KLU Executive Education (KLU EE) is expanding its network in the Spanish-speaking world by means of a strategic partnership with Foro de Logística. Both parties have agreed to jointly expand their specialized academic portfolio of executive education within companies and organizations in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. Foro de Logística is a Spanish private-owned service provider that offers employment and recruitment services, talent management and training, open- and customized training to companies and public and private institutions related to logistics and supply chain in the above-mentioned countries and regions. An interview with Gabino Diego Díaz, CEO of Foro de Logística.
Could you please explain what Foro de Logística does? Also, how can the strategic partnership with KLU EE contribute to the advancement of professional training in logistics in the Spanish-speaking world?
Gabino Diego Díaz: Foro de Logística was created to respond to the talent needs of the logistics sector as a whole, both in Spain and Latin America, and to contribute to the improvement of employer branding in the sector. The mission of Foro de Logística is to promote the development of logistics talent among professionals in the sector, and to improve the competitiveness of logistics companies through the management and development of their professionals.
The alliance with KLU Executive Education reinforces our strategy to support the logistics sector through the development and training of its professionals. This alliance will offer the Spanish-speaking world professional training opportunities of the highest quality and professional level in logistics, with a holistic vision of the supply chain, a European vision and an international orientation. I have no doubt that this is a winning bet from which logistics as a whole will benefit, but also professionals and companies in particular.
What potential do you see in positioning KLU EE´s portfolio of executive education (i.e. open enrollment seminars and customized programs) in Spain and Latin America?
Gabino Diego Díaz: I believe that the potential of this initiative is very high and that its success is guaranteed. KLU EE´s training offer in Spain and Latin America fills a gap in high-level training for managers of logistics companies; but also for graduates who want to start their professional career in a sector in exponential development. The latter is possible due to the training offered by an institution with high international prestige, such as KLU. Furthermore, this agreement also foresees the development of tailor-made customized seminars for companies within the sector that need a top-level training, adapted to their specific needs and to those of their professionals.
What do you think will be, or will continue to be, the most relevant logistics issues to be addressed during and after the pandemic in Spain and Latin America? How can the partnership contribute to addressing these issues?
Gabino Diego Díaz: There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is changing our lives in general and is causing a crisis, not only in our health system, but also in the economy and society as a whole, with consequences that are still unknown. Nevertheless, and as far as logistics is concerned, this crisis has strengthened and improved the image of logistics in the society, reaching levels of recognition that are close to those of sectors such as health or the agro-food industry.
On the other hand, this crisis has highlighted the importance of key aspects for the future of the sector, such as digitalization and the decisive incorporation of disruptive technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, IOT, among others. It also seems clear that the logistics of the future will be sustainable or simply not. There is still a long way to go in that matter. However, it is the people who are –and should remain- in the center of attention, above all other aspects that have been affected by the crisis. Companies must bet on talent in order to come out stronger. Nevertheless, this requires a new style of leadership based on care for people, innovation, respect for the environment – a thus more social and more inclusive leadership style.
What joint training opportunities in logistics do you see in the short and medium term in Spain and Latin America?
Gabino Diego Díaz: As already, and as a result of this pandemic, the sector requires professionals not only with logistics and supply chain competencies, but almost more importantly, digital skills that will facilitate the technological and digital development of large or small companies. In addition, leadership competencies and the so-called soft skills are currently high on demand. Finally, there is a need for competencies related to sustainability, the environment and corporate reputation. That being said, academic institutions are bound to launch open and customized training programs that enable the development of these skills.
As for the labor market in times of coronavirus, what logistics and business administration profiles will be most in-demand in Spain and Latin America?
Gabino Diego Díaz: This crisis has highlighted and reinforced the need for professionals in the sector in various positions. The most in-demand profiles are, on the one hand, base profiles linked to e-commerce and distribution in the last mile, professional drivers and warehouse personnel. On the other hand, and with respect to high-level managerial profiles, the most in-demand professionals are related to applied technology and the development of digitalization processes. Finally, the trend in the search for logistics managers, traffic and mobility managers, as well as process engineers, continues.
What is the best way to work together with the private sector in order to support the advancement of capacity building in the logistics sector?
Gabino Diego Díaz: I believe that the key word here is´collaboration´, both in the development of open enrollment seminars, and in the development of tailor-made customized programs adapted to the needs of each company. The participation of professionals and managers in open enrollment seminars is also fundamental as it guarantees an approach to reality and immediate applicability of what has been learned in class.
We at Foro de Logística listen permanently to the private sector, which allows us to give an effective response to the needs and gaps of companies, both from the point of view of the demand for professionals, and also in the development of programs that cater to real needs within the sector. The implementation of face-to-face trainings is limited due to the pandemic.
How can our strategic partnership contribute to the development of online education?
Gabino Diego Díaz: Indeed, this pandemic has accelerated the very digital transformation of the education sector. All educational institutions have had no choice but to develop their activities using online training technology platforms, combining conventional learning platforms and streaming platforms, which have facilitated the development of training programs that were already in place before the pandemic outbreak.
I believe that this new way of approaching learning has come to stay definitively in educational organizations and in companies across the board. There is no doubt that the use of technology for distance training will be fundamental in the alliance between KLU Executive Education and Foro de Logística; and will thus facilitate the entry into the Latin American market more easily, and in a more efficient manner in terms of time investment.
What message would you like to give to the Spanish-speaking world of logistics in the time of Covid-19?
Gabino Diego Díaz: The message is, on the one hand, of hope that this pandemic will end as soon as possible and that the crisis, both socially and economically, will be the least harmful possible to both companies and society in general. On the other hand, I believe that logistics has taken on a prominent role in society and in business activities, which will make the sector more attractive.
I am convinced that the latter will provide the opportunity to attract the talent that the sector requires for its development, to support the public administration in the development of ambitious logistics strategies, as well as to entice private investment that will accelerate the development of the sector in a definitive manner. In short, I predict a very bright and hopeful future.