There is no doubt that the information, communication technology (ICT) is moving fast and one can say the same thing about the supply chain management. The latest technology is helping companies enhance their supply chain visibility and thus increase their chance for successful supply chain transformations. Supply chain transformations aim to eliminate functional or organisational silos.

Due to internal politics and organisational cultural barriers, companies may run into difficulties when integrating and synchronising business activities across the different units and organisations. Each organisation is unique in that it serves different customer bases and therefore needs to develop its appropriate business strategy. Although leading practices of supply chain leaders are helpful for positive transformations in this industry, unfiltered adoption of other companies’ successful supply chain practices that are not coherent with the company’s actual business strategy can create unexpected challenges.

Creativity, innovation and knowledge are the key elements of supply chain management and business information systems that enable students and professionals to improve today’s supply chains and equip them for the changing needs of the industry and the business communities they serve. Having an appropriately skilled workforce is therefore essential.

Having been involved in logistics, transport and supply chain management training and education for over 20 years in Malta, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, I have come across different institutions, colleges and university, each with their own culture, and I had the opportunity to work with few of them. Every training and education institution design, create and adapt its own criteria, procedures, quality and training standards.

Overall, we have a situation where traditional education and training patterns, systems and standards are not updating fast enough in accordance with the latest technology evolvement and best practice. Brand and reputation are very important but they’re not everything: one needs to invest, change and upgrade.

Creativity, innovation and knowledge are the key elements of supply chain management

Last month I met the management and staff of the institute of Supply Chain Management in Durham, UK (www.ioscm.com) to understand and evaluate their management philosophy, policies, operations, content development and future goals. I was overwhelmed with the way the leadership of this institute has organised itself in recent years and the strategy they have adopted in moving forward. This is a constantly evolving institution, they share ideas and are open to new ideas.

With this strategy and philosophy in place, we have reached an agreement to reach more countries. Our organisation, SSM Group (www.ssmgroup.org) will be representing this international institution in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions.

The Institute of Supply Chain Management offers the quality element of education and training across the spectrum of the supply chain management adopting in the process the latest sectorial thinking and technology. The courses have a strong focus on business improvement and are designed to equip students with the capacity to apply innovative thinking to supply chain networks. Accredited courses from levels two to seven, covering every aspect of the wider supply chain, include: supply chain management; manufacturing, production and planning; logistics and transport management; management and leadership skills; import and export management; warehousing and inventory; ports and shipping operations; purchasing and procurement management; and quality management.

Our team of advisors are working to obtain the approval of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) and we forecast that by February 2020 the qualifications will be available for the Maltese market and business community. In parallel, we are also setting up facilities in Dubai, where in November 2019, we are hosting the first group of international students on Level 5 Diploma Logistics and Transport Management.

The module units allow students to choose the qualification courses which best suit their career goals. Whether they already possess a qualification, or whether they’ve built up years of experience on their job, the institute can offer the training they need to succeed further. Courses and qualifications are being offered on part-time and full-time basis and students can use the online learning platform with unlimited support from dedicated mentors. Our future will be built on the results of our expert’s dedication to education and training. We believe in giving every student much more than just a qualification, we want to provide them with an opportunity to grow, learn and progress as a professional with our unrivalled support network.

Alex Borg is trainer and advisor at SSM Group.