Moneyball Comes to Material Handling Equipment

If you challenge conventional wisdom, you will find ways to do things much better than they are currently done.” 
Bill James, Godfather of Sabermetrics.

As a diehard Cleveland Browns fan*, I was ecstatic when I heard that the Cleveland Browns hired Paul DePodesta as their Chief Strategy Officer. Did you know that this man, the inspiration behind Jonah Hill’s character in Moneyball, also applies his statistical methods to other industries? 

*I must admit that my first picture after being born is in a Brown’s jersey, so I really had little choice in the matter.  In Baker We Trust. 

DePodesta is a Harvard grad who used his obsession with numbers and statistical analysis to change the baseball world forever. He insisted that the information used in baseball (or lack thereof) to make personnel decisions was archaic and needed to be brought into the 21st century.  

He knew that baseball was sitting on a mountain of data and needed to dig through it to find the true indicators of success and failure. As the movie and history have shown, DePodesta’s analytical approach was quite successful and was adopted in some fashion by all the teams in MLB.  But it wasn’t just baseball he knew he could change.  

DePodesta believes that data analysis will transform many industries in need of transparency and accountability.  DePodesta released this statement: 

In disciplines as disparate as baseball, financial services, trucking and retail, people are realizing the power of data to help make better decisions. Medicine is just beginning to explore this opportunity, but it faces many of the same barriers that existed in those other sectors—deeply held traditions, monolithic organizational and operational structures, and a psychological resistance to change.” 

My question to you is simple: are you allowing these same barriers to hold back your organization from operating as efficiently as possible? Are you willing to use data analytics to find the inefficiencies in your material handling fleet and see where you are leaving money on the table?  

My favorite quote from Moneyball is when Brad Pitt (playing GM Billy Beane) is speaking with the head of his scouting department.  The scout is a baseball lifer who has done his job the same way, day in and day out, for 29 years.  He tells Pitt that he is destroying this team by depending on analytics and data—that 150 years of baseball has proven that there is only one way you can build a team, only one way it can be done.  Pitt looks at the scout and says three words, “Adapt or Die.” Will you be choosing the former or the latter?       

Data analytics is the standard by which all efficient businesses measure themselves.  An unbiased, third-party audit of your material handling fleet will set the foundation to utilize data analytics in your decision-making process.  Only through analyzing your fleet and the data that it produces, are we able to identify the total cost of ownership of your fleet and eliminate the root causes of inefficiency.   

No more guessing.  No more gut feelings.  No more tee-ball.  The big boys are playing Moneyball. 

By Jacob Vugrinac


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