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It is still the morning after the night before. Thus, it is somewhat early to draw any conclusions about how Donald Trump and The Republican Party achieved such a major victory in the US elections this week. Having said that, there were some powerful business lessons that emerged from this election process. Here are some that immediately come to mind.

Understand the Needs of your Customers

Everyone is acknowledging today that Donald Trump heard the voices of white working class Americans and other disaffected groups better than anyone in the Democratic Party. He heard their concerns about the challenges of lost jobs, technological change, stagnation in wages and other troubling issues. Moreover, he channeled this dissatisfaction and anger into an unprecedented, historic victory.

Key Takeaway: Business leaders must take the time to tune in to their customers, to peel away the layers of the onion to hear their true concerns and then to meet their needs. It was clear from this bitter election campaign that the Democrats, the party of the working class, were not in tune with many Teamsters, working class people and other groups that have aligned with them for so long.

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Social Media have become huge in the last few years. There are new Social Media that pop up every day. I have been personally involved with social media for about ten years and have found them to be helpful to our freight consulting business. Here are few thoughts on how to make effective us of them in your company.

Social Media are an integral part of a company’s Sales and Marketing Strategy

The first point to consider is that Social Media should not be looked at independently from a company’s Sales and Marketing Strategy. They should be an integral component and should be used to accomplish a company’s key marketing objectives. The selection, of which media to use, how and when they should be used, should be developed as part of a company’s Business Plan. The Social Media strategy should correlate directly with the company’s marketing goals, target markets and revenue targets.

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Dan's Transportation Newspaper

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Many of us receive information from multiple news sources on a daily basis. You may start your day with the morning newspaper in hard copy or on your iPad or Surface. If you are in the transportation industry, you are likely receiving trade magazines in hard copy and/or digital form, news feeds and white papers from various sources, updates from your LinkedIn groups, Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and of course dozens or even hundreds of e mails and text messages throughout the day.

Of course many of us have interests beyond freight transportation that may include Business, Investing, Sports, Technology and/or a range of other topics. Trying to stay abreast of the news in these areas can often result in another set of publications and news feeds. The management of information can be quite a challenge.

Using software developed by paper.li, Dan’s Transportation Newspaper tries to make life easier for transportation professionals. Published daily, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, the primary focus of the paper is Freight Transportation. Stories on truck, rail, air and ocean shipping are included as are stories on supply chain, trucking, warehousing, technology, data and energy management. Since many of us are keen students of Business, Economics, Social Media and Sports, the scope of the newspaper includes important stories in these areas.

The freight sections include articles from the Journal of Commerce, Transport Topics, American Shipper, Inbound Logistics, Truck News, Today’s Trucking, Logistics Management and other American and Canadian sources. The Business section contains features from the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The Economist and other leading publications. There are 25 major news feeds that supply articles to the newspaper on a daily basis.

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At the end of each year, I like to take stock of the major freight transportation stories of the past twelve months and look ahead to the trends that will drive the industry in the coming year.  The two blogs that I write are prepared from my perspective as a consultant to shippers and carriers.

This year I would like to hear from you.  Those of you who follow this blog observe trends in your segment of the industry.  Please take a minute to share them with me.  Please post them on this blog or send a private e mail to dan@dantranscon.com

Please feel free to select any major trend or trends that are having or will have a major impact on our industry, whether regulatory, economic, technological, demographic, consumer behavior, environmental, modal shifts or business strategy.

To broaden the range of inputs and perspectives, I will also post this request on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  In the coming weeks I will be preparing my two lists.  The lists will include a blend of my observations and yours.  Look for these two blogs in mid-December.  Thank you to those of you who take the time to share your observations with me.

 

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This week I had the opportunity to participate in a Logistics Management webinar that featured Adrian Gonzalez, Director, Logistics Viewpoints, as one of the 4 speakers.  Adrian spoke on the topic of Social Media in Supply Chain and Logistics.  This is what he had to say.

Social Media are tools for communicating and collaborating.  Citing data from an October 2011 Adelante survey, Adrian commented that a large block of respondents (e.g. over 40%) agreed with the statement that Social Media will transform supply chains (for the better) in ways that we cannot envision today.  Young professionals, the key early adopter segment, are using them today primarily for Business to Consumer branding and marketing.  In his view, we are at an infection point where the emphasis will shift to Business to Business external and internal communication and collaboration, at all levels within organizations.

The world of smartphones, tablets and social media are coalescing and from this integration, new features and applications are taking shape.  E mail communication, at least for your professionals, is being superseded by texting and social media communication.  Adrian argued that “public” social media tools will become integrated with “enterprise” social media tools leading to faster connectivity and enhanced business integration.

Don’t be afraid of them and don’t ignore them since we will all be using them sooner rather than later.  He related the current infatuation with social media to our interest in the internet in the 90’s.  Smartphone usage, E mail communication and internet access have become second nature in the intervening years. He also suggested that we should look beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  He highlighted You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare as other media to investigate.  New social media tools are constantly emerging.

He cautioned against focusing on the buzzwords (e.g. LinkedIn).  Adrian suggested focusing on what needs to be done and then employing the social media tools that are the best fit for each organization.  Over the past few years, we are witnessing the rise in popularity of Skype for business, web meetings, blogging, RSS feeds and other mechanisms that foster teamwork and instant communication.  As was the case with the internet in the 90’s, it is helpful for less experienced users to seek out mentors from the younger professionals on the team.  They are often the most knowledgeable and sophisticated users. 

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