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Logistics and academic brains get together

[ March 25, 2013   //   ]

Panalpina has signed a knowledge transfer agreement with Cardiff Business School to develop lean practices in complex supply chains.

According to Mike Wilson, Panalpina’s global head of logistics and himself a graduate of the university’s MBA programme in 1993, the forwarder’s focus is not on the storage of products but more on holding as little inventory as possible for its customers, and working with them to keep products moving – or asset velocity as it is known.

Panalpina has set out to map inventories across product life-cycles to better understand how inventory changes and estimate the maximum and minimum inventory holding

The benefits for Cardiff Business School are having practitioners lead workshops and lectures, helping students get to see how the theories they are learning are applied in the real world of logistics. Academics also get access to real business data, allowing it to develop research that is relevant and focused to the real business and industry needs. A possible outcome of the partnership could be a new demand-driven inventory forecasting model to facilitate inventory reductions.

The forwarder is also encouraging students to propose new ideas is through the Panalpina Award. The company asks students to suggest new strategies that would enable it to excel in the logistics industry with a prize for the best new idea and an invitation to present the idea to senior management at its annual global logistics meeting. The student and management team then develop plans to implement it.

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