Logistics can be an exciting and lucrative career for anyone armed with the right qualifications and experience, and are open to continuous learning to keep up with changing trends.
WOU’s School of Business & Administration (SBA) senior lecturer Log. Stella Hoo Yee Hui was presenting an online talk on “Logistics: Why it should be on your career list?”on 20 Feb 2022. She encouraged, “You just need an entry ticket. You will have more options and move up in the industry with proper education and continuous learning.”
She remarked that logistics is becoming very popular because of the Internet of Things (IoTs). “Since consumer behaviour is changing, we now have Logistics 4.0 for delivering to consumers. Logistics 4.0 encompasses smart warehouse, smart delivery, and such,” she explained.
She believed innovations like 3D printing will change the future of supply chain. “The manufacturer will send semi-finished products and store in the logistic company or warehouse. When customers place an order, the company can use its 3D printer to help the client print the products based on requirements, and send to the customers.” She said this service, called product postponement, allows logistics companies to produce the finished goods and deliver to the customers.
She highlighted that 3D printing will increase the customisation options and reduce the lead times to deliver a finished product to the customer. “Local distribution centres of the logistics provider can hold stock of almost finished goods and use 3D printers to customise and deliver the completed goods to the customer.”
She said 3D printing may disrupt supply chain as the demand for shipping and warehouse space might be reduced, adding, “All these changes can drive the courier and express delivery business model to go digital.”
She shared that the changing supply chain dynamics will lead to the evolution of a new type of logistic company in the future. “They will no longer be a third party logistics but resembling more a ‘4PL’ (fourth party logistics). Logistics companies must now do market monitoring, service parts management, and return and recycling services. These are all part of providing product life cycle management service.”
Hoo said the new logistics company will design solutions on how to meet the manufacturing requirements and deliver on-time to the customers, which highly depends on customer preference, including making delivery on weekends. “If you have the drive and determination to start at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up, through experience and education, then logistics could be for you,” she stated.
She advised those interested in a career in logistics to “continue learning, and have a positive relationship with clients”.
She stressed, “Logistics is very big business and it impacts our quality of life.” She cited examples of global chain interruptions leading to shortages of potatoes and chicken, which in turn caused customer dissatisfaction at two fastfood chains in Malaysia.
WOU is introducing two new courses, ‘E-commerce Logistics’ and ‘Transportation Planning and Analysis’ under its Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (BBLC) programme for the May 2022 intake, for both on-campus learning (OCL) and open distance learning (ODL).