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Business and Management.
The need for improvement in the logistics and supply chain management capability of companies in Ireland is becoming increasingly recognised. One of the main bottlenecks currently is the shortage of supply chain management professionals. Education and training has a fundamental role to play if the supply of suitably qualified human resource is to be addressed in a meaningful way. Recent research indicates that demand for people with the right knowledge and skills greatly exceed supply. There are numerous techniques and technologies which can facilitate improvement in a company’s supply chain capability. However, experience has shown that these tools alone can not address the weaknesses – any improvement tool is only as good as a company’s ability to utilise it and effective utilisation depends above all on the knowledge and skill of employees. Education and training is essential in developing the requisite knowledge and skills. Consultants can play a role in terms of providing an objective view of a company’s requirements. But the only way to generate a sustainable competitive advantage is to ensure that the necessary knowledge and skills are available in-house. Indeed, the “consultancy culture” which has developed in many companies is a direct result of this lack of in-house expertise. Given the shortage of suitably qualified and experienced people in the job market, the only way that this problem can be addressed is through effective development of existing staff. This paper describes the partnership model adopted by the NITL to achieve its objective of combining academic excellence with real relevance to commercial needs in its supply chain management development programmes. The Executive Development Programme (EDP) is used to illustrate how the model is implemented.
Sweeney, E.: The Role of Acadmic/Industry Partnerships in the Development of Supply Chain Managers. Creating Welfare and Prosperity through Enterpreneurship, 12th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, p.108. Kuopio, Finland, May 2002.