Logistics are so important in today’s global economy. Every day, thousands of companies are responding to the demands for services and products by shipping materials everywhere on the planet. What are the drivers for this frantic activity? Sales!
Role of Sales
Sales are the dynamo that powers the constructive energies of the commercial world. To sell something, you must first have leads. If sales are an economic dynamo, then sales leads are the nuclear rocket fuel that propels the dynamo’s blades. And logistics are the natural response to the steady thrum of economic activity that arises from sales.
When one thinks of logistics, it’s natural to think of getting product or its inputs from one place to another. But often overlooked is the flow of documents that accompany all of this activity. What people fail to understand is that sometimes, a hard document is mandatory, not something that can be replaced by a PDF file on a computer. For instance, many legal jurisdictions require real signatures on real paper for certain documents and contracts. Virtual signatures on computer files will not substitute in these locales.
Sometimes, the document itself is the item being sold. Collectors of antique letters and manuscripts take physical delivery of these materials. They must arrive, and arrive undamaged. Only a bonded licensed international shipper will do in these circumstances. In other cases, the documents contain information too confidential to be placed on a computer system. A truism is that once a document is input, it can never be destroyed or held closely. Hackers love to find “secured” documents and then release them to the media. Many governments and industries have been embarrassed by leaked documents. Hand delivery of paper-only originals is the only way to keep documents off of computer systems.
When you commit to shipping important documents, do your homework and verify the credentials of the shipping company – not all shippers are equal! For one thing, there is the issue of delivery speed for time-dependent documents. And these shipments may not be very long distances. Imagine a recount of a close election with paper ballots. Those ballots are extremely valuable, and must be accounted for in every step of the custody chain. You wouldn’t want your vote to suddenly disappear. What about the votes of an entire town? Worse yet, you don’t want your ballot altered by unscrupulous agents. A good logistics company maintains vigilant control of its materials, so that bad things don’t happen to good documents.