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The Power of Logistics | Terry Esper | TEDxOhioStateUniversitySalon

The Power of Logistics | Terry Esper | TEDxOhioStateUniversitySalon

Good evening, and thank you for joining me today. As a professor at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business, I have dedicated my research to studying home delivery logistics and how it affects customer satisfaction. However, I always struggled to connect with my work on a personal level. That all changed when I discovered the profound impact logistics has had on marginalized communities throughout history.

Logistics, at its core, is about delivering products to where they need to be so that consumers have access to the things they need. It ensures time and place utility, making sure that goods are available when and where they are needed. While this aspect of logistics is vital for businesses, I have come to realize that it holds so much more potential.

One key example that resonated with me was the role of logistics in providing African Americans with a way to shop without being subjected to racism and discrimination during the era of Jim Crow. Companies like Sears offered home delivery services that allowed people to maintain their dignity and shop in peace. This realization struck a personal chord with me, as I recalled the joy my grandmother experienced when she received packages from Sears. It wasn't just about the products; it was about the freedom and dignity those packages represented.

I delved deeper into the history of logistics and found more inspiring stories. Henry Box Brown, born a slave, literally shipped himself to freedom in a wooden crate using logistics. Rufus Lewis, an unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement, utilized logistics expertise to develop an alternative transportation infrastructure that allowed African Americans to boycott the Montgomery bus system for 381 days. The Green Book, a logistics planning document, guided African Americans during the Great Migration, ensuring their safety and access to services.

These stories made me realize that logistics is not just a function of business; it is personal and powerful. It has the ability to provide dignity, access to a better life, and can even spark movements. As professionals in the field, we must find the connections between who we are and the impact logistics can have on the world.

So, let's challenge ourselves to think beyond the simple delivery process and recognize the broader implications of our work. We have the opportunity to provide more than just products; we can offer dignity, access, and new opportunities. Let us embrace the power of logistics and strive to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Thank you.

Keywords

Logistics, customer satisfaction, home delivery, marginalized communities, African Americans, Jim Crow, Sears, dignity, freedom, Henry Box Brown, Civil Rights Movement, Rufus Lewis, Montgomery bus boycott, Green Book, Great Migration, access, opportunities.

FAQ

Q: What is the focus of Terry Esper's research? A: Terry Esper focuses on studying home delivery logistics and its impact on customer satisfaction.

Q: How did Terry Esper initially struggle to connect with his research? A: Terry Esper struggled to connect with his research on a personal level and find a deeper purpose in studying logistics.

Q: What inspired Terry Esper to reassess his connection to logistics? A: Terry Esper was inspired by reading about the role of logistics in providing dignity and freedom to marginalized communities, particularly African Americans during the era of Jim Crow.

Q: Can logistics have a broader impact beyond just delivering products? A: Yes, logistics has the potential to provide dignity, access to a better life, and even spark movements.

Q: What are some examples of the power of logistics? A: Examples include Henry Box Brown shipping himself to freedom, Rufus Lewis' logistics expertise supporting the Montgomery bus boycott, and the Green Book guiding African Americans during the Great Migration.

Q: How can professionals in logistics make a difference? A: Professionals in logistics should strive to go beyond the simple delivery process and consider the broader implications of their work, such as providing dignity, access, and new opportunities.