Seeing the Potential Beyond the Problems, Leading the Way
January 20, 2022
We see companies in the world moving in two directions: those that are steadfastly clinging to the hope that a post-pandemic future will allow them to go back to what they were successfully doing in the past; and those that are building and strengthening their corporate DNA with strands of optimism and adaptability. Lineage is decidedly in the latter category.
There is significant opportunity in 2022, but significant actions also need to take place to realize those opportunities. Here are four potential business scenarios for 2022, and the actions we are taking to address them.
The Potential of a Better Supply Chain.
The global supply chain continues to move through challenging times – a condition we expect to continue through mid-2022. As in so many of today’s global challenges, there are things outside of our control, and those within which we can positively impact. Since some of the most critical links in any company’s supply chain are their people and their technology, we are taking decisive action in both areas.
First, we are investing in our most valuable resources – our people – to satisfy customer needs, which includes paying higher than industry standard wages in competitive markets and stepping up our recruiting efforts to alleviate the work-strain on our current employees. Second, we are steadfastly focused on deploying industry-leading technology and solutions to ensure our customers’ products are safely and efficiently moved via our leading warehouse network, diverse transportation suite (across truck, rail and reefer) and direct-to-consumer capabilities.
While we recognize these actions are not the silver bullet for all that ails the global supply chain, they are strategically focused on sending powerful messages to two valuable constituents: our employees and our customers.
The Potential of More Empathetic Automation.
To many people, the word “automation” brings uncertainty front and center – and with it, layoffs. Yet to the contrary, the World Economic Forum predicts that automation will result in a net increase of 58 million jobs.
At Lineage, we are determined to help speed processes while simultaneously reinforcing safety and bringing comfort to their jobs. If that sounds like “corporate speak,” think about the effects automation had on accounting and banking. When accounting software first came out in 1979, there were about 299,000 people working as accountants, bookkeepers and auditors. Then Excel came out. Rather than replacing people, the industry grew 75% in ten years. Today, there are 1.29 million people in those roles, and that number is expected to keep growing through 2029. The same dynamic happened when ATMs, were introduced. Although the number of tellers per branch dropped, the number of branches ATMs made possible increased. The end result: an industry where tellers act less like cashiers and more like financial advisors.
That type of empathetic automation is what we see on the horizon. And we want to lead the way, giving new and existing team members unique opportunities to develop valuable skills and build their careers.
The Potential of More Sustainable Solutions.
As the world’s largest warehousing and logistics provider, we recognize – and welcome – our responsibility to lead the industry in sustainability. Last year, we signed the Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism, and we’re taking actions to show the depth of our commitment to that pledge.
Among several new sustainability milestones that we will announce in 2022, we are on our way to power the world’s first net-zero cold-storage facility (meaning it will produce 100% of the energy it consumes) on-site in Colton, California. You will soon hear more about our plans to expand our solar footprint in Europe, as well as other notable solar panel installations that will become a reality at several Lineage facilities as we continue to become a more sustainable global company.
The Potential of a More Inclusive and Diverse Workforce.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are buzz words today. At Lineage, however, they’re much more than that. In fact, we have made diversity, equity and inclusion a priority in our business plans as well as a cultural initiative in our hiring practices.
This past year, in celebration of our diverse backgrounds, we welcomed a number of prominent individuals to speak to our community about a wide range of important topics – and set the table for important conversations to come.
As we move forward, we will continue to find ways to celebrate our differences, honor our unique heritages, and empower diversity of both thought and representation. We have created an organizational DEI Council consisting of 13 members who represent the Lineage footprint around the globe, and have identified four DEI Strategy Pillars: Global Culture of Inclusion & Engagement, Local Community Engagement & Reputation, Global Brand & Market Expectations, and Workforce Representation.
So far, we have established three Employee Resource Groups – African Ancestry, Hispanic/LatinX and WILL (Women in Lineage Logistics) – with plans to launch additional ERGs in the coming months, including LGBTQIA, Veterans, Young Professionals, Asian Ancestry, and Special Abilities. These groups provide a safe space for team members to speak candidly about their challenges and concerns in the workplace, and offer solutions to correcting them to ensure that each and every Lineage team member feels comfortable bringing his/her full selves to work each day.
The Potential of What’s to Come.
As the past two years have all-too-dramatically demonstrated, it’s impossible to predict the future. But it’s critically important to plan for it.
Our plans are unapologetically optimistic, filled with stretch goals that raise the bar for both our company and the industry at large. They are also realistic, embracing the need to pivot to accommodate unforeseen events. The reason for our optimism is based on our leadership, our technology and our people. From a better supply chain, to more empathetic automation, to sustainable actions and a culture that embraces everyone, the potential is there. Our task, in this new year, is to realize that potential, build on it, and then lead the way to what’s next.
The way to accomplish that task is to do what all good leaders do: take heed of the lessons learned from the past to constructively plan for the future. A great way to do that is to visit (or revisit) Lehmkuhl’s Top Ten. Regardless of who you are, or how you contribute to Lineage as a team member, there are lessons worth taking note of. Lessons that go beyond our company – or even industry – and present a valuable perspective on the world at large. Celebrate all we, together, accomplished in 2021. Let these accomplishments inspire you. And let’s make 2022 all that it can be.
 Here’s Why Robots Are Actually Going to Increase Human Employment, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/world-economic-forum-automation-create-jobs-employment-robots