School’s in for summer

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Currently in its 11th edition, KLU’s annual Supply Chain and Logistics Management Summer School attracts professionals from a variety of industries from around the globe to Hamburg. Over the course of 12 days, participants acquire new skills and perspectives from some of the best in the business, network and workshop with their peers, and get a taste of life in the port city.

André Wilke and Abdullah Khaibari hail from very different professional backgrounds. Wilke, an IT team leader responsible for routing optimization at transportation giant Hapag Lloyd, comes from Hamburg, while Khaibari, a native of Rabigh, a Saudi Arabian city on the Red Sea, works for petrochemical firm Petro Rabigh as a process support supervisor for the polymers distribution department.

What unites the two men is their desire to hone their supply chain and logistics management skills and network with peers from various industries and sectors from around the globe.

To this end, they engaged in KLU’s annual Supply Chain and Logistics Management Summer School, a course that runs for 12 days in the vibrant port city of Hamburg.

The Summer School covers topics as diverse as building business relationships and service innovation, offers workshops on themes that include SCM and negotiation techniques, and has attracted 17 participants from nine different countries. Learning isn’t confined to the classroom, however, and there are excursions to aviation firm Airbus and duty free giant Gebr. Heinemann, among others, to see supply chain management at work first hand.

“Supply chain management is crucially important for Hapag-Lloyd and for me as well and I think this course covers a lot of very important topics for my daily work,” notes Wilke during a lunch break at the Summer School.

“You have the course work giving theoretical background and you learn what is a key component and then you discuss with people within the course what their impressions are, what their experience is so far in the topics that were presented.

“I’m from IT, so I’m not so close to the business like guys from sales. We had a workshop where we first worked on our own to have a customer supply chain and to set prices and everybody was trying to get the most profit. Then we had a group discussion and tried to work the whole supply chain. The benefits were much better because we learned our customers have an expectation of us just as we have expectations of them.”

Khaibari, meanwhile, says that he and a colleague from Petro Rabigh attended the Summer School in order to help “enhance and improve our company’s supply chain management process.

“In the course we got many good tools to evaluate the supplier and the customer. Internally, we will use all the incoming resources as a supplier and the outcomes going out from us to our customers and network all the information to keep the flow of information streaming,” he explains.

The two men explain that in addition to the course work, the chance to work together with peers from different industries and sectors, including wind power, the armed forces and cargo transportation, and from places as far-flung as Hungary, Brazil and Ethiopia, has been incredibly beneficial.

“My personal highlight is that you have a lot of managers from different industries and you get a better understanding and feeling what the expectations of the other industries for a completely involved supply chain are,” remarks Wilke.

“The opportunity to network and learn from KLU’s professors have been highlights,” Khaibari agrees. “It’s also my first time to Hamburg. It’s a really beautiful city. I brought my family with me and we went to the zoo yesterday. This and Planten un Blomen, the botanical gardens here, are amazing.”