Education on Logistics and Supply Chain Management- Open Horizon of Opportunity

রাতঃস্মরণীয়'s picture
Submitted by rataswaraniya [Guest] on Fri, 17/05/2013 - 10:50pm
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Not so long ago, Administration department used to be the heavyweight wing of an organisation but personally I did not find much of its own work other than managing and maintaining utilities, leases, legalities, etc. Two crucial strategic and operational functions of an organisation, i.e. Human Resources and Supply & Logistics were covered under the sheet namely administration. However, good thing is the management bodies of comparatively younger generation have rightly understood the necessity of splitting the administration into several pieces. It has helped the functions like HR and S&L to own their identity and get recognition for their own achievements rather than being apprised as a good ‘admin’ fellow.

In the Bangladeshi context, occupations have less academic relevance. Apparently, it forces an incumbent to start professional career into a new area of knowledge and skill sets which often challenges the incumbent’s capability. Hence, a new learning curve is started from almost zero to cope with the professional sector. Our young folks are smart and capable enough to cope with a new discipline of knowledge.

In the academic arena of Bangladesh, human resource is yet to be an independent discipline of education but has been incorporated with MBA Programmes as a ‘major’. Up to a couple of years back, not too many students were interested to enroll for ‘HR’as their major rather more focus were given onto marketing, management and finance. However, encouraging is that student have been showing their enthusiasm to HR in the recent years and the private universities have no longer to struggle getting adequate number of students to run the HR as a ‘major’.This has happened mainly due to that the employers are recognising that the position holders should have sectoral academic relevance.

However, logistics and supply chain management has far wider opportunities in the employment markets in business, civil and non government sectors. Management of the organisations do no longer understand only purchasing by the term logistics and supply chain. Organisations nowadays exercise supply planning at the beginning of operations of a project and post distribution monitoring and evaluation of the process is also captured under the supply chain management. Hence, it does no longer deal with only purchasing or renting a truck or renting warehouse. Supply chain is an integrated system, which can be better described by- a coordinate business process begins from sourcing and ends after the delivery reaches the end users.

While the entire supply chain process needs strong coordination amongst its functions, the individual functions are equally important to ensure efficiency of the operation. Value for money (VfM) is, nowadays, a crucial consideration to all the organisations. Timeliness, quality, institutional risk mitigation, etc are also equally considered apart from cost minimisation. The best possible combination of the different monetary and non monetary value factors are the core of VfM and it can contribute to the overall performance of a supply chain system.

Let me come back to the discussion on academic relevance. Having the increasing awareness of supply chain management into consideration, it has become a core academic topic in the recent decade. Logistics and supply chain management has become independent discipline in many renowned universities across the world. This subject is taught indifferent ways, i.e. dissertation paper in MBA study, a few subsidiary subjects within a different ‘major’ of study, and comprehensive logistics and supply chain study as an independent discipline of study. Fritz Institute is one of the leading logistics and supply chain education centre, while the National University of Singapore (NUS) has an independent department of logistics and supply studies. The Logistics Institute of Asia Pacific (TLIAP) is a renowned study centre at the NUS.

We are yet to progress the academic education of logistics and supply chain management in Bangladesh. A couple of years ago a group of professionals initiated Certified Purchasing Manager course affiliated with international institutes. But such types of distance education with the overseas universities are quite expensive and scholarship is not easily available for such studies. Bangladesh is country with growing economy and high sectoral growth in trade and commerce. From that point of view, we can see very clear and good prospect of having such education in country with the public and private educational institutes. By that, in one hand, adequate number of capable professionals can be grown in country, on the other hand Bangladesh can export logistics is and supply professional in the international arena.

I firmly believe, and as I said before, our people have the capabilities to cope with new discipline of work in a quite short span of time. There are so many logistics professionals are working here and internationally without any academic education of logistics and supply chain. If we can widen the opportunity of logistics and supply study in Bangladesh, the interested students can choose this subject as a discipline of prospect as well as the professionals can get its benefit through consolidating their relevant knowledge base.


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