The Great Inflection Comes To Newark, Ohio

Newark, Ohio has huge problems, and they’re going to get worse. Some of you are going to want to slap me for stating the obvious, others would say I’m being to negative. I think I’m being a realist. We all have been hit by the economy or at least know someone that has, yet the current survivors want to think that they’ve made it through the worst and everything will be ok. Look around you. 125 laid off at Longaberger yesterday right after a friend told me things were looking up . My point is not that we are screwed(although we are), but that that we need to get past that and move onto solutions. I’m going to point out an obvious solution that we’re overlooking. Technological resourcefulness.

Longaberger laid off 125 people because Exel Logistics can do the shipping functions at a fraction of the cost. Sure, Longaberger’s sales have nose-dived to add to the problem. Longaberger probably kept the employees far past the true date of hopeless despair. In effort to save their company, they had to resort to creative solutions and Exel had them. Exel understands how to ship for the absolute lowest cost no matter who gets their feelings hurt in the process.

Exel takes in a small group of employees and pays decent wages to keep things going. In seasonal shifts, they pull in the temp-workers to make things happen. They are well-versed in taking advantage of truckers and applying huge wait times so that the truckers are available and their trailers are temporary storage, while the driver sits with little to know pay. Smart trucking companies have found ways to solve the problem by working with Exel. Usually the trucking company gets the detention pay, but doesn’t pass it along to the driver. A win-win for everyone, that is everyone who knows how to be resourceful.

So what should the temp-worker and the trucker do in their down time to escape their situation? Get educated! I’m not talking about traditional education either. I’m talking real education. Talk to the businesses in the area that need your expertise. Find out what they need and see if there is a way for you to help them cut their costs.

This depression has something that we’ve never had before, technology. You can communicate. You can e-mail 100 businesses in a day to find out if they have any problems that someone with your expertise could solve for them. If you don’t have usable expertise, you can find out what is needed and get trained. If you want to submit a resume to 20 websites and hope you have a keyword in there that will impress someone, you’re not going to make progress.

If you are working at a shipping facility and you know that there outside sources that can do the job for 1/2 the cost, don’t sit waiting for the news. Get to work finding something else. Don’t fool yourself. The worst is going to happen.

As for the business leaders that are reading this, you need to think about your survival as well. Are truly looking for solutions to your problems or are you paying some consultant to give you over-priced solutions that are killing your business. How innovative are you really being in every aspect of your business? Keep listening to the same people that are coming up with the same tired solutions from the same vendors and you’re on your way out.  Are you still looking for that magical worker that will have all of the exact experience that you dream of and work for 1/2 of what he’s worth. That guy has already started his own business because he gave up on your type of offering.

I highly suggest that you read this post about The Great Inflection. For almost any profession, you are soon going to be hit by this in some way. Start thinking of ways to get on the good end of this.