The Oscars need a bit of logistics expertise

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Millions of times every day logistics operators get the right package to the right place at the right time. Occasionally things go wrong, but rarely so catastrophically as they did for one of the world’s biggest accountancy and consultancy partnerships, PwC.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

You would think that getting the right envelope to the presenter of the Academy Awards would be a simple matter, but apparently it is not.

So when Faye Dunaway wrongly named “La La Land” as winner of the best picture at Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, media glee at the blunder knew no bounds.

PwC had to issue an embarrassing statement: “We sincerely apologize to ‘Moonlight’, ‘La La Land’, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”

Perhaps they could investigate some of the innovative methods that logisticians have developed for getting the right package to the right individual.

Clearly technology is required – and RFID would be perfect for identifying the right envelope. Then it’s just a question of ensuring it gets to the right celebrity.

There are plenty of options (let’s leave aside the unfortunate incident of the delivery driver that’s seen to lob a parcel over the garden fence).

Click and collect would work – obviously Warren Beatty would need to provide some form of identification. Parcel lockers are another possibility, although remembering the code number for the locker could be an issue for some celebrities.

But how about the sight of a drone cruising down the aisle of the Dolby Theatre to deliver the envelope? Just a little Hollywood magic could give that a real wow factor.

Just a little bit of logistics expertise could really enhance the Oscar ceremony – and save PwC’s blushes.

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