On Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25, 2022, the university invited to a two-day logistics conference 15+2 years Master Logistics at the Hof Campus.
Which topics does Supply Chain Management (SCM) have to deal with today and in the future? What challenges does SCM face and how do science and practice react to them? These and similar questions were raised at the conference and discussed with the 80 participants and representatives of a wide range of companies – from global corporations to medium-sized businesses.
Varied program and top-class speakers
The necessity of automating logistics processes due to the shortage of skilled personnel was highlighted by Thomas Schott from Rausch & Pausch in Selb on Friday evening. Now that the production processes are highly automated, it is time to automate the logistics processes for the supply and disposal of production, including the handling of purchased parts and finished products. The university, with its master’s students from the logistics program, is providing assistance in this regard.
After a welcome to the participants by the president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann, Prof. Dr. Friedwart Lender, head of the Master Logistics program, gave an overview of current trends and challenges to classify the lectures on Saturday: be it the shortage of skilled personnel, cost pressure, digitalization, the Supply Chain Duty of Care Act or the upcoming regulations on corporate social responsibility of the EU including auditable reporting on sustainability.
Worldwide value chains and the challenges in the global world were the focus of the presentation by Dr. Arne Flemming, Senior Vice President Corporate Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics Services of the Robert Bosch Group from Stuttgart. With more than 23,000 suppliers, 650 logistics centers and 270 production plants, Bosch is affected by all global developments. So how does a group of companies deal with these challenges? Bosch has placed its Logistics Strategy 2025 under the premises of digital, competition, responsibility for the environment.
Which values should and must shape the way we deal with associates and suppliers? These questions were addressed by Dr. Ulrich Hornfeck, Sales Director of Sandler AG and spokesman of the Working Group of Christian Entrepreneurs. Although material availability, delivery capability and price are still dominant for competitive reasons, it is the values derived from the Christian faith that influence the design.
How can the obligation for sustainability reporting from 2024 be fulfilled? Susan Schubert, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Uvex Group in Fürth, Germany, shed light on this aspect. Uvex has already introduced an internalCO2 price for the assessment of suppliers and production. For the “Save the Planet” product series, Uvex already reports a CO2 footprint for the product, which also includes the so-called Scope 3 emissions (primarily emissions from purchased materials and services). With this approach, Uvex is well ahead of the competition and will be able to meet the requirements from 2024.
What experience have graduates of the Master Logistics gained in operational practice and what qualifications acquired during their studies do they still draw on today? These points were explored in the block of lectures on Saturday afternoon. Stefan Sachse from Güttler Logistik in Hof, Michael Springer from AGCO in Marktoberdorf or Robert Kusch from Porsche in Stuttgart emphasized that the practical projects in particular were an excellent starting point for everyday professional life. Likewise, the active role of a project manager with a student project group and the teamwork were valuable experiences that the speakers could take away from their studies.
The conference concluded with an overview of the state of research on supply chain management of the future, provided by Prof. Dr. Alexander Pflaum from the University of Bamberg and the Fraunhofer Institute from Nuremberg. A platform economy has already arrived in practice in parts, but has so far only been implemented for special fields. With the help of platforms – in a departure from the pipeline business model – new demands are placed on the orchestration of the platform’s resources as well as on value creation by creating interactions between the participants, thus increasing the value of the ecosystem through an interactive feedback-driven process.
All in all, the participants were able to take home many valuable tips from the conference. The long and detailed discussions during the breaks proved this. All conference guests were sure: We will be there again at the next conference!
A big thank you to the European Management Institute (emi e.V.) at the Hof University of Applied Sciences for supporting the conference.