We had all kinds of Feedback on Gilmore's column on What to Tell the Students Bureaucrats about Logistics, and publish more of those letters below.
That includes our Feedback of the week from Marc Wulfraat of MWPVL International Inc., who says one thing Gilmore should have added was the need for more women in Logistics. We agree. You will find that and a few others below.
Feedback of the Week - on What to Tell Students and Bureaucrats about Logistics:
If I was addressing a general audience of students and bureaucrats, I would make mention that we need more women in the logistics industry, particularly in logistics management positions. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that women constitute less than 5 – 10% of logistics and supply chain management positions in the North American context. This is unfortunate because for the most part, the women that have made it to the top in our industry are darn good at what they do.
The onus is on the leaders and ambassadors in our industry, and I include you in that population, to go out there and promote a logistics / supply chain career path as being enriching and rewarding for both men and women. Our industry is tough because it has the most moving parts that can break, where no standard rule book exists on how to do it right, and where good solid creative thinking and ingenuity can enable game changing competitive advantage for companies. We all could certainly benefit from an expanded talent pool.
MWPVL International Inc
More on What to Tell Students and Bureaucrats about Logistics:
I believe that your overall message is very much on point. However, you have miss-used the term Logistics. Throughout the article the term Logistics could easily be replaced with Transportation. Transportation and SCM are sub-sets of Logistics. Logistics consists of 10 integrated disciplines that span the entire product life cycle. These disciplines combine to develop and execute plans necessary to sustain a product throughout its life cycle, including disposal of that product at the end of its life.
The ten elements are currently defined as: Sustaining Engineering, Supply Support, Maintenance Planning & Management, Packaging, Handling, Transportation & Storage (PHS&T), Technical Data, Support Equipment, Training & Training Support, Manpower & Personnel, Facilities & Infrastructure, Computer Resources.
Over the past several years the names of the elements have evolved but the underlying tools processes and policies have remained focused on the end state. I presented a paper at the 2010 International Society of Logistics – SOLE annual symposium that discussed the very issue I have raised. SOLE was organized over 40 years ago because of a recognized need for training and research to meet the challenges of the rapidly growing space programs.
As an organization The International Society of Logistics – SOLE mission is to “Advance the Art and Science of Logistics through Education and Research”. In the last decade or so the term Logistics has been applied to the transportation industry incorrectly
If you would like more information about SOLE visit the web site SOLE.ORG
Harry B. Fanning II CPL
Spares Demand Forecasting
One thing that is really worth mentioning to students is that throughout your career in this dynamic world of business…go wide, get deep, and stay relevant. I have had my career within my career changed by plant closing, spin-off, RIF, Job Elimination, not to mention promotions or lateral moves. It always helped to specialize in an area, but only for a short while.
I have worked across all Supply Chain domains (Distribution, Transportation, Order Management, Procurement, Demand Management, Production Scheduling, etc.) as a practitioner and then moved into Consulting where I was blessed to create Strategic and Tactical solutions for customers. Add key skills like Process Improvement and Project Management and you can maintain your relevance because as the industry marches on…you stay with it.
Thanks for your great articles…I really enjoy them.
Patrick A. Boyle
To reach students, it helps to put it in a context that they understand and care about. Talk about a specific product like an iPhone or their Starbucks coffee and how logistics/SCM makes it possible for them to enjoy reasonably priced products from around the world without too much effort on the student's part.
Direct them toward www.careersinsupplychain.org and a definition that will make sense to students: "Supply chain management (SCM) is all the activities that take place to get a product in your hands – from the time of raw materials extraction to the minute you pull out your credit card and take the final product home. SCM focuses on planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, moving, storing, and keeping track of a product as it flows toward you and other consumers."
Brian J. Gibson, Ph.D.
Supply Chain Management
As a former i2 employee, I feel both proud and joyful when I read your articles.
Not only the contents of your articles are very good but the topics are the one that makes all the difference. You have knack of picking both challenging and brilliant topics.
The last two that I vividly remember are in the following order; Top 10 SCM break-through in the history of mankind and quantitative strategy on the inventory positioning in a multi-tiered “manufacturing + distribution” system.
And now, this one is an awesome topic too, at least very relevant. If I may add, the students should be a little clever in making them marketable too. So, my advise to them is that network/contact a practitioner of the subject and learn the basic functionalities of a traditional manufacturing company, such as DEMAND MANAGEMENT, SUPPLY MANAGEMENT, PRODUCTION PLANNING, DETAIL SCHEDULING, WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT at a very high level.
Once done that, just compile a list of the top 5 companies that provide solutions in these respective areas of supply chain management. And pick one area and one vendor and spend another $1000 to take a certification course to learn that application.
They will automatically become highly desirable by any employer.
Thanks and keep writing articles with great topics.