The main aim of this course will be to provide students with a broad overview of logistics and supply chain management in a way that excites their interest in the subject and emphasizes their economic, social and environmental importance. It will be divided into three parts. Part 1 will lay the conceptual and theoretical foundations of logistics and supply chain management and give the students a sense of the scale and diversity of logistics as both a business function and an industry. Part 2 will focus on what are generally regarded as the four key elements in a logistics system: transport, inventory, warehousing and information. The management challenges presented by each of these activities will be reviewed and students will be given a brief introduction to the analytical tools used to optimize them. Part 3 will address four 'cross-cutting' themes which should synthesis material introduced in the earlier parts and examine the wider impact of logistics / supply chain management on the economy, the environment and social well-being. It will conclude with a thought-provoking session discussing longer term forecasts of the development of logistics and supply chains.
This course begins by outlining the concept of sustainability and the case for balancing economic, environmental and social objectives. The main focus is on the environmental impacts of logistical activities, mainly emissions of CO2 and pollutants such as NOx and PM10, noise, vibration and accidents. Many of these so-called 'externalities' are associated with freight transport, though the various nodes in the supply chain, such as warehouses, ports and freight terminals, also have a detrimental effect on the surrounding areas. It is usually in urban areas that the environmental problems of freight movement are most acute, though concern is also mounting over the contribution of logistics to the growth in greenhouse gas emissions, whose impact is on global climate. Many of the current trends in logistics are considered to be environmentally unsustainable in the longer term. In response both to customer demands and government regulation, firms have been endeavoring to 'green' their logistical operations. Many of the measures that they have so far applied have cut costs as well as reduced emissions and been largely, if not entirely, self-financing. These measures have been described as the ‘low hanging fruit’. It is unlikely, however, that these ‘green-gold’ measures will be enough on their own to meet future environmental requirements, particularly for the required 50-80% reductions in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels. By deploying a mix of technological and behavioural measures most companies should be able to achieve substantial improvements in their environmental performance. In this course, we examine how they can do this.
A large and growing proportion of logistics expenditure is outsourced to logistics service providers. Companies are also outsourcing a broader range of logistics activities and adopting new outsourcing models. There, nevertheless, remains a substantial minority of manufacturing and retailing businesses that continue to operate in-house logistics, in many cases because they regards logistics as a 'core competence' that they prefer to control directly. Meanwhile the third-party logistics market continues to expand, innovate and diversify, partly in response to client's changing requirements but also to exploit new technologies and business concepts. Relations between logistics service providers (LSPs) and their clients are often difficult, however. Surveys consistently show that around 20-25% of clients are dissatisfied with the standard of logistics service that they receive. They typically complain about the level of IT support and the lack of 'proactivity' on the part of their service providers. Much depends on the expectations of the clients and their LSPs and their willingness to cultivate closer, more open relationships. This sub-course will examine these expectations in detail, using recent survey and case study data, and explore what can be done to improve the relationship between LSPs and their clients.
Prof. Dr. Alan McKinnon
Tel: +49 40 328707-271
Fax: +49 40 328707-209