January 16, 2012
Column | big picture

Telling the logistics story

Move it!, a new Web-based TV series, offers an entertaining look at how the products we use every day get to where they need to be.

By Peter Bradley

I don't know how often I've had conversations with folks in the logistics and supply chain professions who've related some version of what I call the "cocktail party exchange." Amid the usual small talk, someone asks what you do for a living, and you mention logistics or material handling, or transportation, or supply chains, and the response is a puzzled look and a follow-up question on what exactly that's all about.

The short answer might be to invite your interlocutor to look around—note the tables and chairs in the room, the glass in hand and the beverage it contains, the very clothes on his or her back—and ask how it is each of those things arrived in the home or on the store shelves. That nicely sets up a brief exposition on not only what our trade is all about, but just how important it is to keeping our economy running smoothly.

Now, in our latest endeavor to help spread the word about the role of logistics, we have launched what we consider one of the most exciting and ambitious extensions of our business in our brief history.

In February, AGiLE TV Productions, a subsidiary of the parent company of DC Velocity, will premiere Move it!, a Web-based TV series that explores the art and science of logistics operations.

Move it! tells the story behind how the products we use every day get to where they need to be—something that readers of this magazine understand well but that remains a mystery to the general public. Each half-hour episode will take viewers inside the operations of leading companies and introduce them to the people, technologies, and strategies that help keep our home and work lives running smoothly. The pilot episode features tours of the logistics nerve centers of consumer products distributor Amway, the Port of Virginia, leading less-than-truckload carrier Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., and online natural health products distributor iHerb.

The series will premiere on Feb. 6 at Modex, the new logistics, material handling, and supply chain conference and trade show at Atlanta's World Congress Center, and become available for on-demand viewing at www.MoveItShow.com immediately after that event.

Hosted by well-known TV personality Steve Thomas, formerly of PBS's "This Old House," and co-produced by DC Velocity's David Maloney, Move it! marries the high production and entertainment values of television with the flexibility and easy access of current digital technologies and consumer devices. Viewers will be able to watch Move it! via any device capable of streaming video—from smart phones, to tablet devices, to computer screens and Web-enabled televisions.

Our hope is that Move it! will bring the crucial role of logistics in our economy to far greater public attention. Perhaps, then, at a future cocktail party, when you answer "logistics" to the question of what you do, the response will be, "Wow, yes, I saw that on Move it!"

I urge you to tune in, and to share it with friends, relatives, colleagues, and, yes, cocktail party acquaintances.

About the Author

Peter Bradley
Editor Emeritus
Peter Bradley is an award-winning career journalist with more than three decades of experience in both newspapers and national business magazines. His credentials include seven years as the transportation and supply chain editor at Purchasing Magazine and six years as the chief editor of Logistics Management.

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