One of the fundamental limiting factors, from an informational standpoint, in issues relating U.S – Mexico logistics is a common inability to ask “what if” questions.
This represents the status quo, most of the time, for one simple reason: busy executives and decision makers in the U.S. and Mexico logistics industries are usually inundated, on any given day, and at any specific moment, with issues that are related to making product move. There is often simply no white space on their calendars to make time for strategic thinking as it relates to their duties and responsibilities. In order to knock down this barrier to greater effectiveness and efficiency we must, as logistics professionals, look an application or applications that can provide the analytics and metrics for us to evaluate “what if” questions and scenarios on the fly with an eye toward optimal decision making. Employing a tool, or tools, that would facilitate and improve decision-making in these all too common situations would create better outcomes. Part of thinking strategically in these situations requires the gathering and use of preemptive intelligence that can be applied to U.S. – Mexico logistics matters.
The concept of preemptive intelligence means exactly what the words imply: it consists of providing vital information to the end user before something (usually negative) can transpire. Using information to prevent future negative outcomes is nothing new. Technology platforms designed to provide such information are used for the protection of software applications, while governments the world over use intelligence garnered through many techniques to protect their national boundaries. In recent times, the medical environment is moving ever closer to actively employing preemptive intelligence derived genetic coding information in order to stop sickness before it occurs. Given the use of this methodology to save time, money and lives in a myriad of other endeavors, the same should be done with U.S. – Mexico logistics.
The concept of preemptive intelligence works in the logistics industry by facilitating the provision of a baseline behavior pattern analysis to government trade related agencies, and by allowing the best companies become trusted partners of those agencies. Utilizing this approach will enable the public and private sectors to move goods in both directions in a safer, more timely manner. Time, as is the case in just about any business that can be contemplated, is literally money in logistics, and efficiency, or a lack thereof, inevitably makes its way to the bottom line. By allowing a trusted partner to participate in a collaborative process driven by preemptive intelligence, governments can succeed at lowering the number of federal personnel that it takes to secure its borders and its trade. Achieving this would be a boon to the taxpayers.
- Preemptive intelligence in the area of U.S. – Mexico logistics also carries with it secondary and tertiary effects: By analyzing logistics behavior patterns, a number of other benefits are realized:
- Border crossing times can be recorded and predicted for the first time in the history of manufacturing on the border in a detailed fashion.
- Metrics are can be provided to government agencies that are critical to understanding the economic impact of their operations, such as secondary inspection rates and specific rates to particular goods.
- Emissions analysis, for the first time, can be quantified by tracking the behavior of tractor trailers in ports of entry. This will create an opportunity an for further study of environmental impact and solution development.
- Costly infrastructure capacity can be readily expanded based upon an accurate projection of future need, thereby instigating a whole new way to look at requirements for the coming bright future of international trade.
Giving up valuable privacy rights in business clearly begs the question, is it safe to collect and share information?
In order for the approach that is described above to function effectively, there must be a clear and compelling business case for utilizing it. There must also be an accompanying assurance that competing companies’ business practices will not be shared. The governments on the receiving end of proprietary information must ensure, via policy mandates, that complete confidentiality will be maintained at all times. An inability, or a lack of will to maintain the confidentiality of the business practices of competing companies, would blunt the economic incentive for these firms to pursue innovative new solutions aimed at providing the best products, best solutions and best outcomes, as well as negatively impact the positive bigger picture outcome of facilitating the movements of good back and forth across the U.S. – Mexico border in a safe and expeditious manner.