.” It was coined by Stanford University to describe the problems many university students struggle with in their academic careers.

Decision-makers in the logistics field are no different than stressed-out, frantic students who are trying to appear calm, cool, and collected. It’s a “fake it till you make it” mindset. Many logistic decision-makers want to be that specialist who solves all production and management challenges.

But what price does the company pay?

Attempting to do it all has put the logistics decision-maker into a position of unattainable expectations and extremes. This is equally as unhealthy for the business as it is for the decision-maker. Small problems can escalate into warehousing, packaging, and shipping disasters because of the decision-maker attempts to manage too much. This approach is a recipe for disaster.

“Logistics Duck Syndrome” tends to begin when a company starts to grow. It attempts to take on more than it can handle when it comes to tackling the growing pains of sophisticated logistical issues. Many employees who suffer from “Logistics Duck Syndrome” suddenly find themselves playing in a much larger business arena. They realize that one or two people can no longer quickly address 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 who stays up late to get that “A”, participates in multiple clubs and sports, and still goes out to party every weekend. Eventually, something will stall or break.

All this leads to anxiety and creates harmful business practices. As a company grows, the stakes get higher as it has to deal with more volume, paperwork, and interaction with its shipping and mailing vendors.

Like a student, it can be easy to look at others, who are seemingly doing it all, and think you are lagging behind. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by competitors. They give the appearance of accomplishing everything smoothly, but don’t let that mislead you. The important thing is consistent quality, regardless of what you are manufacturing and shipping to your clients. 

As a business owner or decision-maker, your time is important. Let us help you take some of the burden off your shoulders by finding logistical solutions that reflect your business’s quality. We will help your company establish cost-saving outsourcing options that produce scalable and attainable goals. Together, we will cause your company to soar— because frantically paddling is literally for the birds.

Call 1-800-356-4467.